Partwork Publications: A Lucrative Business

Happy New Year! It’s January, and ‘tis the season for your television to be bombarded with adverts for partwork publications.

Partwork magazines often allow you to build up replica models

2014 has already seen the release of the Star Wars Fact File partwork from DeAgostini and the Pirates of the Caribbean collection from Hachette, among several other high-profile partwork launches.

These serialised and highly collectible magazines are famous for including everything from figurines to baking equipment to jewellery to model kit parts with each issue, allowing them to build up models and collections over weeks, months and years.

The Ancestry of Partworks

The foundations of partwork magazines lie within the origins of serialised printing. Before printing was invented, students in Europe could rent individual sections of a large book. Rather than waiting for the previous reader to finish copying the whole book, the Pecia System enabled several students to copy the book incrementally at the same time.

Later, printing companies would begin releasing weekly or monthly parts of books as an alternative to selling complete books, as they could maintain a steady income and also attract customers who didn’t have the money to purchase the complete book in one go.

Why Do Publishers Choose Partworks?

Partworks are a risky move for publishers. The release of the very first issue is often the only opportunity publishers have to establish a readership – if potential buyers miss the first part of the collection, there’s little chance they will start collecting the rest of the series. It’s for this reason that a lot of marketing muscle is put behind the launch of a partwork title, including intense television advertising.

However, if readers are hooked on the first issue, the magazine will be left with a loyal readership that will continue to purchase the magazine for the length of the print run. It’s for this reason that the partwork sector is highly lucrative.

If you’re planning a partwork series for 2015, Gould Publications can help you choose the perfect paper grade. Call us today on 01372 887395 to find out more.