A mother of two daughters has founded a quarterly magazine for pre-teen girls to offer an alternative to titles focused on shopping, celebrities and make-up.
Vivien Jones, of Overton, North Wales, is seeking a distributor to begin national distribution of Kookie magazine, which she co-founded with fellow mum Nicky Shortridge in October.
“Printed magazines are still relevant for pre-teen readers who interact with them in a physical way. They like quizzes, colouring in pictures, and pull out posters. You can’t do that with a tablet,” she said.
“Magazines for pre-teen girls are generally very pink and almost exclusively focused on shopping, celebrities and make-up. That wasn’t what my daughters were interested in.”
Ms Jones said the title is designed to appeal to as many readers as possible.
“We’ve kept fonts slightly larger, so the magazine is accessible for reluctant and able readers. We have wordsearch and spot-the-difference puzzles and a multiple choice quiz, all of which engage readers in a physical way,” she said.
Leading titles in the pre-teen girl category generally follow the pink-princess pattern highlighted by Ms Jones, with Pink, Shopkins, Hello Kittie, Cute, Barbie and Disney Princess all occupying places in the category’s top 10 sellers. But the success of alternative titles suggests there is demand for a different approach. Sales of The Week Junior, for example, a magazine designed for girls and boys, grew 21.9% to 45,895 in the second quarter of 2017.
“It’s definitely one of our strongest categories just now, and we’re actually selling good quality magazines like the Week Junior, as opposed to the cheaper magazines we see elsewhere,” said Patrick Patel, of Jay’s Budgens. “It’s good value for money, and you often get an item, a toy or pull-out. Character-based magazines are particularly popular. I think there’s room for a new entrant to the market.”