The Niche Trend in Men’s and Women’s Titles

These are surely exciting times to be in the magazine industry. As our society grapples with issues like sexual harassment, equal pay, gender stereotypes and misogyny, indie publishers are breaking the mold in their titles.

Take Fathers, for example.

“In recent years there has been a healthy flurry of intelligent magazines for women,” writes Anya Lawrence in MagCulture. She cites The Gentlewoman and Riposte as just two examples of magazines that explore a more honest facet of the lives of women.

“Magazines for men that adopt this same honest approach are a rarity,” she continues. “Fathers is a wonderful exception. A quarterly magazine created in Warsaw, it explores myriad facets of fatherhood through interviews, reports and photoessays.”

And it does so extraordinarily well, with a book-style layout and photos that are compelling because of their realism.

It’s great to see this magazine for men taking a page from some new women’s titles. And the paradigm-breaking work continues in the women’s market as well.

As Matt Salusbury reports in the London Freelance blog, the editor of Oh Comely recently spoke at LFB’s November meeting on where her title is heading.

A veteran of the fashion magazine industry, Alice Snape found herself dissatisfied with mass market women’s titles, and feels that her new role is “an antidote to the false expectations” perpetuated in some mass market titles.

The magazine is not currently making a ton of money, but she and the contributors do get paid, and they aren’t tied to advertisers that often hamper the editorial direction of larger titles.

As trends go, this idea of humanizing men and women and portraying them as real life human beings we all can recognize has a lot of merit. And in this age of self-selection and niche publishing, we expect titles like these will ultimately find and engage their audience.

As Snape notes, “print is going to be more popular again. People don’t want to consume everything online.” Instead, she believes most of her readers “want to sit down and read the magazine from cover to cover.”

And judging from what we see of each of these titles, she’s probably right about that.

Indie publishing is certainly having its moment. As we predicted about a year ago, 2017 really has turned out to be a golden time for publishing, with increased awareness of the power of an engaged niche audience. Niche and special interest titles led industry growth in 2017, and the same factors are at play now to keep this going into next year. Magazines like Fathers make us really excited about that idea.