Hard Times in Publishing-World

This week I received notice from Meander Publishing that both Modern Quilts Unlimited and Machine Quilting Unlimited are to cease publication immediately. I am a little surprised, given the ever-increasing popularity of both machine quilting and modern quilting. The notice cites the “soft market” for magazines as well as the costs of producing a print magazine.

For me personally this is a disappointment, both because I have enjoyed reading Modern Quilts Unlimited and because the magazine has published several articles by me.  My most recent submission was to have been published in the upcoming July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited, but they will be returning the quilt to me instead.  The July issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited will not be published at all, and the July issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited will be digital only.

The front page of the Meander Publishing website hasn’t caught up with the news as I write this, so I’m not sure how widely it is known.  I predict that this will leave a vacuum in the modern quilt magazine market that will be filled shortly by something from the Modern Quilt Guild.  Their agenda seems to be to own the definition of modern quilting, and a magazine would further that aim.

I expect this is disappointing to Vicki Anderson, the CEO and editor of the Meander Publishing magazines.  She has put a lot of effort (and probably money) into these publications.  I am sorry to see these magazines go.

What do you make of it?

11 thoughts on “Hard Times in Publishing-World

  1. I work in magazine publishing and have seen the costs of paper and printing skyrocket in recent years. I just changed my print vendor in order to save about $30K annually (at least for the next two years). Add to that the rising costs of salaries and benefits, well you get the idea. The bigger issue, I think, comes from a waning interest in quilting overall after an all time high – kind of like a market course-correction that seems to happen to all crafts – and the amount of available sources online that allow people to purchase or buy individually to get exactly what they want, rather than a magazine where you may not like anything in a given issue. Not sure what I think about the MQG wanting to own the definition of modern quilting, but it seems like there’s a lot of politics involved whenever anything gets as big as modern quilting has.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree that internet resources have cut deeply into the print market. Hadn’t realized interest in quilting is trending down, but it makes sense. Good luck with your publishing ventures.

      • The interesting thing about magazines is that they’re not seeing as fast a decline as newspapers. After bing on a screen all day, a lot of folks just want to unplug with paper, not technology. That’s even true among young people. I hope it doesn’t die completely one day. I love the visceral pleasure of holding a magazine to read, although I enjoy reading on my iPad so I can easily look up words if I need to!

  2. Technolgy has made our life better in some ways, but it is killing the printed word. I always started my day reading the newspaper. Now, our one city paper is more of a flyer with outdated news. Did you ever have a magazine rack or table? As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get the Life Magazine and the Times. I have quite a collection of quilting magazines. But today, it is easier and free to go to online sites for quilting inspiration and tutorials. For me, the saddest part is the decline in publication of children’s literature. As an author and illustrator of children’s books, my sister, Emma tells of the increasing difficulty to market books. I make sure my grandchildren have books, and are not reading solely on a reading device. I love reading, but I too am at fault for contributing to the decline in the area of books. I enjoy the convenience of a Kindle and audio books.
    As with any big company, I am sure ther are a variety of factors that lead to a decision to close.

  3. I have a couple issues of Modern Quilts Unlimited and I thought it was an excellent publication. I guess people are just not buying magazines like they used to? That is cool you had a couple articles published.

  4. A while back I recall viewing a m*qc video where the son wanted to venture into magazine land. To get an article published into the mag ran by marianne fons was going to cost about $12 an issue. Then you would have to sell ad space. A lot of work and not a good bang for the buck. He figured out how to publish their own magazine, without ads, for half the price for the consumer. The reason this worked? Because salaries were already being paid to those working on the same digital media, his cost for making Block magazine was less than $1 I believe. People want print, but buying a magazine at my house is a real splurge. $12 for a standard cooking magazine is half the cost of a cookbook. They will need to change to keep up the pace, or lose out. I predict in my lifetime anything in the print world will skyrocket in value, as they are truths, unlike online stuff.

    • Indeed, I don’t enjoy online “magazines” though I do see the advantages. I have noticed a few new, high dollar print magazines (Curated Quilts and a woodwork magazine come to mind). Maybe they are the future of print.

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