Welcome to The Publisher’s Advocate Blog!


My name is Brian Hickey, welcome to my blog. This is a special occasion for me, because this is my first blog! After several years in the publishing business, I suppose now would be a good time to start blogging!

The intent of this particular blog, is to serve the publisher. I would like to have a gathering place where small publishers (and people who are thinking about becoming a publisher) from around the country (and world!) can get together to discuss typical publishing industry practices. I’d also like it to be a place where we can discuss specific publishing opportunities, and offer each other advice on how to grow our businesses! I would also like this to be a place where we can help each other decide on publishing opportunities that exist out here.

Since I’ve spent the last 5 years publishing the Suburban New York edition of a national magazine called Travelhost, most of my posts will be about my experiences with this company. I have many questions to pose, and curiosities about how others handle business in the publishing world.

I’m excited to get started, and will do so shortly. Since it will take some time for a significant following to develop. I may start by posing questions, and answering my own questions…just to get the conversation started.

I hope that this blog will serve the publisher in every corner of this country, and that you will find this information helpful in learning all about the publishing world from my perspective, and those who post here.

Thanks, and glad to have you with us!

5 Responses to “Welcome to The Publisher’s Advocate Blog!”

  1. Duke Says:

    I was considering Travelhost as an oppportunity in my area. Can you please adivse me of your success or shortfalls? Also are you aware of any other opportunities similar to this that would be considered a good match?


  2. bdhickey Says:

    Hi Duke,

    Thanks for checking out my blog! I didn’t expect to get a response so quickly, but I guess publishing on the world wide web works faster than greased lightning! It’s amazing how you can post something, and reach everyone interested in what you’re talking about so easily!

    Duke, I never expected someone to ask me specifically if Travelhost was a good opportunity or not, so quickly. I was hoping to ask some general questions, and talk about some basic experiences, before I got into my own stuff so extensively.

    I don’t have time right now to write a novel, which is probably the way it will look if I tell you everything that’s on my mind at this point in my Travelhost business. I will expand on my experiences in later posts, if you’re still following, that is…

    To answer your question quickly, Travelhost can be a good opportunity, depending on many different things. It’s all about the 5 W’s…who, what, where, when, and why! Isn’t it always?

    *If you’re in a popular vacation area, where tourism is not only big, but the local businesses know it, and value the traveler…thats a good start.

    *If you don’t mind paying extremely high printing and production prices, taking all of the risk of a business owner, without actually owning the magazine…that’s a good start too.

    *And, if you don’t want any flexibility in your overhead costs, even if print ad revenue is down 40% across the country, then you might be a good candidate.

    To answer your question, Duke, to be one of the successful ones, you better be in the right place, at the right time, and not be concerned with the “wholesale pricing” you’re entitled to in your contract.

    I’ll expand more on the specifics in a later post, Duke, if you’re still following. Until then, LET THE BUYER BEWARE! Know what you’re getting into, before you take the plunge…the water is cold!

    P.S. Does anyone out there have any experiences with Travelhost that they’d like to share with the forum?

    P.P.S. Duke…do your homework. Run the numbers. Are you an independent guy? Do you have great publishing ideas? If so…ask a lot of questions!

  3. Jim Kalie Says:

    Just thought I would do some research on the cost of printing. I went to http://www.dazzleprinting .com entered the criteria for my book and 2500 copies would cost me 10,729.61

    right now 8000 copies from travelhost costs me 13,658.00

    I also checked ripoffreport.com and every well know company or brand you can think of has someone out there stating they were ripped off or cheated or lied to about something.

    You name it, McDonalds owners, subway, even GE has multiple complaints

    Bottom line, no matter what you do there is a risk, I know that publishing travelhost is just a glorified ad sales position.

    But I knew that going in and when in Dallas I met former writers from the NY Times, Restaurant owners in large cities, they all thought they would be sitting in some editors chair with their feet up looking over and writing copy.

    I knew they would fail because they did not have a sales reps mentality, that get out there and bang on doors grit that gets things done.

    Some of those folks I met seemed to feel that somehow making cold calls was beneathe them.

    When that is exactly what is needed to succeed in this.

    • bdhickey Says:

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for writing in! I’m assuming you mean magazines of like kind and quality…there are printers here in NY (and Pennsylvania) that will print my 15 thousand copies of a 48pg magazine at 70lb stock (throughout) for $7350 DELIVERED. I currently pay Travelhost 15,754 plus another 750 to deliver to ny. The math is there, I have several price quotes, even one from Florida for only 8k. Still half price. I’m paying over 9k more!!! That’s a lot of bread, even here in NY! (Oh, perhaps there are a few changes to make to the magazine every quarter, so throw in a grand for the designer to insert some new ads, and change some things around, and you’re all set.)

      I do agree with you on the sales portion. This is a sales job, not an editorial one. I came from phone book sales, so I know what’s up. For some reason, here in NY, TH is what I call a Tier 3 publication. Seems as if even the big boys who know the value of advertising, only consider TH a nice to have, not a necessity. They let go of TH first, when there’s a budget crunch. The local papers, magazines, radio, cable, and internet stuff keep on trucking.

      But, Jim, you know and I know that business is down 30-40 percent across the board. How bout a little flexibility with pages printed, like everyone else gets, eh? How about some fair pricing? How about some VALUE for the overcharging? Where’s the value, Jim?

      What do you feel you get, in exchange for the 6 or 7 thousand dollars EXTRA per printing you pay?

  4. Jim Kalie Says:

    Hi Brian,

    Have you seen the movie with Eddie Murphy, “Coming to America?”

    The father of the girl he liked owned a restaurant called McDowells, kind of like McDonalds but just a knock off.

    Thats what I beleive we get spending the extra 6-7 grand.

    Brand recognition.

    Trust me I have thought of firing travelhost and starting my own magazine because after all, my advertisers are mine and not travelhost’s.

    As far as a 3rd tier product? There will always be people who feel this way. But only if you aid in giving them that impression. Remember that facts about the effectiveness in advertising are subject to an individuals response rate.

    I have long term clients that tell me they have no choice but to be in travelhost, and others who cancel after 3 months and said they got no response.

    Heres one line I have been using when I approach retailers who waste money on newspaper ads.

    I tell tham that the people who read newspapers are not looking for a place to spend their money, they are looking for a job.

    The people who read travelhost are looking for a mall.

    In my home town paper, you can place a 1/6 page travelhost size ad in the thursday showcase, for one day, for 300.00,

    or you can be in travelhost for a few months for that same 300.00
    and be in front of people who actually have money to spend.

    Trust me Brian, sometimes i feel like a do all the work and travelhost just sits back and collects my money, but at the end of the day, I have to do something for a living and being my own boss seems to make it all worth it. Some of the time anyway.

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