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Do It Yourself—But Watch It First

Though there were more than a few valiant attempts during the years, no do-it-yourself magazine for high-performance powerboat owners ever really succeeded. The best of them was the curiously titled “Family and Performance Boating.” But after a semi-solid run it, too, went dark.

Why did all those magazines fail when reader survey upon reader survey consistently ranked do-it-yourself articles at the top of the wish-list? Seems like a no-brainer, an easy recipe for success, right?

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A new website loaded with do-it-yourself videos for go-fast powerboat owners could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Because they were magazines. Do-it-yourself titles are among the most difficult and time-consuming magazines to produce. Even the most simple projects need to be laid out with multiple, sequential images supported by corresponding captions and supporting body text for the project at hand. Someone actually has to do the work while a photographer follows him or her to capture every major step, which slows an already glacial process.

And if the handyman doesn’t also happen to be a good writer, another person needs to be there the entire time taking notes for the story he or she will write later.

In short, one DIY story can take months to produce, which makes producing a monthly DIY magazine a mighty tall order. Combine that with the traditional lack of advertising support—despite reader demand—for such ventures and you have what was a longstanding recipe for failure, at least in the go-fast boating publication world.

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