The announcement that Imagine Publishing, a small specialist publisher, is to take on BBC Magazines’ BBC Focus with the launch of How It Works, could be the positive sign the industry is looking for. Publishers haven’t hidden the fact that they’re approaching the market cautiously, holding back on launching any new products until it stabilises, and Imagine itself has been launching online-only products for more than a year.
The new monthly science and technology title will go on sale on 29 October, priced at £3.95 and is backed by a six-figure marketing campaign. It will have an initial print run of 45,000 copies, but will eventually have a print run of up to 75,000 copies.
Without any competitors, BBC Focus has performed well for several consecutive ABC periods and only really took a tumble in the first half of this year when its circulation fell by 12.7% to sell 36,636 copies a month. It will be interesting to see whether How It Works simply steals readers from BBC Focus or succeeds in growing the market. To truly benefit publishers and retailers, I hope it’s the latter.
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