I’m thinking of discontinuing display ads in the print issue of BHM. Except, of course, for our own ads advertising our anthologies, books, and various subscription options. Haven’t decided for sure yet, but I’m leaning heavily that way.
Doing so will improve the quality of the magazine by allowing more pages for useful articles. I’m tired of having to bump good articles every issue to accommodate ads that really don’t add much to the magazine, either in quality or revenue.
If I do this, I’ll honor existing ad contracts, but few of them go beyond the next few issues. I’ve already told my ad gal, Lorraine, to agree to no new ad contracts for 2011.
I’ll probably continue allowing classified ads, possibly even small “display type” ads within the classifieds.
There is an option to discontinuing display ads, which is to raise display ad rates to the point where I have far fewer advertisers. Then, at least, the remaining ones will be pulling their weight as far as helping to pay the print bill for each issue.
This is an interesting decision I’m about to make. Most magazines are driven by advertisers. You may have noticed that the size of many magazines has shrunk during the last couple of years in direct proportion to the decline in their ad revenue. That hasn’t happened with BHM because we are not dependent on ad revenue. We are driven by subscribers who value the quality of our content. I think dropping 13 or so pages of ads and replacing them with good articles will play to our strength.