The new US based MINI magazine launches today and we’ve got an exclusive Q&A with its co-founders Barry Brazier and Gary Anderson:
Q: What made you decide to start a North American MINI magazine?
My decision came after my late 2004 research into the potential for a MINI Cooper magazine as a business venture. Starting a MINI magazine looked strong, so I started talking to everyone involved in the MINI hobby and business early this year. I found editor Gary Anderson in April (thanks Mike!), and haven’t looked back since then. ‘
I’ve been fortunate to make some great business and personal relationships with just about everyone involved in the MINI community, from our advertisers to many club personnel that have become our private “think tank” these last few months. It’s been an E-ticket ride, with the help of too many to list here.
Q: How did the name MC’ come to be?
Knowing from years of experience about using Trademarked or Copyrighted brand names, Gary and I were batting names for the magazine around (we had over 30 we liked), and the lightbulb went on for us both. MC’ stands for the brand, the two model heritages, and certainly tested well with friends and every miniac we had input from. Yes, we know there’s dozens of MC’ used, but they are engineering, design and other fields of endeavors, not magazine publishing. Besides MC’ is certainly memorable!
Q: What can we expect from the magazine in the first year?
From our debut issue, the editorial content of MC’ will reflect the fun, versatility, and independence that the Mini/MINI brand has always represented. Each issue will focus more than 3/4 of the pages on the new MINI and about 1/4 on the classic Mini. Within those general parameters, our features will always include a feature car that is currently owned and driven, an “over-the-top” car that shows the ultimate possibilities of the marque, at least one major event report, a technical do-it-yourself level article, a new product report, an article on some type of MINI/Mini activity, a racing article, a close-up on an interesting owner and his/her cars, a heritage article on the history of the Mini, and reports on clubs and their activities.
In addition, we’ll feature columns by Graham Robson on current happenings at MINI headquarters in England, by Cindy Shaffer on her particular slant on MINI ownership and Mini vintage racing, by the editor and by the publisher, as well as book reviews, new product announcements, MINI news and a calendar of upcoming events.
Q: When can we expect the first issue and how much will it cost per issue and annually?
Our promotionals begin with Motoring File and North American Motoring, and gain steam with several advertisers that are helping us to launch. Our website, www.MC2magazine.com is now running and able to provide information on us, along with a place to review our subscription offers. We’ll be loading some actual pages from our debut issue on to the site through November when our first issue goes to press.
MC’ will be available at private and chain bookstores throughout North America, as well as MINI dealers and private retailers/shops for $5.95. Canada will be $7.”
MC’ subscription rates will be $24.95 for six issues. The first four issues will be in the mail by the end of 2006. We accept Visa and MasterCard through our secure site. In addition, we’ll have an 800 number for accepting subscriptions using those cards, and a P.O. box for checks. The website will have all the details.
For Charter Subscribers (those with paid sub’s before we mail the debut issue), we’re designing and printing a limited edition of a few thousand MC’ t-shirts. Produced with the help of Motor Swag team, these will be mailed to Charter Subscribers shortly after the debut issue.
Wanting to offer our community the maximum value from their magazine, Charter Subscribers will be offered privileges at our planned e-zine/newsletter, interactions with advertisers for testing new products, and some ideas we’re tinkering with. It’s about relationships, so e-mails
For those wanting to review the magazine before subscribing, we’ll have pages loaded on to the website from our debut issue. In addition, your local MINI dealer will have issues available.
Canadian subscriptions will be US$32. Other foreign subscribers will be US$40 via airmail. All non-US subscriptions are payable by credit card only.
Q: It sounds like you most of the core contributors have quite a lot of publishing experience.’ ‘What are some of the publishing highlights of the group you’ve assembled?’
Gary Anderson was publisher and editor of British Car Magazine for nine years, and the founding editor of Classic Motorsports magazine. In addition, he is the co-author and publisher of “Motoring, Getting the Maximum from Your New MINI” which was published in January, and the Austin-Healey Restoration Guide. In addition, he writes for Sports Car Market magazine and Sports Car International. Graham Robson, who lives in England, has written over 100 books on classic cars, including several books on the classic and new MINI. Cindy Shaffer has written for Victory Lane magazine and is well-known in the Mini vintage racing world.
Barry Brazier has 30 years experience writing about, driving and photographing most everything from Bigfoot 4×4 to exotics, as well as two books published in Japanese and English. Since 1977, he’s written for about 91 titles in 14 languages. MC’ is his first ownership venture.
Q: Do you have any plans with regard to working with MINI clubs in the US?
We intend to work closely with the MINI clubs in the U.S. and Canada, highlighting the clubs themselves and their activities, as well as drawing on their leadership for information on what’s happening in the Mini world. Since there is no national club magazine for Mini/MINI owners, we’d like to do our part in filling that gap by publicizing this important foundation of the Mini hobby.’
Q: How do you plan working with the MINI community in terms of content?
We’ll be cooperating with the MINI websites, Mini clubs leadership, and the owner/operators of the shops that service, maintain, and develop parts for new and old Minis. We’ll be encouraging amateur and professional journalists with interests in new and classic Minis to submit material for us to publish.
Q: Are there any other automotive publications out there that you look to for some kind of inspiration?
For look and vitality, Gary likes Octane magazine, Road & Track, Automobile, and Classic and Sports Car. For its spirit of independence, he likes Sports Car Market magazine. Practical Classics is a good example of how to do good technical features.
I admire Road & Track and others Gary lists, with Britain’s Car Magazine, German Auto Motor und Sport, and the Italian Quattrouote, as I once contributed to them.
Q: How do you plan to differentiate your self and/or your approach from magazine’s such as GoMINI?
Since GO MINI ceased publication a few weeks ago, MC’ is alone. This isn’t giving us a competitor to aim for.’ We’ll not be following their example as to lifestyle and general editorial. We’re a hobby-based publication, with a focus on cars, owners, suppliers and services shops in North America. MC’ will be filled with as many facets of the hobby as we can showcase each issue.
Q: What are your goals for MC’ over the next few years?
To earn our readers trust, with complete and concise editorial content. To provide them a place to learn about their classic and new MINI hobby, and who’s waiting to help them with that process.
We’re tinkering with some colleagues about events to build up to the 50th Anniversary. Stay tuned to our website for exclusive and innovative ideas from companies with fresh MINI-related products and services, too.
Q: Finally – when and where can people subscribe?
www.MC2magazine.com is alive and well, and getting better every week!’