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Magazine dates...

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alexl92

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This is by no means something confined to Railway Magazines but I wonder if someone here can help me anyway.

I have always wondered why magazines are labelled as the issue for one month ahead of when they are released?

As an example, the next Railways Illustrated will be the October issue, released on 1st September, sent to the printers in August containing mainly news from July.

Now clearly, the printing deadlines are something that cannot be helped, and in all honesty I don't mind that aspect of it. I just don't understand why magazines have this thing of labelling the issue released in January as the February issue, and so on, and I find it rather irritating. Shouldn't the aforementioned issue of RI be the September issue?

Does anyone know the reason behind this?
 
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Cowley

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It is strange, I've always wondered that. I know that the Railway Magazine altered things so that the magazine comes out in the month that it actually says on the cover fairly recently, but I don't think any of the others have.
 

Taunton

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A few of us may have once known a quarterly US rail magazine called Extra 2200 South. It gave a lot of detailed loco information where the more mainstream US rail magazines have more generalist writing. However, although nicely produced with good photos it was just a husband-and-wife operation and they used to get behind with their publication. A feature of the US Post Office magazine distribution was that you must keep to the stated publication dates on the front cover, and over time these would get way late. So you would get "Jan Feb Mar 1990" actually turning up sometime in the middle of 1992. It was actually pretty up to date when/if it came out, so there would be news items about events 2 years after the cover date!
 
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6Gman

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This is by no means something confined to Railway Magazines but I wonder if someone here can help me anyway.

Does anyone know the reason behind this?

Well, I've heard it explained (more generally in publishing - specifically about women's magazines) as a marketing thing.

You publish a weekly magazine on Saturday. Somebody publishes a rival magazine, published Friday. People who buy a single magazine are more likely to buy the one that comes out earlier.

So you move from Saturday to Thursday. And your rival to Wednesday!

Etc. Etc.

Same reason charities want to be the first to offer Xmas Cards - and "Back to School" clothes now appear before the previous school year has even finished!

:D
 

PeterC

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As the publisher of a music listings magazine I aim for a street date about 8 days before the start of the month on the cover.
 

SCH117X

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Its all to do with making shop browsers think a magazine a more recent release - the logic seems completely bonkers to me; suppose it originates way back when the magazine dates were the published month and then someone had the idea of making it a month later and so it carries on.
 

GarethJohn

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It happens with Computer Games to with each edition of FIFA being released 3-4 months before the year on the box they don't bother with calling it FIFA 16/17 which are the seasons. Even for those solely in 2017 the games is effectively out of date when those leagues commence as the players have changed.
Unless it's a brand new magazine what can they do about it other than have two September issues and then an October one in October?
 
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