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Magazine Darwinism

Buzz Kanter Columns Harley Magazine Blog This Months Column

Magazine Darwinism

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter
Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

…the battle lines between traditional print and questionable online sources are drawn.

Thank you for buying, reading, and supporting our magazine. We appreciate you, and work hard to publish what you want and deserve. The heck with the self-serving “Prophets of the Internet” who call for the death of print! Most of our readers (the great majority believe in print) know better and would disagree. In the world of fake news and deliberate click bait, the battle lines between traditional print and questionable online sources are drawn. Both print and online have value but not always at the exclusion of the other. But I am a print guy.

Some magazines could not meet today’s challenges. But I can assure you that print is not dead. Want proof? It’s in your hands right now. Yes, a lot of print magazines we once enjoyed are gone, but others are doing just fine. Consider it a kind of magazine Darwinism — with the survival only of the fittest. And the better managed ones have a solid future. The ones that offer the quality and consistency our readers and advertisers want will be around for a long time.

It’s all about the Benjamins. The magazine industry, like many others, is caught in a financial downdraft. Ours is created by declining audience and advertising income. If not properly managed, it eventually can lead to a significant drop in editorial content quality. Granted, as a magazine’s revenues decline so do its editorial budgets and staffing, causing a real challenge. For some publishers (print and online) this leads to the false economy of passing off press releases and fluff jobs as editorial to fill the 24-hour click-bait cycles. But not here!

Any business with greater expenses than incomes has to make tough decisions. For magazines, this often leads to ever greater cuts in editorial staffing and quality. That, in turn further reduces reader and ad income. A vicious circle.

Want to help break that circle? Support those who support you. In our case I am asking you to subscribe to American Iron Magazine, and to get your riding buddies to do the same. Put your money where your passion is! We publish 13 issues a year, and you can subscribe for only $29.97. Call 877.693.3572 or go to AIMag.com today.

Anyone with a blog, Facebook or Twitter account can spout off as an insta-expert on any given topic at any given time regardless of the facts. Some people are okay with info from free on-line “citizen journalists” to keep up with the Kardashians. I know there are a lot of people, like you and me, who are willing to pay a little to support professional and accurate reporting in a magazine. Are you and your friends among us?

Today, many long-term advertisers are unsure of where and how to spend their advertising and marketing dollars. The digital marketing salespeople tell them they are wasting money in print. Are these the same online experts behind issues like faked paid views and click farms that artificially inflate the numbers of Facebook, Twitter and web sites? I understand how an ad buyer can be confused on where to pitch his ads. So, please let our advertisers know when you support them and read our magazine.

We have been absorbing our increasing costs, from paper and ink to distribution fees into stores. Our readers expect and deserve the best possible product, so, rather than cut size or quality, we are reluctantly increasing the cover price $1 per issue with the next issue. We are holding the subscription rate at only $29.97 a year (13 issues of American Iron Magazine, plus an issue of American Iron Salute, 14 issues in total). You can buy your copies for $7.99 each (starting with the next issue) or subscribe for a little over two dollars each and be entered to win a new Indian Scout motorcycle. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I strongly recommend subscribing (or renewing) now. Please call 877/693-3572 — and save big.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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