Esquire, GQ, Vanity Fair, Blirt and Twitter.
People love magazines, don’t they? Esquire, GQ and Vanity Fair are very, very well established and leaders in the traditional magazine industry. They are glossy, stylish and eclectic, and that’s why people love them. Esquire is currently looking at various high profile celebrity men, it’s called ‘The Heroes Issue’ and it includes David Bowie, Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine and Johnny Depp. These are male icons I’ve grown up with and of course, for me, it makes compelling reading.
I must confess that I don’t regularly buy traditional magazines, I’m more of an online type of reader when it comes to the magazine format, but in the course of promoting my satirical crime thriller Cut Limbo I took a peek into the glamorous world of glossy magazines. Being a social media maven, the first thing I did was follow a number of the more prominent magazines on Twitter and send them links to Cut Limbo on Amazon. I’m keen to get Cut Limbo out there to a bigger audience and I wanted to see if these magazines reviewed self published writers, I wanted to see what I was up against. As I mentioned on last week’s blog post the Amazon, Kindle social media machine isn’t as finely tuned as I’d like it to be.
What’s the relationship between traditional magazines and social media, how is that progressing? I discovered that the magazines I followed on Twitter have embraced social media, but only in a token way, here’s a quick look at what they’re doing: Vanity Fair with 19,000 Tweets sent and over 1,000,000 followers and a Klout score of 92 (that’s high), Esquire with 17,500 Tweets, 176,000 followers and a Klout score of 83, GQ with 14,000 Tweets sent, 374,000 followers and a Klout score of 85. Basically, Vanity Fair Tweets the most, but has only sent half as many Tweets as I have, that’s not many for such a big player is it?
So, these high quality, traditional magazines and social media are connected! They’ve each got a significant following and a great Klout score, but they don’t Tweet much do they? Is this significant? In reality they have pretty much ignored social media, a Twitter button, a Facebook LIKE button and a Pinterest here and there aren’t exactly far reaching are they? Is this a recurring theme? Mere token gestures at social media connectivity? Does this mean that these great magazines are ignoring obvious shifts in media presentation and that they’re likely to go the way of lots of established newspapers and Yellow Pages? Let’s hope not!
These traditional magazines certainly address popular themes much now as they always have, fashion, celebrity, lifestyle, books, movies, the list covers a host of events too, but to me, it all screams of the traditional, not much mention of self publishing or new writers and just a little on social media. GQ seems to be slightly ahead on the subject of social media with a couple of small articles this year, one from GQ’s Michael Wolff talking about social media burnout, saying that ‘Facebook is for your mum’ and announcing that Snapchat pictures disappear and there’s no chance of being caught out. That’s not what I’ve heard recently!
Wow! These guys aren’t very up to date, are they? Maybe that’s why there are only 6 comments of the Facebook? Not one comment agrees with GQ’s Michael Wolff, one suggests that Michael has run out of ideas for a column and another misguided soul witters on about Manchester City?!
Do we see a little bit of sour grapes from the traditional magazine formats here? Are they saying, or more accurately is Michael Wolff saying, that Facebook isn’t a success or that social media hasn’t changed the way we communicate and share all aspects of media? Small wonder they don’t mention self publishing much, right?
But what of the new magazines, what about Blirt?
OK, Blirt is new and it doesn’t have interviews with David Bowie, Jack Nicholson or Michael Caine, but maybe that’s not really a problem, it’s early days, right?
To me, it’s all about contemporary themes, not old school stuff and moving forward rather than treading water. I have contributed 2 articles to Blirt so far and I’ve had well over 1,000 people read my articles, that’s pretty good. I’m not suggesting that all these readers will rush out and buy Cut Limbo, visit my blog or even take a look at Cut Limbo on Amazon, but they might.
I haven’t heard back from Esquire, GQ or Vanity Fair as yet, but I’m sure they got my Tweets, maybe they don’t respond via social media much, it doesn’t look like it, does it? Maybe they’re not inspired by the self publishing revolution, or Amazon and Kindle?
The far more progressive Blirt Tweeted me as soon as my article went live and continued our conversation via Twitter. Check them out @BlirtMagazine …
Conclusion: Cut Limbo might not get mentioned on Esquire, GQ or Vanity Fair, the traditional magazines don’t seem keen on self publishing (or social media) but Blirt is more than making up for it!
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