D. Eadward Tree

D. Eadward Tree

D. Eadward Tree is a pseudonymous magazine-industry insider who provides insights on publishing, postal issues and print media on his blog, Dead Tree Edition.

Judge Delays Quad-LSC Merger

In another sign that Quad’s proposed acquisition of rival printer LSC Communications isn't going as planned, a federal judge has rejected the printers' request for an expedited trial. That could delay the deal’s closing until next year, months after the “mid-2019” date the companies’ leaders projected when they announced the deal on October 31, 2018.…

Are Fully Personalized Magazines in Our Future? It’s Complicated.

With its flexibility and its ability to produce small batches, digital printing is transforming book publishing, direct mail, product packaging, and even the garment industry. But it has hardly laid a finger on magazine publishing. The technology enables publishers who have sufficient content and subscriber data to create “a unique magazine for every reader,” fellow…

Pay Attention, Publishers: Outsiders Are Redefining What a Magazine Can Be

Software mogul, golf equipment manufacturer, movie-streaming service, mattress maker, actress, social media behemoth: It seems everyone wants to get into the magazine-publishing business these days. Everyone, that is, except for “real” magazine-media publishers. Whenever a well-known digital-native brand comes out with a print magazine, you can count on a wave of rah-rah “print isn’t dead”…

Why Paper Prices Are Likely to Remain High for Publishers

Decades of historical precedent suggest that, now that the shortages and price increases of 2018 have ended, publishers should soon benefit from lower paper costs. But don’t hold your breath waiting for history to repeat itself. Prices for publication papers have stabilized since late last year, and the usual post-peak glut and price slashing don’t…

The Latest Google Update Slams Traditional Publishers

[UPDATE: This article was updated at 6:37pm ET on 4/16/2019 and 12:49pm on 4/18/2019 based on feedback from Scientific American and The Atlantic, which both refute that they have experienced the drop in Google search traffic as reported by Searchmetrics.] Google’s long love affair with traditional, respected publishers may have come to an abrupt end…

8 Ways Media Sales Reps Can Increase Print’s Value in an RFP

Remember back in the good old days, say, about 2015, when ad agencies had separate media-buying teams for print and digital? That made it easy for the sales team to specialize. The old codgers sold print, while the “kids” sold digital. But the world is no longer so simple. From what I see, based especially…

4 Print-Centric Assumptions Publishers Should Avoid Online

In the early years of television, news broadcasts were virtually identical to their radio counterparts, except you could see the guy who was reading the headlines. It took a few years for the networks to rethink how to present news using the new capabilities that TV offered. In many ways, online publishing has been even…

5 Things Publishers Should Do Before Erecting a Paywall

This is the year, the pundits tell us, when digital publishing will pivot to paywalls. Good luck with that. Getting people to pay for online content is already hard enough. With more publishers in the game, it will become even harder. How many digital subscriptions do you think people will pay for? Tread carefully, or…

6 Phrases that Sum Up 2018 in Publishing

What a crazy, up-and-down year this has been in publishing! One minute, the president of the United States is calling us the enemy of the people, and then the next minute we learn that a major magazine publisher was paying to prevent embarrassing stories about the President from being published. Some publishers were so busy…

A Decade of Delusions: 10 Things We Got Wrong About Publishing in the Digital Age

A decade ago this month, despite not knowing my RSS from a hole in the ground, I created a blog called Dead Tree Edition out of desperation. As a “print guy” in a magazine industry undergoing digital disruption, I knew I would soon be obsolete if I didn’t become more versed in web publishing. So…

6 Ways to Adjust to Google’s Emphasis on Authors in Revised Search Guidelines

OK, fellow publishers, Google is on to us. And that probably means readers are on to us as well. As I’ve noted before, Google has generally been kind to magazine media publishers, tweaking its search engine to favor results from respected web sites, especially those with storied print brands. But the latest version of Google’s…

2019 Print Forecast: Tight Paper Market Will Continue Squeezing Publishers

At the beginning of next year, magazine publishers will be paying about 25% more for paper than they did just 18 months earlier -- assuming they can find any paper to buy. There are no signs that the scarce supply and rising prices afflicting all U.S. buyers of publication papers will abate in 2019. Magazine-quality…