Tuesday, March 9, 2010


There is a new publication from New in Chess with the title New in Chess, The First 25 Years (an Anthology 1984-2009) by Steve Giddins.

I read NIC from near its beginning when Wim Andriessen was the editor&publisher and everything was black and white and there was quite a few pen and ink drawings. Then it changed format and eventually again to color. I still read it on occasion.

The lead off to promote says:
"No other magazine in chess history can boast such a glittering array of world class grandmasters amongst its regular contributors."

Probably true in totality though I remember Chess when Wood published it and even somewhat now under other hands. Many different top class writers and not all of them grandmasters (which does not make one a great writer).

Also claimed is:
"...NIC has been the most popular and widely-read chess magazine in the world..."
This is probably not true unless one stretches the phrase 'widely-read' which can include non-subscribers. Chess Life makes the same claim. Last I hear NIC Magazine had somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 subscribers. How many others read it I do not know.

Also promoted for the book are the many interviews which include nine world champions (including non-FIDE). I think this has been done to death and it will take up a lot of space.

How many leading NIC grandmaster readers actually pay to subscribe? Is it connected with game annotations? What are the rules?

If I get one chief comment about the NIC mag is that it is often "over my head." That's why I publish The Chess Reports (and still a few claim TCR is over their head!) I'll admit, I don't read NIC Magazine for the games.

If you haven't read NIC Magazine before (or read it much) you will love this book (400 pages, $29.95 retail). If they send me a review copy, I will cover it for you to give you a better idea of the contents.

It usually takes a bit of time to be received here in the USA. I don't expect it for 7-8 weeks but I have asked the distributor for any updated details.

Advertising and PR is always an "iffy" subject. How can one get the troops excited about a new publication without lying or seriously exaggerating? Friend Seth Godin wrote a book called All Marketers Are Liars. It was a good book but he changed the title to All Marketers Tell Stories, is that lying? Not really, he's just trying to be clear.

Actually, telling the truth is good enough and some have a better handle of creating interest, while doing that, than others. People have different "keywords" in their brain's lexicon which trigger a "buy" or "might buy" reaction. I spend several hours sometimes writing an ad, such as for The Chess Reports in the back pages of The Chess Gospel According to John* for example. Then I go to sleep, and in the morning it's not unusual for a little more tweaking to be needed. It goes to the printer today and hopefully I will have a proof by the end of the week.

Some PR is understated, other marketings are overstated, and it doesn't bother me if I am the higher-end of "middle of the road" because I think that is more accurate... and I love to tell stories.


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