More color

Discussion in 'TLCA- Toyota Trails' started by concretejungle, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    Not a complaint, just wondering how much $$ for adding some more pics in the TT and making them color? I love the magazine, and the first thing i usually do is flip through it looking at all the perrty pictures. Can we have more please?
     
  2. Deny

    Deny

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    I agree,
    When I first started getting the trails, there would be a few pages of pictures only. Not saying I hate the articles with no pictures, it just add's so much more being able to see all the different trucks. Even just making that one trails end picture into a bunch of pictures would be cool.
    Cheers,
    Deny
     
  3. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    you apparrently missed the days in the early 90's when Trails was photocopied on tan paper :D

    Color rocks, but some of the black-white stuff adds a certain artistic flair as well
     
  4. KOWBOY

    KOWBOY President

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    Like The White Trash ad!! :grinpimp: :grinpimp:

    :flamingo:
     
  5. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    I break out the yellowed copies of old Trails every now and again....they are fun....
     
  6. TLCA_Paul

    TLCA_Paul

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    There is a joke there, Do I realy got to say it?
    'Yea I got stacks in my closet too.
     
  7. nuclearlemon

    nuclearlemon not an addict Moderator

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    i liked it then, it was when it was typewritten and xeroxed that it sucked...pics didn't turn out...just giant black blobs.
     
  8. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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    ...And we liked it that way :cool:
     
  9. Chef

    Chef

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    Hey Guys;
    I'm glad y'all like our little mag, TJK does an AWESOME job with it. In fact, we've already given him approval expand to 72 pages when necessary. I hope that as we work thru our membership drive, and develope both these forums and the new www.tlca.org that membershipo will grow more adn allow us the budget (and quality submissions from both old and new members) to allow TT to grow even more in the future.

    TJK amy ahve more to add to this eventually...

    chef
     
  10. Kaderabek

    Kaderabek SILVER Star

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    I'd love for the magazine to be color avail throughout. But as someone entrusted with a fiduciary responsibility to the TLCA, I can't justify it. As Alan said, I do have the latitude to make the magazine larger in page count and you will see this happen as needed. But those pages may not be color, we'll just have to see what we need. What should drive the addition of color pages would be Chris selling color ads to the degree that they begin to impinge upon the space intended to be used for color article photos. Chris does a great job selling advertising, which is good for the association, not so good sometimes for editorial content in Trails. But now with the option to expand, this problem is solved (thanks to the TLCA BOD). I'm with Woody though, some of these articles look just fine or better in black and white. The tech articles are very much ok in black and white. But for example, the Australian piece in this issue, I would have loved to have had more color avail. But I couldn't justify it on any level other than my personal whims and I think in the end the article turned out nicely. Great example though, see those ads on page 8? I really wanted those pages!

    To your original question, cost: too much.

    TJK
     
  11. CruiserMax

    CruiserMax

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    Hi All,

    I just noticed this new section on Mud.

    Interesting thread here. The desire for more color and clean pages is a curse that editors must endure. These are the concerns that turns editor's hair grey! I have worked in this biz (editorial publishing) for almost twenty years and have watched the clash between editorial desires and the evil forces of ad sales. Its usually the bottom line that wins. I have had so many great photo stories and layouts negatively impacted by color changes (i.e.: dropping color at the last minute), last minute ad content and other frustrations that I have learned to roll with it all. You have to...

    Todd (and Henry before him) do a great job with TT. It is nothing short of amazing when you consider the low circulation and budget. Take a count of editorial columns and photos and compare it to almost any commercial 4x4 magazine off the news stand. There is so much more ads and fluff in these mags. Take a careful look at some of the "editorial" articles as well. A lot of these pieces feature product or company profiles that really blur into the "advetorial" arena: i.e. more sucking up to paid advertising.

    TT has far more enjoyable content about folks maintaining and actually using these rigs. You certainly get to know more about the personalities behind the steering wheels.

