New magazine launches have seen no slow down. I think we’ve done a respectable job of proving that fact over the last 12 months. And if you don’t agree, maybe the actual numbers will convince you. Between October 2014 and the end of September 2015 there was a total of 830 new magazine launches – with 215 of those promising frequency. For a print industry that has been written by some as dead or declining, that sounds extremely healthy to me. What about you?
It is with the greatest pleasure and honor that I acknowledge 30 of those wonderful new launches every year, in conjunction with min (Media Industry Newsletter), at a breakfast event in New York City. And it’s there that I also announce The Hottest Launch of the Year out of those 30. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved and a fantastic way to showcase the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the ink and paper) that are poured into the makings of each of those new creations.
The question I’m asked most often about the event is my selection process and what criteria do I use to select the 30 hottest launches for any given year? And because being one of the hottest new launches doesn’t guarantee success; I always feel compelled to point that fact out. But being chosen does mean something; it means that the angst and hard work of the magazine’s staff and all the people that are behind that product has been noticed and acknowledged. And in today’s media world the criteria for selection is very stringent.
In reaching my decision on what makes a hot magazine, by far the number one criteria point is the audience’s reaction to that magazine. How did the overall marketplace react and how did its intended audience respond to it? And just as important; how did the industry behave toward it? These questions are the first thing I ask upon selection of the hottest 30. And once I’ve answered those initial questions, then I really get down to work. Remember my mantra: Audience First.
For example, major industry leaders’ launching new print magazines certainly is something that must be recognized because it speaks of the power of the medium. These people aren’t in the business of wasting dollars on something that has no value, especially when those new babies are some of the absolutely best of the best. This time around some of the mega giants of the publishing world, from Bauer to Meredith to Smithsonian to National Geographic and Rodale, have managed to recreate magic once again with titles that are content-engaging and design-brilliant.
And the entrepreneurs, with their vision and determination to launch their magazine no matter the cost to their wallets and their emotions, are no less amazing. Some of the best titles I’ve seen in a long time are among our Top 30 and they come from relatively unknown publishers who are not without experience, just without the stolid names that audiences know so well. Magazines such as: Big Life, Marijuana Venture, Take and Creativ.
So, the criteria for selection is based on factors that include creativity and audience reaction first and foremost, and then industry trends and as always, those rogue wildcards out there that just won’t be denied and seem to make some of the best magazines around.
Also, something has to grab my attention to be selected as a hot new launch, based on the comparative analysis of all the other magazines that are out there. To me, every new magazine is a good magazine. Any new launch is a good launch. I’ve always said my connection to ink on paper is a mutual one, but one that chose me first, albeit willingly. The passion that I have for magazines is not one that I can deny, nor do I even want to. We are connected and I love it.
So without further ado; here are the 30 Hottest New Launches for 2015 in alphabetical order:
Publisher – Stanley R. Harris
Editor – Michael O. Humphries
A quarterly magazine that is devoted to the firearms and survival lifestyles, Ballistic lives up to its name very well; it’s a no-holds-barred bible for people who are waiting on the Apocalypse and are determined to survive in spite of the odds. “Going Ballistic” takes on a whole new meaning as one flips through the pages of this extraordinary magazine from Harris Publications. It’s rich with the latest trends and technologies of the gun and survival world, with superb photography and content that can hold one’s attention even if you’re not an enthusiast of the subject matter. By the time you experience the magazine, you’ll feel like Mad Max’s sidekick and able to hold your own as the two of you scream across the Wasteland. Yes, it’s that good. And why it’s among Mr. Magazine’s™ 30 Hottest New Launches.
There’s a paragraph in the Letter from the Editor section of the premier issue of Big Life magazine that really says it all about this delightful read that’s dedicated to life in the mountains and the engaging, vital people who live and visit there. It reads:
Living in mountain towns, many of which are home to resorts, it can be tempting to live a self-indulgent life. But the people who live in these towns will surprise you.
And surprise you they just might. Co-founder and editor-in-chief, Ryan Waterfield, describes the magazine as Garden & Gun and Esquire meet in a dark bar. They have a torrid one-night stand and Big Life is born. I have to agree with that except for the fact that Big Life magazine is as sprawling and wide-open-spaced as its title suggests it is. When you pick up the magazine for the first time and each subsequent moment thereafter, that’s the response you feel from the virgin touch. It’s alive with fun and passion and content so dynamic it fairly reaches out from between the pages and grabs you along for the ride. And that’s what it did to Mr. Magazine™ and that’s why he roped it like a wild steer into his 30 Hottest New Launches.
