November '19

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NOVEMBER 2019 THE SHOP 119 In that way, he notes, printed magazines continue to serve an important purpose. "A quarterly like Magneto won't necessarily make anyone rich, but it does provide a great way to interact with a top-quality readership and a useful platform for further publications, events and commercial partnerships," Lillywhite says. MAKING IT WORK IN THE U.S. Unlike the UK that still has a W.H. Smith magazine store on almost every High Street—roughly 500 in total—the U.S. is a much larger country where many towns no longer have a store of any kind, and certainly not a magazine store. There used to be newsstands in most major U.S. cities, but they've nearly all gone now, and these days if it's not in the supermarket, you're probably not buying it. To that point, I noticed recently that even 7-Eleven stores no longer carry any magazines, let alone automotive magazines. Of course, the U.S. still has Barnes & Noble that has 627 brick- and-mortar stores that carry a good range of auto magazines, though their transport book sections have shrunk. (On June 7, 2019, it was announced the company would be acquired by Elliott Management Corp. for $638 million and would be taken private. No doubt, there will be changes.) As far as we can tell, only two specialty automotive bookstores remain in the U.S.—Detroit has Pasteiner's on the famed Wood- ward Avenue; and Los Angeles, a city of some 20 million people, has but one automotive book and magazine store called Autobooks- Aerobooks on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank. That store, operated by Tina Van Curen, has been in continuous business since 1983 and stocks an impressive range of magazines from around the world and an excellent selection of books. Van Curen, who counts Jay Leno as one of her regulars, promotes hard with a continuous schedule of author book signing events. It's obvious that you have to work at it to make it work. One of the nails in the magazine business coffin appears to be ever- cheaper subscriptions. If Americans aren't or can't buy their reading matter at a local store, then mail-order subscriptions in such a vast country seem to be the only way to go. However, I'm just not sure that subscriptions at 75 cents per copy makes good sense. To conclude, there's no doubt the magazine business, like all business, will continue to change and maybe more dramatically here is the U.S., where the size of the country and companies such as Amazon shift our shopping habits. In other countries such as the UK, the change is slower but perhaps inevitable. Who wants to drive downtown in traffic just to buy a magazine these days? For a final word, we spoke to John McGann, the new editor of HOT ROD Magazine who said, "I'm excited to be here. This is a fascinating time to be part of the industry. There are a lot of chal- lenges as we adapt to changes in media, but it's really cool to try all the different avenues we have to connect with our audience." Born in England, TONY THACKER is an accredited auto- motive journalist, author and book publisher, and served as marketing director at the famed SO-CAL Speed Shop. The U.S. market mainly supports a subscription-based distribution model for magazines catering to specific automotive- related interests. 800.264.9472 • COMPLETE YOUR JEEP CUSTOM HEADLINER NOW AVAILABLE FOR GLADIATOR COMPLETE YOUR JEEP CUSTOM HEADLINER NOW AVAILABLE FOR GLADIATOR • FINISH OFF YOUR GLADIATOR INTERIOR • CNC CUT FOR PRECISE FIT • FINISH OFF YOUR GLADIATOR INTERIOR • CNC CUT FOR PRECISE FIT DEALER & DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES WELCOME

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