Bearded Dragon Vs. The Thorny Devil
Imagine you are a REPTILES magazine editor, and it’s time to create the editorial calendar. I talked about the process in my May 15 blog, so you know what this entails. If you don’t know, get back in those archives and read that blog! We’re not archiving them for nothing, after all (are we?). When deciding upon article topics, how often should you publish an article about reptiles that are seldom kept?
Because the magazine is meant to cover all reptiles, REPTILES also publishes articles about species that are not common in captivity, such as thorny devils.
This is a dilemma we sometimes encounter when choosing article topics. On the one hand, we want REPTILES magazine articles to appeal to a broad reader base. We know which species are the most popular pet species so we of course want to publish articles about them. You know the species I mean…bearded dragons, boa constrictors, leopard geckos, red-eared sliders and all the other faves. Lots of people keep these animals so the hope is that lots of people will enjoy reading about them.
The other thing to remember about this is we figure we need to revisit these animals every so often, for new readers who may not have seen previous articles about them. That’s why long-time subscribers may see numerous articles about the most popular pet species over the course of their subscriptions (depending on the duration of their subscriptions, of course).
Then there are the reptiles and amphibians that are not as commonly kept in captivity. This would be reptiles such as the thorny devil (I had to mention the thorny devil, because I used it in my title, after all); venomous reptiles such as the Gila monster; sea turtles, etc. Our feeling regarding animals such as this is that they are very interesting, the magazine is meant to cover all reptiles, and as such they also have a place within its pages. But we do try to run more “popular pet” articles than “interesting animals that are not widely kept” features.
We ran a poll on ReptileChannel recently, asking respondents to rate the type of information they would like to see more of in REPTILES. The number one choice? People want to see more articles about rare and unusual reptiles. Seeing that makes me wonder who the majority of poll respondents were, and whether they were comprised mostly of REPTILES subscribers who have already read what they consider too many articles about the most common species. Are they fed up?
Rest assured REPTILES will always include articles about fascinating reptiles and amphibians, whether or not they are commonly found in captivity. The overall slant of the magazine will likely continue to be toward the animals that people keep, but we always plan to include enough of the other type to keep things interesting for everybody.