It's mostly coincidence, admitted publisher Johnny Lucas, that the first issue of a new magazine called What Makes You Happy
hit doorsteps during this time of year when people are most likely in need of a pick-me-up.
The new happiness-focused publication, filled with freelance content, promises to cut through the 'February blahs' and beyond, said Lucas. "The idea of happiness is really something that should be of interest to everyone," he said.
The magazine, published by Everybody Eats Corporation six times a year, is being distributed via the Globe and Mail
newspaper, with the first issue reaching more than 54,000 readers in the 416 (Toronto) area according to Lucas. But the upcoming editions will have a national reach of 150,000, he added. "I knew I wanted to do controlled circulation, and one of the things I see with controlled circulation is it goes to people that sometimes aren't interested in the content," said Lucas. "It's a fool's errand to be all things to all people. But I don't think there's anyone that's not interested in happiness, including me."
He doesn't see newsstand in the future, but didn't go as far as to rule it out. But the magazine will be opening up to paid subscriptions. "For the foreseeable future, our #1 channel of distribution is going to be the Globe
," he said. "I think we've nailed a style that's right for these [readers]. They're smart, they're interested, they're engaged in life."
He's hoping Globe
readers will take a moment to peek inside the magazine when they pick up their paper from the porch, and he also hopes the first taste of "candy," as he called it, will draw them in. The longer articles are at the back of the magazine for when the reader has more time to sit and take them in, said Lucas.
"The key thing about us is we're really keen to have this thing read by everyone who gets it. It's really going to be a blow to my ego the first time I see one in the blue box," said Lucas.
It's really going to be a blow to my ego the first time I see one in the blue box."
- Johnny Lucas
CBC television personality Rick Mercer is featured inside and is also on the magazine's first cover, which is liberal in design [the magazine's title runs four decks] because there are no newsstand restraints, said Lucas. "He was very generous, in an hour and half with the guy you get a lot more than you could ever print in five pages," said Lucas.
Although Mercer was hard to snag because of a tight schedule, "It made a difference that I was willing to go to Newfoundland," said Lucas. "I had fish and chips with him, it was a lot of fun."
Only full-page ads are being sold in What Makes You Happy
, and the rate for a regular page is "just under $15,000 for national distribution", said Lucas. The first issue, at 68 pages, includes several ads, many tourism-geared for destinations including Bahamas, Israel, and Tofino, B.C. (Wickaninnish Inn).
The magazine's website at thehappymagazine.com
also just launched, and there's a beta Blackberry version available on the site for download. The mobile version will eventually be adapted for iPhone and Android, he said.