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Publications : Interview with Andreas Magerl
Posted by Sbaitso on 2019/11/3 10:39:06 (4628 reads) News by the same author

Today I'm joined by Andreas Magerl, publisher of Amiga Future magazine. Thank you very much for your time and willingness to participate Andreas.

1. Can you please give us an overview of your history with Amiga computers?

My first 'serious' computer was a C64 which I bought at the age of 14. Some years later I switched to an Amiga 500 and pretty soon afterwards to an Amiga 600. I have had almost every Amiga model by now.

Currently I own an Amiga 1000, Amiga 600, Amiga 600 Acryl, Amiga 4000T, CDTV, CD32, AmigaOne 500, Vampire V4.

When I can afford it, I really need to get an Amiga 1200. And various expansion cards.

2. How did you come to be the publisher of Amiga Future? Did you have any prior experience in publishing? How steep was the learning curve when you became publisher?

We already had our diskmag of the APC&TCP computer club. As a result, I already knew lots of people who supported me a lot with the Amiga Future magazine later.

Amiga Future was a spontaneous idea. More and more German-language Amiga magazines were discontinued. By the end of the '90s we had the situation that no German-language games magazine for the Amiga was left. So, the idea to make such a print magazine ourselves was born. After a long search we found the publisher ICP who enabled us to get the Amiga Future to the kiosk. But with issue 26, kiosk-time was already over, as the publisher decided to discontinue the magazine. More or less over night, we decided to do the whole publishing stuff for Amiga Future ourselves. Which is to write articles, to do the layout, to do the printing (in a professional printing house!) and of course to sell the magazine.

Now Amiga Future is over 25 years of age and we're still going on. Actually, we are considering to increase the German-language print run. For the English-language version we unfortunately lack a number of more subscribers to do that.

In the beginning, Amiga Future was just about games on the Amiga. Nowadays we cover all Amiga-related topics.

3. How many individuals are involved in the publication of an average issue of Amiga Future?  Could you give an estimate to approximately how many hours are spent publishing each issue?

Our team is approximately 30 users strong. To be honest, I never counted. Also, there are fluctuations with every issue.

How many hours? I'd rather not think about that. If I did, I would probably stop doing it. Definitely too many hours. Particularly our homepage costs us additional time and money.

4. The publication process of Amiga Future is both multi-national and multi-language. Can you outline some of the challenges caused by this and describe how you are able to overcome them?

The fundamental problem is that all text needs to be translated first. For this we need sufficient translators who are willing to work more or less for free, while still being motivated and reliable. By the way, we are still looking for translators from German to English to join us. Translations of course take their time, and translation errors can always happen.

Why does it work despite adverse circumstances? Because we have a good team. Simple as that.

5. It sometimes seems as though news and activity related to Amiga tends to come in waves and there can be a burst of activity followed by a quiet period for various reasons.  Do you find this to be the case from your perspective?  How do you regulate the amount of content per issue to ensure a steady flow of content in each issue?

Yes, that's a general problem we have. In some issues, we hardly test applications because only games are being released. In other issues it's vice versa. We also have the additional problem that we require someone able to test the software. Which means this person needs to have the time and needs to be competent for the topic. Someone who can write excellent game reviews is not necessarily equally good at writing a review about the Vampire V4.

Generally speaking, we have more material than pages left in the magazine. But the number of pages can't be increased due to financial reasons. At least not yet.

6. Can you discuss subscription levels versus single issue sales? How do the levels of both types of sales vary based on different countries/regions?

Subscribers make about 80 % of the total circulation. The rest consists of single orders via our webshop or Amiga retailers. We don't do statistics about the various countries where Amiga Future is bought, though. Basically, you can say 50 % are sold in Germany, the other 50 % in over 50 countries worldwide.

7. What kind of impact has the decline of the print media industry had on the publication of the magazine? Do you find printers more willing to negotiate their prices to keep a steady flow of work coming in or are printers charging higher rates trying to maintain the same margins as in the past?

Printing houses don't negotiate on such small print runs.

Amiga Future does not feel the demise of print media at all. On the contrary. Our circulation is increasing slowly but steadily. Even though it would be nice to make a bigger upward leap.

8. How much interaction does the staff of Amiga Future have with readers? Do you receive a lot of feedback after an issue is published? Are requests for articles regularly submitted?

Of course, we receive emails from readers and our homepage is rather extensive. Feedback for specific issues is relatively small. As long as we get no complaints, everything is fine. ;) We rate ourselves based on our sales. And these are steadily increasing.

9. Do you find that there is a greater demand for certain types of articles? (e.g., reviews, interviews, technical, etc.)

Not really. The users' interests are so diverse, without any apparent trend.

10. If someone is interested in helping out with Amiga Future, other than subscribing, what type of assistance is needed at this time?

We are still looking for good translators. Especially from German to English. Someone interested should definitely be a native speaker or equally proficient.

Of course, we are also looking for editors for application reviews.

If someone wants to write a workshop, please do send us an email!

For the homepage we still need editors for the news section. There are still numerous news in the Amiga sector which have not found their way onto our homepage yet.

11. How much of the work related to the magazine is still able to be done on an Amiga? Are there any specific programs or products used in the publication process that you would like to mention? Are there any programs that you feel could potentially be used in the process with minor modification(s) to the existing programs?

Currently I use a modified version of MTREchnung to manage subscriber addresses, subscriptions and invoices.

Apart from that we use no specific Amiga Software. For instance, I am using CygnusED for this interview. It's each editor's choice which software they want to use.

For emails I use YAM. Otherwise the usual stuff like DOpus, Amiga Future News Dockie, etc.

12. What type of changes, if any, would you like to make to Amiga Future? What would be required to make those changes and do you feel you will be able to implement them at some point in the future?

Naturally we always strive to improve Amiga Future. This is a continuous process without a fixed deadline. Also, we want the Amiga Future to cover all Amiga related topics, which is hardly possible due to space restrictions. We simply don't have enough space in the magazine. We would like to increase the page count but that can't be financed for the time being. To accomplish this we need more subscribers, respectively, we need to increase Amiga Future sales figures.

13. Are there any specific challenges the magazine faces that you would like to share with readers that you feel they are probably not aware of?

I would recommend everyone just have a look into the magazine. In our article database on www.amigafuture.de we have over 100 issues online for you to browse for free. I suppose there is something of interest for everybody.

Special thanks to Erhard F. for his assistance with translation.

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Author Thread
Published: 2019/11/4 16:53  Updated: 2019/11/4 16:53
Quite a regular
Joined: 03/28/2010
From: Palencia-Spain
Comments: 777
 Re: Interview with Andreas Magerl
Interesting interview.
Published: 2019/11/17 3:25  Updated: 2019/11/17 3:25
Just popping in
Joined: 08/21/2008
Comments: 178
 Thanks for another interview!
Appreciate the work you are doing for the community,Sbaitso. Keep it up!
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