Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mr. Magazine Blogs Blu

BLU Magazine
By Samir Husni

Lately we have been reading about magazines folding shop in print and claiming to stay alive on cyber space. FHM, Teen People, Shock, Info World and Elle Girl, to name a few, decided to cease the ink on paper editions and concentrate on pixels on the screen. Kimberly Toms spotted this trend and decided to do the opposite.

Rather than publishing her new magazine BLU (a magazine for single men and women) in print first and face all the problems of a new launch such as the cost of printing and production, no advertising, low sale through numbers and a lot of waste, Toms opted for the pixels on the screen.

She said that the "Magazine BLU is in digital format for the first five bimonthlies (through the December 07 edition) for brand-building and working out of the design/inclusion kinks, then monthly and in hard copy (with distribution already lined up) as of January 2008. The next issue is June/July 07 with a major launch event in Philly in July."

To say that Kimberly is having a love affair with this magazine concept will be an understatement. Kimberly told me that, "This has been the concept that would not die, no matter how much I wanted it to some days!! It has been the most difficult, yet most rewarding journey, and I look forward to every day it presents as Magazine BLU." I only wished that the passion that Kimberly has for the magazine and the magazine busniess is evident in her first issue.

A digital magazine with all the type and design that BLU offers makes it hard to read and enjoy, but I am sure that Kimberly knows that since she mentioned the ongoing work on the design kinks in the magazine. A digital magazine should not be a replica of the print magazine or an imitation of it. It does not even need the space for a UPC.

The screen viewers are not the same as the page viewers. To view the first issue of BLU magazine click here,and to see a great example of a digital magazine click here to read Felix Dennis's magazine Monkey click here.

Magazine BLU is not the first magazine to publish via the web first and turn to print next, and it will not be the last. I continue to believe that, in this day and age, if you are really going to survive and make a profit, you have to pay your dues in ink on paper. If you think the competition to establish yourself in print is tough, then you do not know how big is the competition in the virtual space out there. It is good to dream big . . . but one day you have to wake up (and smell the ink . . .)

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