Following a comment of mine on the BikeBiz bulletin board I said bike enthusiast websites need to have print versions if they are to make any money the publishers of GoFar-MTB.com took up the challenge.
Their magazine launch is being considered as stage two in Go-Fars evolution. Its a big risk for a small publisher, especially against the backdrop of last year's MTB magazine closures by publishers with much deeper pockets.
Sceptical industry types have formed the opinion that because of the recent spate of MTB magazine closures, a new magazine launch is destined to failure. We beg to differ!
Thats the opening gambit from publisher Mark Alker on todays Go-Far news pages.
'If only I could take GoFar to the toilet', has been [a] surprisingly common plea over recent months. Well, we have looked into it, done the sums, spoken to lots of people and sought a great deal of advice from a lot of very experienced journalists and publishers, and [Singletrack] is what we have come up with.
"[This is a] a quarterly magazine aimed squarely at trail riders in the best traditions of the magazines that have been and gone. We make no apologies for taking inspiration from MTB World and Max MTB. They were great mags, full of the sort of riding that the majority of mountain bikers have adopted as their lifestyle. In fact the buzzwords 'Inspiration' and 'lifestyle' are key to the philosophy behind the magazine.
The renamed website will contain hard news; the quarterly mag will concentrate on high quality features and inspirational photographs.
[There will be] top notch features and photography written and snapped by some of the industry's finest and most highly regarded journalists. Issue 1 already has a credits list to rival any magazine that has ever been."
The title will be edited by Chipps Chippendale, recently of 9feet.com and formerly of mags such as MBUK and MTB Pro, and there will be photographs from Seb Rogers and Andy McAndlish.
In the advice department we have recruited the services of Carlton Reid formerly of On Your Bike and succesful publisher of Bicycle Business, the trade magazine of the bike industry, and Russell Fisher, former deputy editor of MTB World. Their input has been much appreciated; so much so we have invented job titles for them both. From this day forward they will be known as Consultant Editors. Well we couldnt really refer to them as 'those guys that tut a lot and keep taking sharp intakes of breath.'
The go-far publishers are now throwing themselves at the mercy of the trade there are special launch advertising offers and their websites regular readers:
History has shown that you lot are not avid magazine buyers. So a plea before we start. Help us avoid the fat pit of past magazines for trail riders. Buy it and don't just scrounge your mates copy. In return we promise to listen to you, take the criticism that will inevitably come our way, and do our damnedest to produce the type of magazine that you want to read.
The magazine will be subscription-only to begin with. Ad rates can be found at http://www.gofar-mtb.com/.../ratecardtext.PDF