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It's a Small World

September 1999
If you can put scale aside for a minute and think about our Earth as a spherical object you can cradle in the palms of your hands, you may develop a better understanding of the power you possess for making your magazine accessible to the billions of people with whom you share this wondrous planet.

For many U.S. publishers, planning an international magazine launch requires years of strategizing and months of negotiations with vendors (prepress, print and distribution), not to mention the mucho dinero a publisher is likely to shell out for a launch of such magnitude. With no guarantee that the publication will flourish in the foreign market, launching outside the U.S. represents a huge investment in time and resources—a fiscal leap of faith.

Thomas D. Gorman must have known at an early age that he was destined for life in the Far East. His curiosity for Asian culture inspired him to pursue a degree in East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Post-college, Gorman packed his bags and set off for Hong Kong, where he's resided since.

As an American immigrant to the Asian city, Gorman's keen vision for the importance of global communications urged him to co-found CCI Asia-Pacific, Ltd., a Hong Kong-headquartered publisher (with offices in Beijing) of business and consumer titles.

"I co-founded CCI in 1975, based on the vision that China would open up one day, creating a huge demand for Western technical, business—and eventually—consumer information," Gorman notes.

What better geographic region in which to launch magazines than one that boasts the population and demographic stats of Asian-Pacific countries? "Within five hours' flying time of Hong Kong, you're in reach of about 60 percent of the world's population, and in many areas, the middle class is growing fast," Gorman adds.

A license to publish

Working with a handful of U.S.-based publishers, Gorman licenses such well-established titles as FORTUNE, Electronic Design, Wireless and TRAINING magazines, translates and supplements their content, and distributes the sister publications throughout China.

He describes a typical licensing agreement: "We license the brand and the content, and (we) pay a royalty based on net advertising income (to the publisher)."

Under the licensing agreement, CCI is able to repurpose content and images that have been published in U.S. versions. In cases when editorial is repurposed, U.S. publishers provide CCI with electronic files. Text and images are transmitted to Hong Kong as e-mail attachments, Zip disks and CD-ROMs. CCI's digital specs are specific: For images, TIFF/IT files; for text, EPS files are required.

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