Reprints! Reprints! Reprints!
ROI for Editorial Content: A thriving reprints market offers additional revenue
potential to magazine publishers.
There is no denying that a publisher can financially benefit from selling reprints of its editorial content. However, to establish a lucrative, systematic business plan for reprints requires a great deal of commitment. A number of factors contribute to the success of your publication's reprint program, including how sales are transacted and how the reprints are actually manufactured. But first, we should establish why reprints are so important to the publication market.
Reprints come in a variety of shapes, sizes and formats. In the traditional scenario, the subject of an editorial piece—be it a person, business or product—can gain additional exposure or "mileage" by using the article for promotion. That's where the reprint comes into play, whereby an article is pulled from its original vehicle, usually a magazine, repurposed, reformatted and reintroduced in a new way, as part of a promotional kit, a framed piece of artwork or as Web site content.
Who benefits from reprints? Everyone does. The publisher is able to assess some return on investment related to the original creation of editorial content. The buyer gains additional exposure and is able to promote itself with a neutral, third-party endorsement. And, in all cases, the reprint's manufacturer also receives its fair share of the take.
"For a magazine to publish an article, there is an expense," explains Steve Mussman, principal, PARS International, New York City. "By selling reprints, you're basically able to recoup a lot of that cost." Depending on the size of the reprint order and the original expense associated with an article's preparation, publishers may ultimately break even or, ideally, turn a profit on its editorial content, explains Mussman.
Profit potential is, indeed, high, according to Michael Biggerstaff, president of Reprint Management Services (RMS), Lancaster, PA: "We've taken on some large publications that have either had their own internal program or they've been using another service, and we've been able to increase the reprint revenue by about 50 to 75 percent. That's a lot of dollars!"