Thursday, March 31, 2016

For Magazines, This Will Be the Summer of Trump

I'm a huge fan of the silly, fake news stories published every April Fools Day by printing-industry web site WhatTheyThink? Last year's "50 shades of grayscale" piece had me rolling on the floor. 

I agreed to join in the fun and contribute an article to this year's April Fools Edition. That, in turn, inspired more ideas for fiction-is-barely-stranger-than-truth articles. Here's the first one:

Wait 'til you see the sequel!
Buoyed by the pre-publication success of A Child’s First Book of Trump, the American magazine industry is planning a host of special Trump-themed issues for this summer.

Industry sources say they have seen cover mockups this week for several Trump-inspired bookazines, including a “Color Me Orange” adult coloring book, The Family Handyman’s “DIY Walls”, Celebrity Hairstyles’ “Sexy Combovers,” and a new annual, “The Almanac of American Bankruptcies.”

Newsweek is reportedly in negotiations with the Trump campaign to write a sequel to its “Your Amazing Body” bookazine that will be called “My Amazing Body.” And Life is already going the sequel route, with a follow-up to its “Strange But True” issue.

Playboy, meanwhile, is developing a "Trumpazine" to be called "Schlonged: The Nearly Naked Guide to The Donald's Wives, Girlfriends, and One-Night Stands."

What about New KKKids on the Block?
Just yesterday, Rolling Stone blasted out a “small hands on deck” memo to its music writers to get cracking on a special issue focusing on Trump tribute bands. Featured groups will include Bad Companies; The Notorious B.I.G.O.T; Bare Naked First Lady; Earth, Wind, and You’re Fired; The Sexist Pistols; The Whites-Only Stripes, Rage Against the Muslims; Hair Supply; and Third Eye Reich. A photo essay will take readers into the recording studio where Pink Fraud is recording “Another Prick in the Wall.”

Same headline on the sequel
A Fast Company editor confirmed that the new-age business title is working on a special called “You’re Fired: The Brand Called ‘You’ Is a Real Loser.” And The Bridge World is working on its first-ever bookazine, to be called simply “Trumped”.

The Trumpification of the magazine industry started early this week when newsstand consultant Joe (“Mr. Foredeck”) Berger tweeted, “Holy smokes! ‘A Child’s 1st Book of Trump’ is for real! So that means the #bookazine is not all that far behind.”

“It was a joke,” Berger says. Never mind. Publishers, never wanting to miss out on a “huge” trend or on another way to undercut sales of their regular monthly and weekly titles, quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

Trumpmania is even creating some strange bedfellows: Ebony and People En Espanol are reportedly collaborating for the first time -- on a special bilingual guide to living and working in Canada.