The Snowball Effect
For now, when the material reaches American Web, the staff receives Imation Digital Matchprint proofs within about 48 hours.
Tamborini jokes in retrospect, "I can't believe we were reluctant [to go CTP]. It's not like you're biting off more than what was there before. Now, we're just making it easier."
Marais pointedly adds, "Publishers are going to have to go CTP eventually anyway—whether they like it or not." One of the main reasons he favored the conversion was to get a jump-start on the technology rather than be left behind. It's not in the Freeskier credo to be anything but radical.
Realizing their adventurous spirit may not always be in season for everyone, Fayfield, Tamborini and Marais sympathize with CTP-hesitant publishers. Fayfield, however, is less sympathetic when it comes to direct marketing. He says it's expensive and difficult to get Freeskier newsstand distribution deals, although the magazine is currently available through Disticor Magazine Distribution Services and International Periodical Distributors at major retailers in 46 states and six Canadian provinces.
"In what other industry," he asks, "do you put out 100 units and hope to sell 35?" That's why he's also targeted ski shops, hotels and resorts with the specialty publication. The magazine is produced with a great deal of precision. He says that getting the publication to the exact audience is equally as important. According to Fayfield's market research, almost 75 percent of Freeskier's readership consists of males who've attended college and use the Internet frequently. As a result, Freeskier.com was created as an addendum to the print publication. The dot.com delivers more temporal information, such as slope reports and weather forecasts. "Take a look around you," Fayfield says. "The new face of skiing has arrived. … Born of the same revolution that started new school skiing," a more adventurous hybrid of traditional skiing, both of which he's pursued most of his life. To overlook his shrewd industry contacts and glamourous masthead would be to underestimate the magazine's selling power. Fayfield expects readership to reach upwards of 75,000 this year with revenue exceeding the $750,000 mark in an industry requiring extracurricular participation. During the past few years, Fayfield says that the staff has been active in movie premiers in Aspen, extreme sports award celebrations in Munich, as well as music tours and shows around the country.