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Today in class we spent two hours listening to the cutest pregnant woman give a two-hour talk about the launch of a new magazine. Not just any magazine launch, but a new title that became successful in the midst of this recession, and the incredibly talented pregnant woman was responsible for this miraculous achievement.
Food Network Magazine is the title, and Maile Carpenter is the EIC who has managed to surpass the original estimate of 400,000 views to an astonishing 900,000 with only three issues having been published!
Coming from the successful launch of the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, Carpenter managed to find a hole in the already crowded cooking magazine market. She was able to do this quickly with, what she notes, is Food Network Magazine’s major point of difference: It comes with a built in network of celebrities, from Rachael Ray herself, the Iron Chef, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen and more, along with their popular personalities, brand recognition and established trust and loyalty.
While this magazine is in partnership with The Food Network, it is not biased toward the show and its merchandise. Carpenter and her small staff go behind the scenes and to write as if the TV station weren’t included in the name, such as the well-received article “Secrets of the Iron Chef” (appreciated by fans as well as the crew). More than 100 recipes at all levels are in every edition, and while there is content available on foodnetwork.com, the companion magazine site is still under construction.
This “pop culture approach to food” has already been much more popular than original estimates, and after hearing Carpenter speak realize I am going to subscribe to this magazine as well (add it to my list, along with Esquire… Don’t think I can afford all these!), for the recipes as well as support of an admired talent. To subscribe yourself to what I promise will deliver delicious recipes and mouth-watering food shots (Carpenter promises none of the spray glue tricks I was used to in advertising!), click here.
Additional thanks to the panelists in “Building a Brand: a Wheel with Multiple Spokes”:
- Bill Stump, VP, Digital, Rodale: Made me excited about his/Rodale’s tactics of allowing inexperienced employees to generate videos for websites such as Men’s Health. Emphasized to those of us entering the job market to attempt any task you’re given.
- Gail Horwood, SVP Digital Programming & Strategy, Martha Stewart Omnimedia: I wonder how much personal impact Stewart has on her brand, but they are all quite successful. Shared the secret that the craft section is most popular. I believe it, there are directions to make a really cute message board in the June edition of Martha Stewart Living.
- Frank Lalli, EIC, International and Magazine Development, Reader’s Digest Association; ED, Purpose Driven Communication: Reminds that you are your own brand. Spoke about launching the magazine/360 approach to Pastor Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life. For Bible Studiers, obviously I’m not in the target. Did get the chance to ask him why Reader’s Digest changed their cover design years ago from the Table of Contents and made it look just like every other magazine- he said the team thought it needed updating, while I thought it lost its identity and individuality.
- James Jacovides, VP, Licensing & Syndication, Time Inc.: If you have any questions, ask him I think he thinks he knows everything. In reality, he is very smart and he works for a very successful company and he knows it and isn’t afraid to share. He discussed how magazines go international and the different methods Time Inc. uses to ensure an immediate profit.
- Jaimee Zanzinger, Deputy Editor, Real Simple: I personally like Real Simple, though it hasn’t helped me de-clutter my life. Zanzinger spoke about their commitment to helping make an easy reading experience, from short articles to the included book mark and pictures that help tell the story. Interesting to note, the photos in Real Simple are styled after every article is written, not scrap art. Must be incredibly expensive for the shoots and talent, but the effort comes through in print.
Off to my first NYC party!!! Some launch for some music reality show from what my friend with the tix told me. Concept sounds like it may be lacking, but I could use a few free drinks after these long days. Woohoo.
A half-century length career in book publishing is my dream, and Jason Epstein is the icon and achiever of this goal.
Epstein is kind enough to expel his knowledge and experience of the publishing industry in his professional memoir, Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future. While catered toward the niche group of people interested in book publishing, this is also a wonderful tale of history and the way relationships with books have evolved throughout the 1900s.
This iconic career began when Epstein stumbled across an editorial position
with Doubleday in his early 20s (and I do mean stumbled, he claims to have known nothing about publishing at the time when the opportunity was offered him), during which he repeatedly said he was ready to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice, though he ended up staying there a decade. Within that decade he was the man responsible for the invention of Anchor Books – the imprint responsible for the “quality paperback” book, which made literature more affordable for the masses as opposed to the superior quality, expensive hard cover novels.
After that success, Epstein moved over to Random House, now the world’s largest trade publisher. When Epstein first made the career transition Random House was a family-style business located within the wing of one New York mansion, in which he tells tales of famous authors delivering manuscripts in slippers and spending the night on couches (and not always alone!).
Epstein is a big-picture businessman. Able to look at book publishing from the editorial and quality of literature angle, as well as the ability to envision new venues for sales and marketing, he is a man I would trust to carry a book from conception to success.
Responsible for numerous advances in the publishing industry throughout his career, Epstein was among the first to embrace the online retail giant in its struggling years, Amazon (ironically he found fault with Amazon’s business model, which has boomed since the publication of this memoir in 2001). This enlightening book, surprisingly small in statue considering the wealth of information contained within, cites book publishing to be on the edge of a vast transformation, in which I see future opportunities without bounds.
Since this publication, Epstein has capitalized on some of his own visions mentioned.
In 2004, he launched “OnDemandBooks.” With yet another invention on his repertoire, the “Espresso Book Machine” is available at locations throughout the United States, Canada and England for on-demand, affordable printing of books
Read this if: You’re interested in hearing a behind the scenes tale from a publishing great, and how the industry has changed in a mere 50 years and the how the transformation may continue.
Avoid this if: You’re looking for a raucous tale filled with gossip and dirt on some of the most respected authors. This is not a tell-all, but a memoir of an accomplished career.
- Title: Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future
- Author: Jason Epstein
- Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
- NovelWhore’s Grade: A-
Thoughts, insights, experiences to share?
I’ve researched the Random House Associates Program and am quite interested (as in obsessed) in the opportunity, though I would like to hear more about it first-hand.
I think it is geared towards graduating college students, whereas I already have about two years of solid agency experience and wonder if it would be a waste of time when I feel as if I have the ability to jump right in to a full-time position? But it’s Random House, and as the largest general trade publisher in the WORLD it might be worth it!?!
A second worry is with the way this economy is going there is even a smaller likelihood that a full-time job would be available at the end of the program in July 2010… I need help!
If you have any experience with the Associates Program, or Random House in general please please contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org. THANKS!