    On the color issue: I wish there was more color in the TT. This is the modern age and color rules. Having color and B/W is a headache for page design as well. I think having color throughout gives more flexibility. Take a look at the English Land Rover magazines. They kick butt over all the US 4x4 mags IMHO. But some B/W serves the TT well. Some how-to tech articles and chapter reports etc are OK without color. But take a look at the latest issue. Three of the major articles: the cover Australia story(which I wrote and photographed), the McGraw Trail piece and the South American adventure may begin with color but drop to B/W. The closing full page "Trails End" photo is also in B/W. These pages would be SO much better in color. Keep in mind how publishing works. i.e: page 7 in color means that page 54 is color ( they are the same piece of paper). What drives this is color display advertising. The fuzzy result of all of this is that to get more color pages you need to sell more color ads. But then the color pages are choked with ads and that leaves the editorial content out in the dark, or in the black and white dark anyway. This is what makes editorial page editors insane: a last minute big color ad is sold by the sales department. This brings in dollars but in many cases the color editorial content is moved to a B/W page. The sales department only sees the sales of color ads as needed revenue. The editorial guys think of the reader/subscriber who wants to view cool stuff in color. Editorial staff think readers don't care about color advertising but the sales staff definitely does. It takes a careful balance between the interests of advertisers and the subscription base.

    Money comes in from two sources: subscribers and advertising. Which revenue stream is dominant will dictate how the magazine is produced. I get a free 4x4 mag sent to my house. Its mostly tons of ads and "editorial" fluff on industry products/manufactures etc. There is a small amount of real editorial content to make it worth while opening. There is no subscriber money; its all advertising revenue and the content reflects this reality. Most magazines get money from both sources and have to be carefully managed to keep both the advertisers and the subscribers happy. The more readers you have the more you can charge for advertising. The TT is different though. The subscriber base is small. The big deal is that most readers really love this magazine: they wait for it, they read it cover to cover, they share it, discuss it and carefully store it for repeated readings. It is devoured by a very focused group that is hungry for its content. This means that the advertising is getting strong, careful repeated viewing. This fact should be important to the TT ad sales staff. The subscriber base may be small but the interest level is extremely high.

    To conclude my rambling: I just wish that somehow a few more color pages could be set aside for the major editorial articles.

    Cheers,

    Maxwell Balmain
     
  12. Kaderabek

    Kaderabek SILVER Star

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    I think that Max and I are both partcularly biased on color in the last issue, having seen all those photos in color. The photo of Sherri in the water is surreal in color. You get the point in black and white, just not quite so much.

    The Drive to 4,000 Membership contest can help this situation. The more members the more money, both in terms of revenue generated from membership dues (small) and those associated with being able to sell ads at a higher rate. Odd though, we lose advertisers a good bit who say that they never saw a difference in their sales after they started advertising. That's why we encourage people to support the advertisers over non-advertisers, and to tell these vendors that they saw (and responded to) their ad in Trails. Some of the lost or unrealized advertisers really sting though. They don't need us but in my opinion they should support the sport, Trails included. I doubt that Jonathan Ward at TLC has probably ever made a sale based on someone seeing their ad in Trails (I could be wrong). But he supports Trails by continuing to advertise. Sometimes it's about giving something back and not worrying about what you're getting in return. But that's another thread entirely....

    TJK
     
  13. CruiserMax

    CruiserMax

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    What Todd says (above) is critical. The power to move a magazine forward is money. The money comes from subscribers and ads. The more subscribers you have the more you can charge for ads.

    I am now in the position that I am paying for advertising myself. When you pay for a display ad you spend real money and expect quick tangible results. An advertiser wants to see that sudden spike in sales that can be attributed from the ad (campaign.) What many advertisers don't realize is that that kind of quick spike is very allusive. It takes time and lots of repetition. Many readers/viewers do not respond instantly to a business or product they see featured in a magazine. Instead they remember the product/service when the need arises. This comes from repeated exposure. They feel comfortable that a business or product is part of their community and that others with the same interests turn to the same outfit etc. Smart marketing people know this. Brands or services are not built overnight (there are always exceptions.)

    It is important for the TT to have readers respond to advertisers and say they learned about the product/service from the TT. Maybe the TT and the TLCA should reinforce this idea with a little promotional campaign. How about a reward for readers who get businesses to advertise in the TT? Many smaller outfits don't advertise because they think it is too expensive. They are also don't know how to go about creating logos, brand identities, good product photography, typography, ad creation etc. If an advertiser can walk them through all (as a direct service or by locating professional help) of this stuff they may create a more knowledgeable client base. Anyway you slice it it is a tough racket. The beauty behind the Trails is that its main goal is to reach people and entertain and not just make a profit.

    Max
     
  14. concretejungle

    concretejungle SILVER Star

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    That’s what I was trying to get at. But I’m not necessarily voting for just more color, I agree I like some of the black and white prints. I just want more pictures, period, color or black and white. I was curious to know if perhaps due’s or membership fee increases of like $2 would cover something, or would it be far more substantial than $2?
     
