A custom publishing lesson before dying

A custom publishing lesson before dying: The NY Times is reporting that Book Magazine will cease publication after the November issue.

class. Here is the first thing you need to learn from this news: Custom
(or custom-er) published magazines are not the same thing as
traditionally published and distributed magazines. There are many,
many, many similarities and overlaps, but you have to understand the
differences if you are going to succeed.

When the magazine Book was announced in February, 2002, I posted a rather long comment on the rexblog
regarding the misguided perception its publishers appeared to have
about its role. I said then it was a customer magazine and that it
could be profoundly effective if recognized and utilized as such.

the publishers chose to pretend their dependency on Barnes & Noble
was a circulation or distribution strategy. Then, in March of this
year, they began to see the light. But obviously, it was too late by then.

one can deduce from the “recently read roll” on the left column of each
rexblog page, I’m a fairly active purchaser of books (and, fortunately,
I have some “friends in the book industry” who send review copies
ocassionally). I belong to the Barnes & Noble frequent purchaser
program (whatever it is called) and I would guess that, despite my
preference for the wonderful quasi-independent bookstore, Davis-Kidd, I
still do enough book buying at BN to hit their top 25% list.

I have never received a copy of Book. It has never been used to help BN
create a deeper relationship with me, to introduce me to new titles I
might enjoy, to surround me in a BN experience in a way that only a
magazine can do.

Sorry. This magazine failed not because it was a bad magazine. It failed because it realized far too late what it was.

Later: Another story on the topic
from Publishers Weekly, with this quote from the erstwhile editor: “As
Johnny Cash said, ‘I don’t like it, but I guess things happen that