Websites expanding into print is a familiar scenario these days. From Net-a-Porter to WebMD, the idea that print can and does make more of an indelible and collectable impression is one that more and more online-only publishers are realizing. Print plus digital has become their mantra of choice lately and Mr. Magazine™ is of course wondering what took them so long? But the fact that they’ve joined the ink on paper set is answer enough and C/Net magazine is one fantastic read. The magazine carries articles of its own, rather than recycled web content and that in itself shows the seriousness of this magazine’s presence on the newsstand. It’s a magazine that definitely has something to say and Mr. Magazine™ is certainly listening. Welcome to the 30 Hottest New Launches C/Net.
Publisher – Rob Clutter
Editor – Mark R. Johnson
What happens when Cabin Life magazine and Country’s Best Cabins merge? They become Cabin Living, of course. According to Publisher, Rob Clutter from his publisher’s page in the first issue, Cabin Living is now the biggest magazine serving the cabin enthusiast. And serve them this magazine does. From the artful design of the magazine to the exquisite cabins presented on its pages, Cabin Living is a robust and beautiful addition to Active Interest Media’s Home Group, which also publishes Log Home Living and Timber Home Living, among many others. The doable ideas and real-life advice and suggestions this magazine offers the reader makes it an absolute must-add to Mr. Magazine’s™ 30 Hottest New Launches. So, of course, I did.
Publisher – I-5 Publishing
Editor – Melissa Kauffman
After 49 years of publishing Cat Fancy magazine, America’s longest-running cat publication, decided to clean the litter box for the last time. The magazine had been well-loved among feline enthusiasts and saw many years of success. But for people who felt they were going to be lost without a magazine that catered to the many strange and wonderful attributes of the whiskered little creatures, it wasn’t long that Catster was born and the tradition continued. Launched in print form from its website that had been around for 10 years, the bimonthly monthly magazine is perfect bound and printed on beautiful heavy stock paper. Catster is a wonderfully authoritative voice on everything catty (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). This magazine is for cat parents and true feline enthusiasts. From the tips and kitty confessions readers respond to openly, to the Catster profiles of amazing cats and their owners, the magazine is as addictive to the humans who love them as catnip is to the four-legged beauties. So, grab the ball of yarn, Catster, and enjoy your place among the 30 Hottest New Mr. Magazine™ launches.
Creativ is a concept born from the minds of Blake Brinker and Brad Thomas, publisher and editor-in-chief respectively. The magazine is an extension of their global online network that is serving to integrate print and digital to the acme of their intertwined possibilities. A showcase for the creativity of the Creativ community; the magazine celebrates the human imagination and originality in tangible form, cradling creativity of all kinds. With every spread between the magazine’s covers, links are offered to the featured artist’s individual portal on Creativ.com. It’s a unique and ingenious gratuity that conjoins the tangible with the conceptual. Mr. Magazine™ is very glad to welcome you to the fold, Creativ.
Convincing adults that they’re creative and artistic can sometimes be a daunting task, but Publisher Carole Giagnocavo of DO Magazine believes a childlike creativity still lives in all of us as she writes in her publisher’s letter to readers in the first issue of DO Magazine. And that’s what the magazine is all about. Inspiration and step-by-step instructions lead readers on an exceptional journey to crafts, coloring and gift-making, in a calm, mindful and meditative way. It’s the best of all of the new adult coloring and crafty books out there that’s job is to help us stressed-out grownups get a little bit of their childhood back and enjoy life more. Mr. Magazine™ believes “DO” does the epitome of that mission and is happy to include the colorful and fun magazine in the 30 Hottest New Launches.
Not to be outdone by the furry, whiskered calicoes and tabbies and all of the other variety of felines out there, Dogster Magazine is for the other four-legged pet that we all know and love, the dog. Just as Cat Fancy became Catster, Dog Fancy became Dogster in its new and improved print fur coat. The “Fancy” titles were acquired by I-5 Publishing in 2013 and both new titles Dogster and Catster were reborn into print from their respective websites. And Mr. Magazine™ couldn’t be happier with the ink on paper pet enthusiasts’ magazines. Dogster is filled with content that’s both helpful and entertaining. It’s all about the love of the dog and is a welcomed edition to the 30 Hottest New Launches.