  15. Kaderabek

    Kaderabek SILVER Star

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    You're talking about more pages. On an every issue basis it's too costly. Bear in mind, it's not just printing expenses. There's also my time and the designer's time. So it adds up. But we do have the latitude to add more pages as needed so eventually you'll be happy. :D

    TJK
     
  16. AlaskanWheeler

    AlaskanWheeler SILVER Star

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    Just out of curiosity was there an increase in the amount of color and quality of the paper in the latest issues of TT. Wasn't there also an increase to the cost of membership to improve the TT magazine. Personally, living in Alaska, I'm paying for a subcription to a magazine, the promotion of TLCA and nothing else; being that there are no sactioned events here in AK.
     
  17. Kaderabek

    Kaderabek SILVER Star

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    The last issue had the same number of color pages and was printed on the same paper as we used in 2007.

    I don't think the increase in dues was to fund the magazine. My memory is that it was just long overdue and not that much anyway.

    Thread revived from the dead....

    TJK
     
  18. ksheffield

    ksheffield

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    Maybe something for TLCA to consider is a detailed readership survey done by a third party. This would cost some dollars (maybe too much for a non-profit organization), but this could guide sales and editorial content.

    The publishing company I work for did this about three years ago. You can find out all kinds of information on how well read your publication is, what's lacking, where your readers shop, if they have to travel to shop, etc. What hobbies they have.

    TT is a different animal than a newspaper, however, seems to me some state visitor bureaus with their budgets fat with tourist dollars could be advertising in TT. A lot of us travel long distances to go to events, where we spend money along the way.

    Branching out from the automotive aftermarket vendors who advertise, take that a step further and court the outdoor gear industry as well. REI comes to mind, Sierra Trading Post, Cabela's, Coleman, Northface, Mountainsmith, Kavu, Carhartt, Mountain Hardwear, etc.

    How many of us fish, hunt, mountain bike?

    We subscribe to TT because we want to read about adventures, for those adventures to happen, the gear needed goes way beyond how we armor our rigs for the trail. Everything else has to be purchased somewhere.

    I'm late to the party on this discussion, and this may have been discussed long before I got here, but if not, I hope this contribution helps, and at best leads to some new sales directions.

    TT is a great publication because its content is entirely reader generated. We invest in this magazine because we want it, and we're willing to pay for it. That is some good information for a sales team to take to advertisers. TT has a shelf life, as noted in an earlier post, that's good for advertisers to know.

    And to repeat what was said earlier, it's important to tell advertisers where you saw their ads, or you support their business because they support your hobby.

    Just a few thoughts from a fellow wheeler (newbie), and editor…

    Keith
     
  19. Kaderabek

    Kaderabek SILVER Star

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    Editorial content is currently guided by the readers. We can't really afford to pay much for articles so we take what we can get in the form of members (and non-members) sending material to us. So in a way, each issue is the reader survey.

    Chris does a remarkable job of selling advertising. Imagine how difficult his position is by envisioning this conversation:

    Chris: So that's Toyota Trails in a nutshell. Think you'd be interested in advertising with us?

    Potential Advertiser: Yes, it sounds like a neat publication. I don't think you mentioned your circulation numbers though.

    Chris:(mumbling) Oh, those, yeah, we're right around four-harumph-thou-guffaw-sand.

    PA: Excuse me, I didn't catch that.

    Chris: Four thousand.

    PA: Four thousand?

    Chris: Yes, sir.

    PA: Don't let the door smack you on the rear on your way out....

    To say that our circulation numbers are unimpressive is a dramatic understatement.

    I remind myself on a daily basis that we're just a car club and Trails is just a newsletter. Pretty decent one, though.

    It's good input, Keith. Maybe Chris will have some ideas on this.

    TJK
     
  20. ksheffield

    ksheffield

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    Don't know too many newsletters with as dedicated a readership as your subscribers. That in itself has tremendous value, because you know the 4,000 readers/members are in the outdoors as much as possible.

    I think this is a great discussion, and if the TLCA membership wants a little more from the magazine, it's practically all-volunteer staff is going to need some help, whether it's in the form of reader submissions, membership drives, and of course ad support.

    I think the potential is out there because of the value of the magazine, that each issue is a keepsake.

    Maybe if one account is gained, it could lead to another.

    You folks do a great job, keep up the good work. It does not go unappreciated.
     
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