βeta Male - a lifestyle mag for the 21st Century gentleman
βeta Male - a lifestyle mag for the 21st Century gentleman
βeta Male: a luxurious print magazine for the 21st Century gentleman in the second stage of his adult life.
βeta Male: a luxurious print magazine for the 21st Century gentleman in the second stage of his adult life. Read more
About this project
You can be a star of this story. Rather than making a magazine for you, it's about making one with you. Focused, independent, micro-media.
Let's kick against the decline of corporate magazines and produce the most amazing new mens' title seen in years. Together we can disrupt the established distribution model and make a title directly for a dedicated group of men that love the medium of magazines in all its forms.
Who's this magazine for?
This project is to create a lifestyle magazine for the 21st Century gentleman: a man in the second stage of his own evolution. I'm calling him, us and the magazine: βeta Mαle.
I've decided to turn this phrase on its head, because the reasons that βetas were disparaged in the past, are now the very reasons why they should be celebrated.
βeta Mαle isn't a derogatory term, I think it's time that we reclaim it.
βeta Mαles know the world, understand its values, are adaptable to its changing landscape, and we do all of this without losing our sense of self.
We're not constantly trying to prove our value in materialistic terms, it’s the time we have and how we spend it that’s important.
We value time above all other things, which means we aren’t ready to waste it or fritter it away. We're open to new possibilities as much as we love traditional ways. We need to progress, but we also contain the respect to acknowledge traditional ways of building, making and doing.
We are focussed.
We are committed.
We have the potential to earn a lot of money, but that’s not our yardstick; we profit because we know how to live life to the full.
And yet there’s something rebellious about us; we challenge the status quo rather than succumb to it. We don't adhere to the basest stereotypes of male behaviour, we know there’s more to us than that.
So that's who I'm aiming this magazine at: us. If you recognise some, or all, of those traits, then this will be a retreat for you.
βeta Mαle magazine is for the dreamers and believers.
What's going to be in it?
Here's (quite a few!) content examples to give you a feel for it...
• The cover: very specifically seasonal, as there are certain commonalities that occur for all of us. This will be based around making the most of the outdoors and our environments.
- Get away from the grind for under £500 - Learn to ride a motorbike - How to do a really cool stag do - Take your wife away in style - River swimming - Take your son to Le Mans - Explore cool places of Britain - Climb Britain’s mountains in a week/once a month - Why Wales is the California of Britain - Do 10 things differently this summer.
• Gentleman Skills - things that every man should know: knife skills – sharpening pencils, whittling sticks, making a bow and arrow. Using the stars to find north. How to act abroad. How to act in new company. Dressing accordingly for an event. Basic social skills. Never eating or running in public!
• Everything to do with drink: Know your beer. Know your wines. Know your ale. Best bottle of red/white for under £10/£20/£50 etc. Pouring scotch into the right glass. Is it ok to drink rosé in public? How to open champagne like a king.
• Cigar 101: hints, tips, what to look out for, what to buy, what accessories to get, how to smoke without looking like a novice.
• Food: How to buy meat. Cooking basic food to perfection (a croque monsieur, a killer breakfast etc). Cheese. How to butcher. How to fillet fish. How to prep veg. Cook the perfect roast. Impress your wife with this dish in half an hour. Seasonal guide: what is seasonal and when. Grow your own veg.
• Your home: Build your own bench. Make a chair. Put up shelves properly. Strip wallpaper like a pro. Build a shed. Build your wife a love bench from drift wood.
• Style: How to wear a pocket square. Different knots to tie in a tie. Do a proper bowtie. What’s the difference between brogues and wingtips? • Can I wear slip-ons?
• Pub of the Month: this is about a different great pub every month, from old man boozers to country gastro eateries.
• Mansheds: A gallery of great mansheds from around the world.
• Dad Tips: Straight up advice on being a dad.
• Entrepreneurs: Great entrepreneurs starting cool new small businesses. This is the anti-Dragon’s Den, where we talk to real people who have chucked everything they have at a project. Inspiring, distracting and something to daydream about if you haven’t got it in you to do it yourself.
• Everything You Need to Know About: Classical music. British history. Shakespeare. Early/60s/70s/80s/90s/00s/Modern cinema. Rock music. Dance music. Opera. Ballet. Space exploration and the moon landings. The assassination of JFK and other historic American stuff.
• Build Stuff for Your Kids: Build a treehouse. Make a rope/tyre swing and rope ladder. Build a bivouac. Make a bear trap (camouflaging a massive hole in the ground essentially). Build a proper campfire and spit roast. Camouflage your kids and make ghillie suits. Build a wattle & daub hut/wigwam. Make a proper bow and arrow. Build a go-kart. Make a stick into a throwing arrow. Make anything with an LED on it!
• Do One Thing Differently Today: Walk the stairs instead of take the lift. Cycle to work/the shops/the pub. Get a bespoke suit. Have a different haircut. Don’t fear the sunbed. Eat something new (foods to try). Buy your wife something she wouldn’t think of.
• Mantivities: Cut throat razor shaving: where to go, what happens, can you do it at home yourself? What to buy and where to get it. Grow a beard: what to expect, what styles there are, grooming, beards from history. Get a tattoo: what to expect, what’s out there, where to go, how to look after it. Pipe smoking: how, where, what, how much?
I could go on about this for a long, long time, but it's probable you've not even got to this point so let's move on.
How did this project come about?
