MI6 Declassified editor David Smith talks about the debut issue of the new full colour magazine celebrating James Bond and beyond...

Interview With The MI6 Declassified Editor
11th December 2007

In late October, a new full colour magazine celebrating the world of James Bond and beyond launched its debut issue. MI6 caught up with David Smith, editor of MI6 Declassified, to talk about the venture...

In the current age of the Internet, what was the thinking behind publishing a magazine?
The Internet has been great for James Bond fans, with many great sites covering the franchise and it has enabled more people than ever to discuss 007. But there have been many cries for well-produced print magazines specialising in the world of Bond. The feedback has been quite unanimous – nothing beats holding a glossy magazine in your hand.

MI6 Declassified is produced to be ‘timeless’ collectible, so there is nothing that will date in the months and years to come. We kept away from covering news and current events – the websites are best at that and timelier. The magazine is something you can put on your bookshelf and come back to and it will still be relevant.

What are the magazine’s priorities for coverage?
The one priority is to cover all aspects of the Bond canon, not just the films. There are significant portions of the fan community who enjoy the books, comics, games or collecting aspects too, and these are often overlooked.

Each issue will have content exploring these areas, and a few more. As films are the most popular aspect, these will often form the basis for lead features, but I will work to ensure nothing is overlooked.

The design is quite contemporary. Can you tell us about how this evolved?
Simply, we were after a fresh look for MI6 Declassified that readers will not have seen before. The newsstand movie magazines rely more and more on full-page pictorials and only a few dozen words. We wanted to strike a balance between the impact of great photographs whilst delivering a high word count, and still keeping a light an airy feel to the layout.


The Bond films have always been about high production values and “putting every dollar on the screen”, and we wanted to echo that philosophy in print. At first it sounded like an impossible design task, but as you will see in issue #1, I think we nailed it.

There are also no fillers in MI6 Declassified. Most newsstand magazines these days have adverts on alternate pages, but the innards of issue #1 are purely features. Although the page count of issue #1 was relatively small at 24, we focused on quality over quantity. Launching a new print magazine is an expensive and daunting task, so we had to aim at something achievable and succeed rather than be over ambitious and fail. As the magazine matures, we expect it will grow, but our focus will always be on maintaining high production and value for money rather than padding the pages. We hope the magazine has a big impact in the fan community, and with continued support we hope to develop MI6 Declassified into a bigger and better publication.

Why are there no subscriptions at this time?
Historically, magazines have relied on subscriptions, and before the Internet pervaded every household, it was a sensible way to maintain a readership. But the world has changed, and the per-issue online ordering allows readers to purchase issues as they are released, without having to stump up their money up front. More and more things are moving to a pay-as-you-go model, and we think this will work well for the magazine. To further simplify matters, we rolled worldwide shipping and handling in to the price too.

It would have been easy to use a traditional method, but the mantra of this publication has been to bring forward a fresh approach, and the way it’s purchased is just an extension of that. By offering the magazine for sale online exclusively, the cover price is also kept down, as there are no distributors or middlemen in-between the magazine and you the reader.

What can we expect in future issues?
As 2007 rounds out, there is a lot to look forward to next year, with Daniel Craig’s second outing Bond 22, a new continuation novel Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, the fifth and last novel in the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson, a new next-generation videogame from Activision, and the Ian Fleming centenary celebrations. 2008 is shaping up to be one of the busiest years of Bondage ever, and MI6 Declassified will be adding to that slate of events to look forward to.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I hope that readers of this site will support MI6 Declassified by placing an order online at mi6confidential.com. Issue #1 is selling fast, and as past 007 publications have proven, is likely to sell for several times the cover price on Ebay in the years to come. So, the time is now! And for those who have already received their copy, please send feedback to the team (click here) so we can improve forthcoming issues. We enjoy hearing from everyone and that information helps shape what happens in the future.

Issue #1 is now shipping around the world. To order online, visit www.mi6confidential.com

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