The clean-eating and healthy lifestyle revolution that’s taking over the nation today is something that we can all get behind. It’s an attempt to treat our bodies as they were intended to be treated, as temples that house our own individual spirits. The magazine Eat This Not That! is an absolutely down-to-earth publication that can be used for just that effort. Its content is life-changing and filled with weight-loss recipes; food swaps that can help a person shed pounds off of their waistlines to look and feel better, and many other well-being tips and attitude adjusters. The premier issue held many supermarket secrets that saved people time when it came to decoding nutrition labels in the store and offered some of the tastiest and simplest recipes around. The magazine is based on David Zinczenko’s best-selling Eat This, Not That! series of books and is just a well-deserved addition to the 30 Hottest New Launches.
Talk about your coffee table book! Oversized, elegant and beautiful; LE PAN Magazine celebrates the art of fine wine living, as is evidenced by its tagline. LE PAN is a new and commanding global voice in fine wine, cuisine and lifestyle. It is published in separate English-language and Simplified Chinese editions. The magazine is a sophisticated, passionate publication for all fine wine and dining aficionados and prides itself on being a leading world voice on the best chefs, restaurants and food and wine pairing on the planet. In fact, Mr. Magazine™ would take that one step further and say that LE PAN is so exceptionally chic and clever, just flipping through the pages can make one more cultured and refined. A feat such as that calls for a 30 Hottest Launch accolade, to say the least.
A strictly-business voice in the world of cannabis magazines; Marijuana Venture is a new business and consumer magazine that focuses on the professional side of planting and growing marijuana. From new techniques to the retailers trying to reach this niche audience, the magazine is a no-nonsense look at the industry of marijuana. There are no ads for the biggest and baddest bong or the latest implement to help one pass a drug test, just ads that are centered on the professional world of growers and retailers. It’s a look into the world of cannabis growing from a businessperson’s standpoint. And for that reason and many others, Mr. Magazine™ is “rolling” out the 30 Hottest Mew Launch red carpet for Marijuana Venture’s walk to fame.
Home… a way of life. With a tagline like that, what’s a magazine guru to do? Why, put it in the Top 30 Notables, of course. The word “Home” is key throughout the contents of Molly Green. From HOME-steading to HOME-keeping and HOME-schooling to HOME-industry; the magazine utilizes the comfort and joy the word exudes from every letter to engage its readers with great ideas and tips to make one’s home more homier. Welcome “home” Molly Green; you belong among the 30 Hottest New Launches.
In a world sometimes gone mad with conflict, strife and unease about the future, never has a magazine like Mornings with Jesus been needed more. Inspirational and designed to give Christians a closer connection to Jesus Christ, the magazine brings daily devotionals to a more personal level. With daily passages of Scripture as the foundation for each day’s reverence, contributors share their own personal experiences that relate to that day’s Bible verse, offering readers a chance to experience their own individual encounters. It’s a much-needed respite from the chaos that is our world today and very deserving of a place among the 30 Hottest New Launches.
National Geographic’s History takes you on a journey through time with each issue as you discover different events that have taken place throughout humankind’s existence. Through stunning visuals and wonderful stories, this magazine shows that history is much more than what you learned in high school; it’s an odyssey that unfolds in different facets each time the adventures are retold. Some are surprising (even though it’s history) and some are extremely familiar, with new and exciting twists that bring you into that particular time, but in either case, it’s an experience that gives you a deeper understanding of our world’s history and its people, including ourselves. As Mr. Magazine™ always says, ‘you can’t see where you’re going, until you know where you’ve been.’ And I see this magazine definitely among the 30 Hottest New Launches.
Nickelodeon Magazine was born in the 1990s, sent to that great magazine heaven in the sky in 2009, and was revived in the summer of 2015 with its new and different format. The magazine features all-new comics based on the Nickelodeon shows that kid’s love, and while it may look more like a comic book in its new form, it’s still a parent’s dream-come-true by encouraging children to develop a love for reading, while still keeping them entertained. Each issue is filled with comics, games, puzzles, sneak peeks and articles featuring kids’ favorite Nickelodeon characters. The magazine incorporates fun and cartoon animation onto its pages, making it a Mr. Magazine™ favorite too and securing its spot among the 30 Hottest New Launches.
Organic Life is the latest offering from Rodale and is definitely a welcomed addition to the 30 Most Notable Launches. J.I. Rodale founded Rodale in 1930. His granddaughter, Maria Rodale, delivered the dream that her grandfather envisioned 85 years ago. That vision is encapsulated between the covers of the premiere issue of Rodale’s Organic Life magazine. Under the watchful eye of Editor-in-chief James (Jim) Oseland, the first issue of the magazine delivered 158 hefty pages from which 54 pages are advertising. From the moment of conception, to the hour of delivery, this is the story of a perfect magazine launch in 2015. While on the outset it may seems like a rebranding of the perennial title, Organic Gardening, in fact it’s much more than that, it’s a whole new approach to how we look at food and our bodies. It’s recipes and stories and tips that can show you the organic way might be just the best way for you to live your life. And it’s a Mr. Magazine™ pick for one of the 30 Hottest New Launches.
