Much is written in the blogosphere and on social media about the diminishing market for women’s magazine stories. I haven’t submitted any womag fiction for a while but am still interested in the area and mentioned it in a talk I gave a couple of weeks ago.
The group I was speaking to consisted mainly of retired, but very active, women. I told them how my writing career had moved through articles, short stories for women’s magazines and on to longer fiction.
At the end, several of them told me how they’d stopped buying some of the magazines when the fiction was replaced by celebrity/real life stories. One lady said that she really enjoyed the Woman’s Weekly Fiction Specials because they were ‘proper stories with a beginning, a middle and an end’ and they gave her something nice to read before she went to sleep at night. Several mentioned that they liked the mix of things in My Weekly.
It makes me wonder whether the magazines that dropped fiction had a noticeable increase in sales afterwards or whether it brought them no obvious benefit. They certainly lost readers from the group I spoke to.
(By the way, if you’re wondering about the significance of the flower photo – this beautiful array of colour was a gift following my talk.)
#1 by Anne Harvey on September 27, 2016 - 3:15 pm
Hear, hear, those ladies! I no longer buy women’s magazines because there isn’t any fiction in them. Wonder whether it’s all part of the celebrity culture – people wanting to be famous even if it’s only for the brief period the stories are in circulation.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on September 27, 2016 - 3:27 pm
I guess it’s the fame & money that people are after with the real life stories, Anne, (but as writers, aren’t we also after a little bit of that ourselves too – if we’re absolutely honest with ourselves?)
#3 by susanjanejones on September 27, 2016 - 3:28 pm
Those flowers are lovely, Sally. Bet you were pleased to receive those. I don’t seem to have as much time these days to sit and read a fiction magazine, though I don’t like the celeb type ones. I really enjoy the pocket novels as it gives me more time to get to know the characters. And I’m reading Mansfield Park at the moment, Jane Austen. I get the urge to read a classic sometimes:))
#4 by Sally Jenkins on September 27, 2016 - 4:01 pm
I struggle to do all the reading I’d like, Susan. Have never read Mansfield Park. Pride & Prejudice is the only Austen book I’ve read, which is a terrible thing to admit! And I seldom read a women’s magazine of any kind now – I like something meatier.