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
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
for lead features, but I will work to ensure nothing
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
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
so we had to aim at something achievable and succeed rather
than be over ambitious and fail. As the magazine matures, we
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,
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
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
Declassified - Magazine Website