Sitting at a stoplight a couple of months ago, I picked up an email on my Blackberry from fellow travel writer Michelle Strashoon with her thoughts about launching a new, glossy travel magazine in digital form.
Michelle's message was filled with such enthusiasm I almost pulled over immediately to read the details. Fortunately, my safety-conscious daughter was in the passenger seat and willing to read Michelle's email aloud so we could continue our drive home from school. I dialed Michelle as soon as possible to learn more about the project and was thrilled when she accepted my pitch to write about my recent culinary experiences in Paris from the point of view of a frugal foodie.
Not everyone shared Michelle's optimism about the viability of a niche-free, solely digital travel publication in this economic environment. Undaunted, she followed through and brought out the premier edition of HipCompass Escapes on April 15, an impressive 96-page launch issue supported by numerous high-end advertisers willing to take a chance on the new venture.
Despite all efforts by Michelle and her team to plan for adequate bandwidth in support of the launch, there were a few technical glitches during the first 48 or so hours that prevented eager subscribers from accessing the publication. Apparently, distributor Zinio.com, host of the online editions of such mainstream periodicals as Business Week, Reader's Digest, Esquire, Playboy, PC Magazine, and Macworld, hadn't reckoned on the publication's immediate surge in popularity.
After those first few days of complaints from frustrated readers who couldn't access the publication, it's now time for me to invite all my readers to sign up for a free subscription to HipCompass Escapes.
The magazine is a quarterly, so we are already pressed to decide where the Frugal Foodie will dine next.