What's new in various product categories; monthly
The Value of a Trade Magazine
... And the value of a hard copy.
by Karin Strom, Yarn Market News (October 20, 2008)
As the editor of Yarn Market News (which as you know is a
print-format trade magazine focused on the hand knitting yarn
industry), I read with great interest your recent essay on the
demise of the craft industry’s trade magazines. (Note: To
read the original essay, click on Business-Wise
in the left-hand column, then click on "What Happened to Our
Trade Magazines?" in the right-hand column.) Since reading it,
I've been mulling the subject over and discussing it with my
colleagues at YMN and wanted to share a few thoughts.
In a funny coincidence, "What Happened to Our Trade
Magazines?" was published just as we finished going through old
copies of Yarn Market News for an article celebrating the
thirtieth anniversary of our magazine's first incarnation. While
it's true that economic and publishing trends are no friend to this
crucial business tool, it's also true that in such times trade
magazines are needed more than ever.
We feel fortunate that Yarn Market News is continuing to
serve the fiber arts business community – from manufacturer to
designer to retailer to distributor – acting as trade show for
those who can't afford to travel right now, offering solidarity and
support to yarn professionals during this difficult time. We also
feel fortunate that our advertisers, pinched though they may be,
continue to understand the importance of visibility in a print
publication that can be read at the shop, in transit, at home, and
not just in front of a computer screen.
Interestingly, the results of our last survey on the subject of
readers’ preference: print vs. online were overwhelmingly in favor
of retaining the print format. We know this is in part due to the
fact that many shop owners keep back issues as reference and pass
the current ones along to store employees, who take them home to
read. The May/June issue and the January issue are preferred
on-plane reading for shopowners traveling to TNNA shows -- we plan
the timing of our two pre-show issues so that folks will get their
issues right before they leave for the show. (I've personally
witnessed this in action on several occasions while traveling
Also notable is the success of the Yarn Market News Smart
Business Conference last March in Chicago. The independent shop
owners who attended have told us the conference brought to life for
them the magazine and the issues it addresses. "Yarn Market
News Live," as it were, was so well-received that we are
planning the next one, to be held in Chicago, March 15-17.
Thanks for providing such a thoughtful (online) forum!
(Note: To read previous Category Reports, click on the
titles in the right-hand column.)