Update – 5th June 2013 | The Publisher’s Perspective
Last week I got my latest copy of InPublishing in the post. It’ always good to get the magazine; it’s especially good when I have an article in there. It means I get to wave it in front of my Wattpad obsessed daughter and say, “See, see, look there’s your Dad, look, right there… in print.” That kind of writerly showing off is difficult with digital.
Shameless self promotion aside, it struck me that InPublishing Publisher James Evelegh has put together a really solid multiplatform content package around an article that started out as 1,500-word print commission.
James and I originally spoke about me writing a feature for the magazine, but he soon came to me with the idea of presenting an accompanying webinar. The webinar generated a list of questions that we didn’t have time to answer, so James emailed them on to me, I responded and he posted them on the InPublishing website a couple of days after the event.
A few weeks later I submitted my copy, along with a 15-minute recording of me reading the finished piece – easy to do and one more way for the audience to engage with the content.
So although the commission was very much print first, print has been one of the last elements of the content package to appear.
I get into a lot of conversations about how possible it is for smaller magazine teams to truly develop a multiplatform presence. James runs a pretty lean machine at InPublishing, but I think he’s proving that with a bit of foresight and planning, you don’t need to be Conde Nast to tackle multiplatform.
The Publisher’s Perspective
Following a couple of questions in the comments section of this post, I went back to James Evelegh, Publisher at InPublishing, to ask him about the additional time and money it takes him to add multiplatform content to his print features.
James told me that the cost of the webinar software he uses – GoToWebinar – is about £240 a month, or just less than £3,000 a year. He’s had podcasts set up on his site for six or seven years, but, casting his mind back (sorry), he thinks it cost about £350 to set up – about a day’s development time – with no regular charges.
In terms of time, James says the podcast take him about 15 minutes to process. The webinar takes significantly longer: Sourcing speakers, getting confirmations, sending reminders, scheduling practice sessions, pushing out email blasts and other promotions, as well as moderating the live session. He says it’s hard to quantify exactly, but probably two full days per webinar.
Compared to three or fours hours to edit and proof the average feature, this is significant additional work. So is it worth it?
James says the number of podcast listens are small, but he suspects this would improve if he did some work on making the podcast section of the InPublishing website more user-friendly and by tying it in to iTunes etc.
Webinar numbers are “much more impressive” and they bring strong new names to add to print and email newsletter circulation lists. James says the webinars have also been great PR, creating a reall buzz in the market, and a good first step toward running physical events, which eh is considering for the medium term.
The downside at the moment is that there has been no sponsorship for the webinars to date and he says although webinars have been excellent for engagement, raising the magazines profile, ultimately, it’s got to be about the money. Looking forward to seeing InPublishing’s first webinar sponsor very soon.