'Self-help glossy' passes first checkup by rivals

By Alyson Fixter

New launch Psychologies, nicknamed the first self-help glossy, has
been praised as “fresh” and “interesting” by rival editors, although
with the caveat that it is “far from perfect”.

In a notoriously bitchy industry, the magazine that is bucking the
trend for focusing on celebrity gossip and shopping has also defied
expectations by being largely welcomed by peers.

Published on 7
September, the magazine is aimed at women who want to understand more
about themselves and others around them, and includes articles on
subjects ranging from improving mother-daughter relationships to the
importance of expressing your anger.

Sue James, editor of IPC’s
Woman & Home, which is aimed at a similar age group, said: “They
have some great people in it and it’s interesting that it’s come out at
this point, when there’s definitely a thirst for self-help, especially
with Paul McKenna topping the book charts.

“The word count is
quite high, which really bucks the trend in magazines at the moment.
But it does have quite a manual feel to it, with lots of experts.Just
flicking through it, I felt a bit left out because there were a lot of
people talking about things I wasn’t quite sure about.”

Lindsay
Nicholson, editor of NatMags’ Good Housekeeping, said: “It’s got
something. Intelligent magazines are few and far between, and I welcome
a new one into the market.

“It’s not perfect – far from it. It
lacks pace, can be visually repetitive and some of the writing is
clunky, but it’s a stimulating read and has a freshness that so many
new launches promise, but fail to deliver.”

Psychologies editor Maureen Rice said industry reaction so far had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

She added: “A couple of people haven’t liked it personally, but concede that it is serving a real gap in the market.

“Where
they haven’t enjoyed it as consumers, they’ve said there’s too much to
read or they would feel very self absorbed if they bought it.

“These are fair comments – I expect the content to polarise people.

“Bad magazines are those that don’t irritate or excite anyone, not the ones where people love or hate them.”

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