Culinary News

Making a Magazine: Serving Readers & Advertisers

Chris McDonell
Written by Chris McDonell

There is nothing more exciting, and terrifying, than a blank sheet of paper for a writer. Of course, for most of us today, that is a blinking cursor in a new Word document on an otherwise empty screen. Like a skier looking down on an untracked hill of powder snow, we plunge ahead anticipating an exciting run but are somewhat unsure of how we will successfully navigate our way down the page. The creative process is underway.

Each issue of Eatdrink magazine begins something like this. We set forth with some definite ideas in mind, but each writer is on an independent journey with their contribution. Their individual ski runs conclude with an emailed file to our Managing Editor Cecilia Buy, who takes a keen eye to their submission, ascertaining that they fulfilled their assignment with the grace we expect. Kym Wolfe is our diligent proofreader. Our Food Editor Bryan Lavery has a look as well, with the goal of ensuring that we are accessible but also accurate and appealing to the sophisticated diners and drinkers in our readership. 

While all this has been going on, our salespeople have been working on the other side of this business. While we place our editorial content as primary to maintaining our relevancy to readers, our advertisers are the lifeblood of the operation. Without them, we can’t afford to publish our efforts. 

Each ad is like each story, with a goal in mind, a beginning and an end. Studies have proven that the magazine reader sees the ads as integral to their experience of the magazine; they pay attention to them. In most other media, ads must work twice as hard to engage the reader, whose goal there is NOT to pay attention to the ads or commercials. Magazine ads have a definite advantage.

About half of the ads in Eatdrink are supplied to us, and for the rest, we are directly engaged in the creative process of making a successful ad. Ultimately, readers make the decision on where they spend their money, but we give them plenty of enticing ideas. 

Marrying the ads with the editorial in a way that is pleasing for the reader and effective for the advertiser is the final task. We engage with readers on our website and through social media, and take that VERY seriously, but the magazine is the most tangible expression of our relationship with readers and advertisers. I hope everyone is as pleased with this first issue for 2019 as we are. That is our goal.



About the author

Chris McDonell

Chris McDonell

Eatdrink founder and publisher Chris McDonell brings integrity and a widely diverse background in publishing to the task of making Eatdrink a vital part of the food and drink scene in Southwestern Ontario.

Dear Eatdrink Community Members,

Eatdrink is officially on hiatus as far as publishing a magazine but we look forward to our return once we can all safely be together again. In the meantime, please follow Eatdrinkmag on social media, where we continue to promote local businesses that offer timely and creative ways to enjoy quality food and drink to appreciative customers. We are grieving the devastating toll that this pandemic is taking, with precious lives lost and businesses and creative people facing crises that are entirely out of their control. We are all in this together, so let’s support local initiatives as much as possible, now and forever.

Once conditions allow safe social interaction, including dining out, shopping and travel, Eatdrink will be back in magazine form to help businesses and readers find each other and celebrate our rich culinary culture.

Today, the future is uncertain but we anticipate tremendous consumer enthusiasm once people get back to work and play. We are looking at all the various ways that we can support financially-stressed businesses with affordable and effective ways to help them get back on their feet. Readers will find the Eatdrink magazine they love, with a few new and interesting changes, still free and worth reading cover to cover.

Take Care,
Chris McDonell