It's come about due to a number of factors, the biggest one being that I love magazines, and have always had a dream to launch my own.
I've been working on this specific magazine idea for about three years now, and it's been in a launchable stage for about a year and a half - I just haven't found anyone who wants to fund it. Yet.
I don't think that it's seen as very cool right now to be wanting to launch a magazine, because the industry as a whole is failing, but I think a lot of that is to do with the fact that a majority of the people who make magazines have forgotten why they are great, stopped believing in them generally, and are running around fretting about the future.
I think it's time for something new.
Anyhow, way back in 1995 I started as editorial assistant on Mountain Biking UK magazine, a chance given to me by some really great people.
And although I got into rather a lot of trouble in those early teenage years - hampering sending issues to press and so on, laughing too much at the wrong moments - generally, I grabbed it and ran.
I remember even back then that I wanted to launch a men's lifestyle magazine. When I was asked what would be in it, I said, 'well, everything.'
Thankfully, you'll be pleased to know that I've honed my idea considerably since then.
How will the money be spent?
The funds raised will be used to make the first ever issue of βeta Mαle magazine, from the ground up. At the moment, it quite literally doesn't exist.
Magazine production will involve initial designs, beyond what I already have, all the way through flat-planning, commissioning of writers/photographers/illustrators and so on, right through to the eventual layout, subbing, printing and distribution.
The budget set will cover all of this, to create a magazine to the standards which are set in my head, and will allow me to carry out the role of editor in my spare time - hence the somewhat lengthy lead time, with an eventual release date of September 2014.
Then obviously, anything above the set baseline funding will be used for future magazine creation. Who knows where we'll get to?
You can check out my blog Beards & Axes where I'll be posting regular updates about what's going on with this project - once I've got something to talk about!
What's the eventual goal?
I'd like to be able to make this into a sustainable, independent magazine that appears on a quarterly basis. I'd like to be able to do print - distributed by direct mail - and iPad versions of it, and I'd like to keep on collaborating with people that I meet through this Kickstarter project to make it better and better.
Thanks for reading, oh and P.S: sorry my video is so shonky, I did it in one take - as you can no doubt tell!
Risks and challenges
I've been the editor on a large number of magazines - my first real editorship was on the mighty Metal Hammer - both in 'real' publishing and in my current role of Senior Editor at a customer publishing house.
I have learnt a lot, with print and digital, and much of that has come through making a large number of mistakes, many of which I cringe at the memory of, but all of those things have helped me to know how to get a magazine done.
A friend of mine has the mantra that is 'do one thing well', and my one thing is being the editor of a magazine.
Inevitably, this project will run up against problems, as all projects do, but I have dealt with probably all that could possibly happen before, so I'm well versed in how to navigate these choppy waters.
With magazines, the biggest problem you face is creating content that your readers will love, but with this project it's going to be much more of a collaboration than me telling you what you want, so I don't have that kind of fear about it.
I've a slight apprehension about the publisher side of this project, as that's where I've not operated alone before, but I know a lot of really great people who are more than willing to help me out, so I believe that it's all going to be ok.
But if you do have any questions, then look me up on Twitter @jamiehibbard. Ask me anything that you want.
Please note: the postage options for outside of the UK are somewhat limited, so I've added a blanket fee. If anyone chooses one of these options, then obviously I'm happy to discuss the exact postage amount required as and when needed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
1. What about print quality, what stock is to be used, and any variations? There are a lot of creative ways to use these things to your advantage.
For the first issue I'm not going to go crazy, just good quality with a bit of weight to it. I can't afford to go spot varnish or foil or mad with textures - however much I would like to!
Also now! I'm planning to do an iPad version straight off the bat, but like someone who loves vinyl, I love a bit of print and I've always dreamt of launching my own print mag. If I wait too much longer the chances will get slimmer and slimmer. It's also decidedly not the right minded thing to do at the moment, launching a print mag, so that has a bit of charm all of its own for me.
3. Isn't the transformation that the industry in going through - leading magazines moving to or putting more focus on digital platforms - worrying you about print?
The magazine industry is putting all of its eggs into the digital basket because they need it to work. Print sales have plummeted so traditional publishing houses are in a huge flap, with massive offices and huge overheads. However, making an indie print mens' mag that sells a few thousand a month is doable right now, launching a new one from a big publisher to sell old school numbers in the 100k+ region is not.
4. What about the emergence of online fashion zines and visual discovery tools like Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Instagram...?
Having a curated large scale experience is probably not going to be that common soon. Why do you need it? You can search for one thing at a time. But I'm talking about making a cause to fight for as much as a product. Men like me have nowhere to go and don't have a group identity. I'd like to give us one (and sell ad space to companies that have no idea how to reach us!).
5. What about art direction and design of the magazine? This is probably a hugely important issue given the target audience.
Distinctly modern but with a very overt nod to traditional magazine design of the past. Think when Grand Designs features someone who fuses a castle with a huge glass living room. So I'm talking beautiful crisp fonts with big sumptuous images that you can lose yourself in. It's all about the images. I want to tell stories about inspiring people who will in turn inspire the reader, so the design will allow those tales the room to breath. I'm going for a very coffee table magazine.
By there not being any. Men's lifestyle magazines are concerned with promulgating the notion that to be a real man you need to earn £100k a month and want to live like James Bond, but we don't and we don't. This will be a magazine, a lifestyle, for real men who maximise every area of their life by making the most of what they have and shooting for their dreams.
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