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Woman's World

In 1981, Heinrich Bauer Verlag of Hamburg, West Germany, one of Europe's largest magazine publishers, entered America's highly competitive women's service magazine field when it launched the weekly Woman's World. The magazine quickly set itself apart from the rest of the pack. Other women's magazines of the day were mostly thick slick tomes bursting with ads, and featuring articles geared to upwardly mobile readers. Woman's World, on the other hand, offered a high-quality tabloid-style format light on ads that was aimed at middle-class moms who wanted practical advice on food, fashion, parenting, and beauty and health tips. The public soon took notice. Woman's World quickly became the most popular weekly women's magazine in the country.

Today, Bauer Publishing USA, headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is the number one seller of magazines on newsstands in the United States, generating an annual $320 million dollars in single copy revenue. It publishes two of the top five selling titles on the newsstand-Woman's World and In Touch Weekly. For several years running, Woman's World, a fixture at supermarket checkout stands everywhere, was the most popular newsstand magazine of any kind. As it celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2006, Woman's World remains the #1 selling women's publication on newsstands, selling more than 77 million copies in 2004. First for Women, another Bauer publication was second in sales with 25 million. Far back in the pack in third place was Woman's Day, with sales of 16 million newsstand copies.

Light-hearted, Heartwarming

Woman's World is directed at today's active woman, offering uplifting and informative articles that address her concerns and interests in a quick-read format. With a well-rounded blend of inspirational tales and practical solutions for everyday needs, the magazine delivers a feel-good mix of heartwarming human-interest stories and hands-on hints for work and home in every issue. Light, yet informative, humorous yet helpful, Woman's World makes for a great read for the busy woman on the go.

A survey conducted in 2003 shows how the content of the magazine breaks down into eight major categories:

  • Features: 32%
  • Food and Nutrition: 22%
  • Health: 16%
  • Home and Gardening: 9%
  • Beauty and Grooming: 8%
  • Travel: 5%
  • Fashion: 4%
  • Parenting: 4%

Although each issue contains only about 55 pages (in comparison, In Style often runs to 600 pages), it packs a lot into those pages; only about 12 percent of the real estate is devoted to advertisements. In addition to articles on nutrition, health, and grooming, a much of the magazine is devoted to real-life stories of an inspirational nature, submitted by the readers themselves. These stories of triumph over adversity help lend the magazine its distinctively personal and homey feel.

Although celebrities often grace the cover, more often covers feature everyday mature women, usually striking a pose to illustrate an impressive loss of weight. In keeping with the unpretentious attitude, the magazine's articles are geared toward working women and mothers whose budgets are not unlimited and who figures are not fashion-model thin. Practical advice reigns over glamour and glitz. The fashion section, for instance, often explores affordable take-offs on pricier designer labels. Recipes emphasize meals that appeal to the whole family; dishes don't take all day to prepare nor do they require a long list of exotic ingredients. But not all is meat and potatoes. The magazine offers healthy dollops of romance and reverie as well. Each issue, for example, features a work of short fiction with a romantic theme, plus a section on ways to find inspiration in day-to-day living.

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Written March 12, 2006 exclusively for MagsDirect.com. All right reserved.

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