February 1, 2009
The Retro Report
Dear Retro fans
I told you I’d be in touch when we had news about the re-launch of Motorcycle Retro, and here we go!
First off, the Retro re-launch is moving ahead nicely, and is on track for a May release of issue one. We’ve got a printer and an art director lined up, a business plan that makes a bit of sense and, best of all, plenty of friends – that’s you! – who seem as jacked up as I am about this project. I can’t thank you all enough for the support and kind words you’ve sent my way over the last few months. I’ve taken to calling you the Retro Army!
The big news is twofold: Our website is finally live (in limited scope at this point), and we’ve begun taking subscription orders! Yep, all true. You can now subscribe to Motorcycle Retro! The easy way is click on the website – www.motorcycleretro.com – and download the PDF order form, which you then fill out and mail along with a check or money order to the address on the form. (The address is also below.) Once our full site goes live sometime at the end of February we’ll add secure credit-card transaction capability. I’ll be sure to contact you when that happens.
Subscriptions are absolutely vital to our success. If we can generate enough of them in the next few months – a few thousand – the magazine will break even financially, which means it’ll very likely be around for a good long time going forward. And that’s a Good Thing given the amount of kick-ass retro grist out there waiting to be written about and photographed.
Another key for us, and one connected directly to the point above, is you – the Retro Army – spreading the word about this magazine to every retro-oriented enthusiast you know. Whether by word-of-mouth, email, internet forums or via your local bike or riding club, every recommendation helps us immensely. Over the last year and a half, I’ve found that selling our unique retro concept is easy; as soon as folks see the magazine and the cool, ’60s/’70s/’80s stuff we’re covering, they immediately understand – and want the magazine. There’s no hard sell here, so the key is to let as many folks as possible know about us. Once they see what we’re doing, they’re in. And that sort of exposure is what’s going to keep us in the black – and publishing – as we go forward. So please help us if you can.
We’re not planning to sell Retro via traditional newsstands, but we will eventually have the magazine available in select motorcycle shops. So, bike shops and dealers wanting to sell Motorcycle Retro in their stores should shoot me an email, as we’ll have info on wholesale packages available for them in a few weeks time.
We’ve got a heck of a story list lined up for this year’s issues, including features on Malcolm Smith, Hodaka, Honda’s Interceptors, Roger DeCoster, Suzuki’s MX history and T-series/GT two strokes, 50 years of Honda ads, The Roberts Chronicles, Yamaha TZ750, Jeff Ward’s early years, Eddie Lawson, Freddie Spencer, Team Honda’s domination of the 1970s and ’80s, Suzuki’s Water Buffalo, the Japanese Turbos, Honda’s CBX, Mini Trail and Trail 70, Tecumseh/Briggs and Stratton minibikes, and a whole lot more. I’d also like to hear what stories you’d like to read, so ping me with your ideas.
Again, thanks for the support, and please help us spread the word. I’ll be back in touch when there’s more Retro news to report.
Mitch BoehmEditor/PublisherMotorcycle RetroPO Box 202Palos Verdes Estates, CA email@example.com
To subscribe:Simply go to our website, download the PDF order form, and mail the form and your check or money order to the address above. Please make checks and money orders payable to Motorcycle Retro.
For advertising information, please contact Mitch Boehm at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Here’s an advanced copy of the press release we’re sending out early next week!
Motorcyclist Retro to be re-launched as Motorcycle Retro!
Motorcyclist Retro, the popular vintage/classic magazine that debuted with a bang in early 2008 but was shelved by publisher Source Interlink in December ’08 due to the economy, has been resurrected privately – as Motorcycle Retro.
“Despite selling 20,000-plus copies of its first and second issues, and generating a serious buzz in the classic/vintage market,” says long-time Motorcyclist and Motorcyclist Retro editor Mitch Boehm, “the publisher wanted to focus on its core titles in these tough economic times. Which is understandable.
Motorcycle Retro will be basically the same magazine with a different name, Boehm says. “We’ll offer high quality paper and printing, superb photography, in-depth reporting and quality writing, with dirt, street and mini coverage of the two-decade era between ’65 and ’85.”
The difference is that subscriptions are available right now on the magazine’s new website – www.motorcycleretro.com. While the main site won’t debut until late February, a home page with basic subscription info has been posted so folks can see what we’re about and, hopefully, subscribe.
“Our business model is wholly different than the big-magazine industry standard,” says Boehm. “Instead of going newsstand-only at the beginning we’re offering subscriptions right away, which is what our readers want. Driving or riding around looking for an issue isn’t something they enjoyed, so we’re offering subscriptions immediately and mailing issues in a protective polybag so they arrive on doorsteps and in mailboxes in pristine shape – just the way folks want it.”
Frequency will be quarterly (4x/year), and yearly subs will cost $39.99.
“I’m betting a decent portion of my retirement on this venture,” Boehm says, “and it’s definitely scary. But after seeing how well the original Retro sold, and after speaking with advertisers who told me their phones rang off the hook (Race Tech’s Paul Thede, for one), I know the market for this magazine is strong. And from the thousands of notes I’ve gotten over the last year or so, I know the enthusiast base is solid, excited and loyal.”
“The time couldn’t be more right for a new retro-themed bike magazine,” Boehm adds. “There are some pretty good vintage magazines, but they’ve traditionally focused on European and American motorcycles. There hasn’t been much attention paid to the Japanese bikes and the two-decade period from the mid-’60s through the early ’80s, when motorcycling exploded across the country with the help of baby-boomers.
“We aim to change that a little, as Motorcycle Retro is largely Japanese-based, at least on the street side. European brands figured more prominently on the motocross side, so we’ll feature plenty of them in our dirt coverage. As before, we’ll dig for the background stories surrounding the bikes, people and culture of motorcycling’s Glory Days, and we’ll continue to make these dirt and streetbikes relevant in today’s environment.”
For more information on Motorcycle Retro, click www.motorcycleretro.com or shoot Boehm an email at email@example.com.