Succeeding Online & in Print … an Interview with Hawaiian Style’s Publisher
Doug King, who lives in Dallas, but spends several weeks a year in Hawaii, describes Hawaiian Style magazine as “like an Architectural Digest, but for Hawaii.” In the quarterly’s second year and having established a circulation base of 50,000, the publisher says he is now looking to cultivate a significant online presence—for both his readers and advertisers. The magazine relaunched its Web site in May to include not only a digital edition, but also a directory of advertisers and an art gallery. King enlisted solutions provider Infoswell in order to make his site more robust. Here he discusses the challenges a small publisher faces in succeeding online as well as in print.
InBox: What brought on the idea to re-launch HawaiianStyle.com?
Doug King: There was [an existing] site, and it was weak. I’ll be honest, it was anemic. … [Infoswell] approached me at a time when I had been looking [at re-launching the site], because I knew I had to make the site more robust. So many print publishers, especially in trade, are turning almost entirely to Web-based [content]. Now I don’t see that as really the direction for Hawaiian Style ultimately, but there is definitely a cause and a need for me to have a much broader Internet presence.
InBox: What was your reasoning for waiting until midway through the magazine’s second year to develop a stronger online presence and make a digital edition available?
King: The first year of publishing is so integral for a publisher to get his legs under him. And working in the Hawaiian market can be really difficult. So the first year, my focus was 100 percent myopic on just getting the print edition up and running, and I had no time, resources or brainpower to even think about re-doing the Web site.