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Q: I’d like to start a niche magazine. How do I do it?

A: This has to be one of the most frequent questions I receive. There are so many issues to discuss here,so let me just give you an overview of the industry.

Publishing a magazine is an extremely expensive undertaking. Many factors have combined to make this year particularly tough. Most magazines today make money not from readers (who pay to subscribe),but from advertisers who pay to reach those readers. It’s a tough ad environment this year for most general-interest mags.

You’re on the right track in thinking of a niche publication. These have a better chance to break through a very crowded marketplace. First,assess the existing marketplace. There are tons of motorcycle magazines you say they don’t cover some specific aspects of motorcycling. Are you sure people care about these particular issues? If they do,why aren’t the mainstream motorcycle magazines covering them? Are there enough readers out there to support a magazine?