The tagline for this Meredith addition to its Parent Network is: Healthy, Happy, Multicultural Kids. And this magazine is the publication to help American/Latina parents achieve that. Producing a balance between American and Latin cultures is the goal of any family integrated with both heritages and Parents Latina Magazine is a blueprint for bringing the Latina side more into the fold. If you’re a multicultural family that seems to have more of the American influence prevalent, then Parents Latina can help you with immersing your spouse and children into the rich traditions of the Latina culture. It’s a magazine that offers helpful content and down-to-earth solutions for many issues that might come up. And Mr. Magazine™ says “Bienvenida to the 30 Hottest New Launch list, Parents Latina!”
Plough Publishing re-launched its 94-year-old magazine as Plough Quarterly late in 2014. It had been twelve years since the publication went online-only. Since then Plough.comhad become a top destination for Christian e-books and online inspiration, and it seemed the editors learned a few things from its success online. I interviewed Sam Hine, publisher of Plough Quarterly earlier this year and he told me that he felt magazines were more relevant than ever. And of course, Mr. Magazine™agrees with him. In a world sometimes gone mad with violence from social and religious contentions and other issues that can only be handled from the far left or the far right; we all need a message of hope and renewal to refresh our hearts and souls and assure us that there is a greater good out there and we do have hope when it comes to a peaceful and loving future. And Plough Quarterly delivers that and much more. It’s spot among the 30 Hottest New Launches is a must.
Popular Magazine is a part of the Popular Media brand, which not only includes the publication, but a television platform as well. Marvin Scott Jarrett and his wife Jaclynn, co-founders of Nylon magazine, launched the Popular brand, which highlights fashion, beauty, music, celebrities and culture. The magazine has dynamic photography and content that’s geared toward young women who love a little anti-establishment in their lives. It’s edgy, with a bit of the avant-garde and has an addiction factor that should keep readers begging for more. And it has become “Popular” enough with Mr. Magazine™ to earn a place in the hottest new launches.
Motor Trend’s YouTube series comes alive in a print magazine. Roadkill is the automotive adventure show starring David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan of HOT ROD and it airs once a month onYouTube.com/MotorTrend. It’s as a wild a ride between the pages of the magazine as it is on video. The feel of the magazine is unbelievable and the photography is bold and daring. When you flip through its pages, you can’t help but be consumed by the magazine’s tagline: Automotive Chaos Theory. And it’s a given that David Freiburger and his partner in crime, Mike Finnegan, know a thing or two about automotive chaos as they piece together old cars and hit the road with them. The magazine is just a brilliant extension of those experiences and saves them into collectible form. So of course, Mr. Magazine™hopped into the backseat and took off with the Roadkill crew, all the way to the 30 Hottest New Launch list.
King Arthur Flour, America’s oldest flour company, has gone into the Magazine business and Mr. Magazine™ is very glad they have. The publication was created to educate and inspire people through the art and craft of baking. The content is rich with beautifully written stories, delectable photographs, and recipes that will make readers want to get into the kitchen as fast as they possibly can to try the carefully tested recipes. Sift Magazine is the company’s first foray into the world of special interest publications and the result is a 2015 spot in the hottest new launches. Mr. Magazine™ says take your apron off and come on in.
Your daily does of hope. The tagline says it all. Simple Grace is another brilliantly done devotional that’s designed to raise our spirits and teach us to rely on something larger than our daily stress and situations and for the Christian believer that means everything. The magazine is a monthly devotional with daily inspirational Bible quotes and content that is geared toward the love, kindness and support of God; Simple Grace is the first digest-sized, devotional magazine, targeting a mass audience on the nation’s stands, of its kind in the United States. And Mr. Magazine™ thinks you can never have too much hope.
A magazine that shares recipes that most bartenders would pay to know, Sip really does live up to its tagline “for the love of drink.” From champagne to Mescal, this devotional to drink offers both the exotic and the tried-and-true recipes for the drink aficionado. The magazine’s creativeness and vivid photography are thanks in large part to CEO & Founder Roseann Tully’s love and passion for champagne, which according to her letter from the editor; she discovered right after her senior prom, when the drinking age was eighteen and one of her friend’s mom offered their group a bit of champagne in crystal glasses. The experience never left her, the feeling of celebration and joy, thus her love for champagne began, much like Mr. Magazine’s™ love for Sip when he opened up the first page.
