How to Run a Print Magazine in 2017

“In case you wondering, print’s not dead. Not even close.
The rise in digital has only made those hustle, hustle harder,
which only means the cream rises.”
Amadeus Editors Khatchadourian & Grad

It’s been called “the golden age of magazines” for a reason. It’s 2017, and there’s a new type of publisher coming up.

“As the stakes grow higher, we’re seeing a new era of print: with bolder editorials, fresher design and more meaningful communities behind them,” explains Stephanie Dixon in Society 6. She recently interviewed Alex Khatchadourian and Samantha Grad, editors of Amadeus, to learn more about “what it takes to keep a print and digital magazine afloat in 2017.”

Khatchadourian explains that what began as a grad student project three years ago has fostered a thriving culture of community and collaboration with local artists, now with 10 issues under their belt.

She notes that, “although the print magazine is our focus, we’d have to be completely oblivious not to recognize publishing’s ever-changing landscape, and the benefits of incorporating different forms of digital media.”

They use digital to continue their storytelling between issues, and as ways to supplement the printed content with other media like videos and short-form content. Still, print is and will remain the main focus, and they seek to gain followers organically.

“The digital landscape is constantly evolving and I think if we want to establish brand legitimacy and build brand recognition, print has to remain our primary focus,” Grad notes. “We remain acutely in tune of digital trends and take advantage of every opportunity we can to maximize our visibility and our artists, but I find the ‘hunt’ far more interesting.”

The title covers the studio art scene based in Los Angeles. As Grad explains, “artists here don’t follow the rules, they make up their own and that mindset is synonymous with our brand.”

Still, there are certain laws of existence that publishers must understand, like making the finances work.

“I’d say the biggest challenge we’ve had to overcome is having the financial fluidity to keep up with the thousands of ideas we have, whether it’s creating new merchandise, or having the magazine printed on very specific paper,” Khatchadourian comments.  With their drive, their passion and the community they’ve created, we expect they’ll continue to overcome that hurdle.

In 2017, the swing to niche – in this case, extremely tightly niche – titles is real. Readers want to own a piece of something real. Luckily, for the fans of Amadeus, they can.