Money magazine’s December issue just dropped, and it includes a piece I wrote on “How to Market Your Biz on Facebook.” I talked to a number of social media and small business experts for the story, gleaning advice for Money readers on how they can turn Facebook followers into customers. Click here for a pdf of the article (it’s on the second page).
A good list always make for a good magazine feature, and Forbes‘s new roundup of Hollywood’s “Most Overpaid Actors” is no exception. So, who tops the list? Turns out, one of Charlie’s angels isn’t so angelic when it comes to studios making big returns on their investment in her. For every $1 Drew Barrymore gets paid, her films return an average $0.40, according to the magazine. Eddie Murphy and Will Ferrell follow in her footsteps, proving comedy doesn’t always pay off. If it weren’t for the box office success of The Other Guys, Ferrell would have continued his streak as Hollywood’s most overpaid star.
Arguably the most surprising actor on the list is Denzel Washington, who I always thought of as a Hollywood favorite and a big-time player when it comes to filling seats at the movie theater. Evidently, Denzel’s average pricetag of $12 million per movie isn’t enough by itself for the right box-office formula. I’m also surprised Adam Sandler didn’t come in at no. 1. His films have been on a downward slope for years, in terms of both laughs and cash flow (the days of Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison are long gone), and most actors who peaked in the 1990s don’t get work as often as he does. All in all though, the list makes sense for Forbes and makes for an entertaining read.
The once beloved zine — a middle road between a magazine and a pocket-held diary of sorts — is staging a comeback, according to an article in The New York Times. Both in small shops and on the Web, these zines are cropping up out of the ashes of the original fanzines, which were counter-culture collections created in the 1930s among fans of science fiction. Zines like CandyLand, a celebration of the simple pleasures of summer, and Girl Crush, a collection of women’s essays and ruminations about women who have inspired them, have been welcomed among the new flock. “There’s nothing more joyous than having a little publication in your hands,” says Malaka Gharib, who publishes a colorful food zine called The Runcible Spoon with her friend in their spare time.
Two friends of mine, Caitlin Dewey and Kuan Luo, created their own beautiful little zine a few months ago, taking submissions from friends and Internet followers over the span of 24 hours, editing them over the next 24 hours, and out popped TK. They called it a “crowd-sourced zine,” meaning all of the content is submitted, with few stories approved by the editing team beforehand. Watching it all come together is like seeing a piece of artwork emerge from a messy canvas, with spots of wet paint signifying all the hard work seeping through the final product. These zines, like TK, are fun, engaging, and pack enough creative energy to turn the old zines on their heads in favor of these newer, cooler versions. They’re what you call labors of love, with little-to-no profit returned, but at least everyone can appreciate the work and care that goes into them — especially the hand-written ones. Let’s just hope they’ve found that mythical journalist, the one with good handwriting, to put those things together.
Every year, Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” cover story garners a lot of attention. This year the magazine crowned Rihanna with the title, offering up the pop singer naked on the cover, with only a couple leaves to hide her nether regions. When I saw the issue arrive in my mailbox, the cover — although it certainly caught my eye — may not have pulled me in with the most fitting photograph. Doesn’t the sexiest woman alive also have, in addition to her beautiful body, a beautiful face? The Esquire cover features Rihanna’s glistening body but most of her face gets lost behind her hair. Perhaps they covered a lot of her face up so you’d spend more time looking at her curves, but if I’m supposed to be reading about why Rihanna’s the “Sexiest Woman Alive,” I want to see the whole package. Also, once inside, the feature photo that accompanies the story looks too similar to the cover image. A little variety and a little more facial visibility wouldn’t hurt. Nonetheless, this month’s Esquire deserves a round of applause for putting Rihanna on the cover. She’s a symbol for not only sex and beauty but also for female empowerment, given how well she’s come back from her physical abuse scandal with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
Money magazine’s November issue features
its annual “Best Jobs” package, and with it a section of exclusive online content. ‘I have the best job in America’ profiles 11 people lucky enough to have switched into careers that rate high in satisfaction on Money’s list. I profiled six of them, interviewing people like Brett Pangburn, who left his job as a lawyer to become a teacher at a Boston charter school, and Kimberly Resnick, who worked for years as a paralegal before making the jump to personal training. These people are passionate about their jobs, which is so important, especially in a shaky economy. Read more about why they made a career switch, how they did it, and why they love it here.
Adam Moss shared an interesting factoid last week about New York: the magazine’s website publishes new content every six minutes. This just reinforces that Nymag.com maintains one of the most impressive websites, in terms of its ability to promote content from the print brand, cover news, fashion, and entertainment on its blogs, and engage with readers. I’m personally a big fan of the TV recaps, which are always funny and always point out something I didn’t realize while watching (a special thank you to the Vulture team for the Dexter summaries, which are as entertaining as the show itself). From witty news blurbs and insider info. on New York restaurants to raunchy but addicting sex diaries, the site’s original content is worth checking often. Maybe not every six minutes, but hey, it’s there if I want it.
Taking cues from other food magazines like Every Day With Rachael Ray and Food Network Magazine, Food & Wine will feature a 24-page advertorial called Top Chef Magazine in its January issue. The magazine has been a longtime sponsor of the show, often participating in prizes for competitions, including an editorial feature and an appearance at its annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen for each season’s big winner. The articles are being written with Bravo’s approval and will focus primarily on the show’s contestants, who are competing in season 9 in Texas. Depending on how well it’s received, the special section could turn into its own stand-alone product, says publisher Christina Grdovic. So long as the magazine gives us a taste of some of our all-time favorite contestants, like the irritating-but-amusing-to-watch Marcel Vigneron and Carla “hootie hoo!” Hall, I’ll be reading. I’m admittedly a big Top Chef fan, so I’ll probably be reading regardless.
While it’s not People‘s new issue, which features Steve Jobs on the cover, I wanted to give a nod to last’s month cover story about the TV show Toddlers & Tiaras. The cover itself, for which the child star of TLC’s reality show spent hours in hair and makeup, sparked controversy among readers. One reader labeled the cover “child abuse,” while another — a mother of pageant girls herself — came to the show’s defense, saying how much her kids love participating in such glitzy shows. But these kinds of pageants might take a toll mentally on the young participants, according to child psychiatrists interviewed for the story. While the story didn’t resolve whether they’re good or bad, the fact People dedicated nine pages to exploring the issue left me feeling pleasantly surprised. I don’t usually turn to the magazine for commentary on pop culture, but maybe I’ll start.
What better way to make your Amanda Knox coverage stand out on the newsstands than with…a set of knives and a pizza cutter? Well, that’s exactly what Italy’s Oggi magazine did. Knox, recently declared not guilty of playing a role in the fatal stabbing of her flatmate in Perugia, has been the topic of debate over the course of the week. But editorial statements are rarely made by giveaways, let alone cutlery sets. I’m glad the pizza cutter got thrown in though; perhaps it was a nod to the one Knox used to cut her freedom slice on Wednesday. Either way, the knives are probably worth more than the magazine.
Any time a magazine produces multiple covers for a single issue, it’s likely to catch my eye. The four new ESPN The Magazine covers are certainly attention grabbers. The magazine’s annual Body Issue hits newsstands today with four nude athletes on the cover: Clippers forward Blake Griffin, soccer player Hope Solo, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, and Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler. “After a while I didn’t really care,” Griffin told USA Today. “They were bringing the robe over after every take and after a while, I was like, ‘Whatever, it’s OK.’ I guess I’m more comfortable now with less clothes.” Chicago Sky Center Sylvia Fowles, Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone, and track and field star Natasha Hastingsare are among the other 22 athletes featured in the issue.