If you love to travel and you love to learn about the places and destinations you’re traveling to, then Smithsonian’s new magazine, Smithsonian Journeys is for you. The magazine could easily have the tagline, “Travel with A Purpose.” Of course, the one it has bodes well for it too, “Seeing the World in a New Light.” The editorial is wonderful, the photography and illustrations are bright and clear, the design is exceptional and even the ads are dynamic and only add to the energy and flow of the magazine. Smithsonian Journeys is a welcomed addition to its respected and revered namesake “Smithsonian” and also to Mr. Magazine’s™ 30 Hottest Launches.
Everything southern; Hoffman Media publications are the epitome of everything the south stands for: charm, grace, etiquette and delicious food; along with beautiful homes, craftwork and exquisite sewing. Southern Home Magazine is one of the latest new titles that the media company has come out with and no one does it better than Hoffman. Based in Birmingham and true southerners themselves, Phyllis Hoffman DePiano and her two sons, Brian Hart Hoffman and Eric Hoffman, know how to create southern beauty and grace. And that’s exactly what this magazine defines. It’s filled with amazing photographs of equally amazing homes spanning the entire southern hemisphere of the United States. It’s a definitive magazine; by that I mean it’s one that reflects its moniker to a perfect T: Southern Home. And Mr. Magazine™ is proud to have it living on his block of the 30 Hottest New Launches.
Bringing New England’s new culture to a passionate and diverse audience is the mission of Take magazine. From dance to art to theatre to food; Michael Kusek, publisher and Lauren Clark, editor of the magazine are both very determined to make this the ink on paper place to be for people who want to be in the know about New England culture and each state’s distinctive “take” on that enlightenment. It’s a magazine conjoined with its digital counterpart, yet celebrated for its very different “take” on content that just doesn’t seem to be right for the web. It’s a great read and a visual extravaganza. And of course, there are so many twists you can create with the word “Take” that one can’t help but be fascinated by it. And “take” it Mr. Magazine™ did, all the way to the 30 Hottest New Launch list.
A fishing journal that serves its audience with both beauty and information; The Bight is reminiscent of reading one of the literary masters, with its long-form storytelling and vivid imagery. The magazine is named for the waters around Southern California where sport fishing was born in that area, with the word bight defined as a curve or recess in a coastline, for the most part. And with a slight hint of that ultimate fishing experience: getting the first “bight.” The title alone lets you know you’re in for a saltwater fishing expedition unlike any you’ve ever known from a magazine. And of course, where would Mr. Magazine’s™ 30 hottest new launches be without the first “Bight?”
Doing good, it’s as simple as that. Unite4: Good Magazine is a reflection of the organization that believes in giving back to communities, raising up the people who live in those communities, creating new opportunities and solving problems, and cultivating win-win situations. Unite4: Good Foundation is a non-profit organization that’s mission is to inspire global citizens to embrace positivity and acts of kindness, leading to worldwide collaboration and good will. And the magazine is another tangible extension of that mission. The magazine is filled with inspirational stories about celebrities who go above and beyond their star-quality to help others, and regular people who believe in reaching out in small and large ways. It’s a great magazine with brilliant pictures and promotes a positivity that cannot be ignored. So, Mr. Magazine™ didn’t; it’s home among the 30 Hottest New Launches.
From guidebooks that take you on scenic routes to interesting places all over the globe, to a magazine that defines travel and adventure in some of the most beautiful and exotic cars a person can drive; Ron Adams is a man whose enthusiasm and passion for the trip far exceeds his overwhelming love for the potential vehicle. Via Corsa magazine is the latest endeavor for Ron and his publishing business, Via Corsa, Ltd. The magazine is a totally collectible publication that’s different from other car mags by promoting travel and the adventure of the trip more than the actual car itself. The writing is engaging and the photography is vivid and alive with sports cars and locales that would make any enthusiast addicted. Hence, the reason it’s among the 30 Hottest New Launches. Welcome Via Corsa!
A magazine bolder than most; Wheels Afield takes outdoor, overland vehicle travel to a new level. It’s a magazine that highlights field sports, the vehicles and equipment used, and the adventure one finds on the trail. It’s superb writing and photography, with a high-quality production value that even the most novice of magazine reader can’t help but notice. In short, it’s a hottest new launch candidate from cover to cover. Welcome to Mr. Magazine’s™ adventurous world, Wheels Afield. So glad you could make it!