Last month's theme was about how to get your truck featured, or even placed on the cover of this fine publication, and we have heard from several readers that the only way to get a truck featured on the cover is to have it be corporately owned, (i.e. General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Daimler-Chrysler). The truth is, yes, we do occasionally feature and put on the cover trucks that are corporately owned. But the reality is, rarely will a corporation go to the extreme like a privately owned truck owner will. Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course, but these same exceptions apply to just about any enthusiast-based publication. Even Hot Rod magazine, the title that started the entire aftermarket parts industry, will place corporate-owned vehicles on its cover. Check out past issues highlighting the still unreleased '09 Chevrolet Camaro. Also, when the Mustang or new Silverado first came out, the only ones available to the magazine publishing world were those owned by Ford or GM.
Consider this: once these vehicles have been out in the public for awhile, someone in the aftermarket will get their hands on them, and soon enough, one of these newly modified vehicles will make its appearance on the cover of an enthusiast-niche publication such as Truckin'. Why do I address these issues? The answer is simple: we are a publication based exclusively on trucks, around trucks, for trucks, and lifestyles catering to trucks. We consider a truck pretty much anything with a bed, hence our slightly out of the ordinary '65 Mini Cooper truck we ran in Volume 33, Issue 1. It wasn't for everyone's tastes. But for those who did like it, it once again proved our commitment to feature trucks of the unique, even though they may not be so normal.
One area we are often murdered in is our Mini Truckin' section. We often receive letters from readers stating we do not do enough coverage of foreign-based trucks-we only feature Chevrolet S-10s or Ford Rangers. However, it is the same argument staff members have here when we pick feature vehicles. You see, roughly 75-percent of the aftermarket based products are manufactured for GM based vehicles. At the shows we attend where we get our feature and cover trucks, the dominant vehicle in attendance will be wearing a Bow Tie. Trust us, we are always on the look out for vehicles other than Chevrolet's. It is hard for us, as well as for the readers, to build trucks that aren't Bow Ties. For this reason, we often attend all-Ford or all-Dodge shows. However, finding feature and cover-worthy trucks at these events is often difficult.
One other point we are hammered on is the lifted vs. lowered truck themes. According to reader surveys aimed exclusively at our premium newsstand buyers, readers wanted to see more cutting-edge lifted trucks. However, our loyal subscribers wanted more dropped-in-the-weeds lowered trucks. So, trying to find that perfect blend is always a problem. It is the blending of an issue that makes any magazine a success. If one title is too niched down, then what is left once that niche finally subsides? The publication will soon be out of business.
Enthusiast magazines are like fashion trends, certain niches or themes come in vogue and then go out of style, while others will pretty much hold true for generations to come. Such is the case with flame designs on trucks. Flamed paint schemes have been around almost since the beginning of hot rodding. We have seen just about every style, variation, and color palate of flames known to the automotive world, however, the flame designs kind of come and go. Flames are not what they once were two years ago. But, I'd be willing to bet, within a few years, flames will come back just as strong as they once were. Is that a bad thing, stylistically? I don't know, but when you see a perfect flame job with just the right suspension stance, wheels and tires-if you truly are a car or truck guy-you simply have to sit back and marvel at the excellence before your eyes.
Are those questions finally laid to rest about how to get your vehicle featured within our pages? Those are questions we love to answer, as well as any other enthusiast-based publication. Trust me, if you have a hobby, there is a title out there for you. Hit the local newsstand and check out one for yourself, but don't forget to come back to the biggest and best newsstand publication out there, yes, the "World's Leading Truck Publication."