Making the jump to online

Sure, magazines do not generate the same experience for readers as books do. Yet book publishers would be foolish not to keep an eye on the magazine industry to see which publications are surviving — even thriving — while other magazines are failing.

There is a inspiring article in today’s New York Times online edition (I assume it is also in the print edition) about one magazine publisher who has jumped heartily into the online world and is making a great profit on this transition. IDG is no tiny player, with $3 Billion in revenues and hundreds of publications most of which are technology related. The most widely-known would be PCWorld, MacWorld, InfoWorld, ComputerWorld and CIO.

According to Steve Lohr’s report, IDG has been able to take a money-losing print-and-online magazine (InfoWorld) and convert it to being a profitable online-only publication. IDG will be phasing out the print editions of other magazines soon.

Publisher Tested the Waters Online, Then Dove In
The niche publisher I.D.G. has been working out the answers to some big mainstream questions. The biggest: Can print media survive the transition to the Internet?

Some book publishers are embracing change. Harlequin Romance comes to mind, with their commitment to having digital editions of its new titles available, and moving toward delivering those as digital downloads on a subscription basis. They are in the same “content” business, and are wisely broadening their distribution channels.

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