I was recently promoted from freelance to publisher. There is no company car nor have long lunches replaced copy deadlines. Instead I’ve decided to publish my own online magazine -- gazettabyte, a website covering optical developments in the datacom and telecom industries.
In July 2009, the UK’s Institute of Physics closed FibreSystems Europe, a magazine I had been writing for since 2003. But when I approached other titles looking for replacement freelance work, I was either ignored, or told there was no freelance budget.
So I decided to launch my own publication. But to make it work I needed to be paid.
I came up with the concept for gazettabyte, put together an editorial calendar and approached several firms within the optical industry to see if they would back the venture. It certainly helped that I have covered the optical industry as an analyst and journalist for the last decade — these were companies I knew and had worked with.
The response has been hugely encouraging. I now have nine sponsors whose backing gives me a year to establish the site.
I plan to write eight in-depth (3000-word) articles on industry trends, some company-specific features and a range of shorter pieces - gazettabits (yes, I really do have such a tag category on the site).
No more surprise phone calls telling me to stop writing as the magazine is about to fold
One concern I have is that with eight features spread over a year, will the regular copy make readers return? Another issue is how much time the site will require. I want to remain a freelancer and cover other topics too. However much time I estimate, I expect the site will require more. Even the writing bothers me – I no longer have talented editors to improve my copy.
But I do feel privileged. I now have my own title. No more surprise phone calls telling me to stop writing as the magazine is about to fold.
Roy H Rubensteinhttp://www.gazettabyte.com