When I got my December issue of Wired magazine, it came with a bonus “Movies Rock” supplement. I spotted the headline “Martin Scorsese Unleashes His New Rolling Stones Concert Film” on the front cover and ripped open the plastic as quickly as I could.
One of my pet peeves is the absence of page numbers on the covers of magazines which means readers can’t jump quickly from a headline to the story inside. I turned to the Table of Contents in the front and searched for the Rolling Stones headline to learn what page the story was on.
A quick glance through the contents turned up nothing with the words “Martin Scorsese” or “Rolling Stones” in boldface type. So I searched. And searched. And searched.
After plowing through 18 items in the Table of Contents, I finally found it under the headline “Sight and Sound.” But there was no page number listed after the blurb about the article. At this point, I’m starting to do a slow burn.
So I start flipping through the magazine trying to find the damn article. It suddenly dawns on me. The pages don’t even have page numbers! Now I’m absolutely… unwired. I never did read the article.
Instead, I wrote a letter to the editor complaining about the absence of page numbers and letting them know that I tossed the entire supplement into the wastebasket. What do you suppose the advertisers would say if they knew this? Certainly, I can’t be the only one.
C’mon guys. This is Publishing 101 stuff. If people have to work hard to read your printed magazine, they’ll either read you online, or they’ll be like me and not read you at all.