Being in the magazine game means living your life in the past, present, and future all at the same time. See, when somebody asks me, “When does my bike come out in your magazine?” I have to search across a timeline that has many facets to it. And let me tell you why. First off, we have about 18 days to come up with the content of every issue. From there it has to be formatted, reviewed, corrected if need be, and then sent off to the printer. Once it is deemed to be all good, the content, advertisements, and photos are worked on in various stages for about 20-30 days until it’s printed, the pages are bound together, and the copies are shipped from the printer to our distribution centers. Then it takes about another 30 days for the newest issues of the magazine to reach the newsstands and the mailboxes of our subscribers.
When you all read a brand new issue of this magazine, that very issue is almost three months old to me. I have already worked on, put to bed, and sent off to the printer two or three other future issues of Hot Bike. In all honesty I have forgotten more about the magazine when it shows up 60-something days later than when we sent the computer files to the printer. So, actually its like I see it for the first time as well.
Also, when I tell you that a certain bike or topic is in the magazine and say “August” there just may be two meanings and timeframes to that month’s designation. Is the bike in the August issue, which actually comes out in June or is it really in the October issue that hits the stands in August? Confused? Yes, most are when it comes to the manipulating of months that occurs in the realm of print magazines.
I correspondingly have to also plan Hot Bike magazine’s future issues (about three magazines out) in the present time as well. Organizing which six feature bikes per issue are going to represent the magazine is no small feat in of itself. This is a game of chess where I constantly have to pit one bike against each other for the betterment of the magazine. Lets not even talk about fitting in four or five tech articles that are intriguing to riders of all mechanical aptitude in each of those issues.
Getting the scoop on a certain bike or some killer parts for say the future December issue (that drops in October) it’s a mad dash of planning, forecasting, and remembering what was in prior issues. Don’t forget that this “future” action is muddled up with my “current” duties of getting a magazine done on time that will be seen in another few months. All the while I am wondering if you readers are going to like the “past” issue I worked on many months ago, which is the one you are reading right now.
In the magazine world it never really is the current month you mortals are living in. As you can see we editors are time travelers who shuffle back and forth across a very confused and crowded plane of time that would leave Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking curled up in the fetal position. But this is how I live my life every day. Yes, this job is akin to hitting yourself in the head with a ball peen hammer for 30 days sitting it down for an hour and doing it all over again 12 times a year. Sure it’s a mind-scrambling job, but I am very fortunate to do so and wouldn’t want to do anything else.
“All the while I am wondering if you readers are going to like the “past” issue I worked on many months ago, which is the one you are reading right now.”