The success of a new publication is always mysterious – something of an alchemical mix of luck, timing, teamwork, and a splash of madness. To find new readers you need to be daring, to take people by surprise, and thus to run the risk of being misunderstood. No reader actually has prior knowledge of what will appeal to them, of what will bring them satisfaction. All the qualities of a successful newspaper represent as many weaknesses if it fails.
The creation of a publication therefore requires humility along with a good dose of recklessness. Also, the laws of marketing fail to apply to these very particular objects. Readers often turn away from shiny new magazines made to measure according to extortionately expensive surveys and studies. There is a mutual attraction between readers and a paper. You can’t force these things.
On March 24th, 22,000 copies of issue No.1 of 6 Mois were delivered to bookshops for its launch. We were counting on sales of 25,000 copies, and secretly hoped to reach the figure of 30,000. Sales surpassed the most optimistic forecasts.
As these lines are being sent off to the printers, put to bed in the middle of the summer, over 42,000 copies have been sold, and that isn’t the end of it ! We have had to reprint, ration bookshops, adjust deliveries. It has been like a ground swell, deep and regular. Already there are close to 1,000 subscribers – precious encouragement.
In the digital era, the success of 6 Mois shows that the technological revolution is opening up new horizons, including in the press and publishing. A publication such as this would have been inconceivable before the era of the internet. How else could our team have selected, contacted, gathered so many photographers and put together 350 pages at an affordable price in only… six months ?
On the other hand, the abundance of images available by the billion on the internet, in infinite forms, calls for a magazine that takes the time to choose, to build stories, to lay out and to provide captions, to celebrate the work of the authors and give it meaning. 6 Mois is a beautiful object to be leafed through and devoured, to be read and reread, a sensual, fragrant object, to be kept and offered as a gift. It needs no batteries. It is indefinitely available, never obsolete, alive. It is your very own paper friend.
For all these reasons, the 6 Mois team has just one thing to say : “Thanks”, a word expressing gratitude and resolve. We know what remains to be done to bring this magazine to the peak of perfection you are entitled to. It will take time, days and nights, exchanges, encouragement and mistakes, returning to the workbench over and over again.
We are counting on you. We are at the beginning of the adventure and need your support. You are also our goad. You will be here to pique our curiosity, to react, to challenge. “To be alive, a paper must always displease 10% of its readers, so long as it’s not always the same ones,” used to say the writer Charles Péguy. From one century to the next the law of the reader is set in stone : you are our only judges.