Blogging, the new fan magazine

Thanks for stopping by my new blog where I’ll be discussing my mystery novels featuring former teen idol Sandy Fairfax as well as my observations about the world.

In this digital age, many authors are cranking out blog posts as a promotional tool. But what bloggers are doing is nothing new. The use of social media to promote artists had its genesis in the teen fan magazines starting in the 1950s and still going strong today.

Ah, those were the days when young girls swooned over the likes of Bobby Rydell, David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman. The teen idol industry was in full gear, constantly cranking out new idols as audiences “aged out” into harder rock music and their kid sisters now wanted their own stars to follow.

Since the Internet hadn’t been invented yet, the studios spread the word and kept fans connected through monthly teen magazines such as Tiger Beat, Flip, Music Star and Seventeen. Some of the more popular performers had their own line of magazines, such as The Monkees and Starsky and Hutch.

In each issue, fans learned interesting facts about their idols, sympathized with their star’s feelings about dating issues, and looked at groovy photos. Fans could mail in letters for publication as a way to talk to their idol and get the addresses for fan clubs where they could meet similarly-minded youths.  

Fanzine articles were puff pieces about the idol’s life, such as a minute-by-minute description of a party at the star’s house, or what the singer did inside a recording studio, or his latest date. The purpose of the ‘zine was to build a bond between the fan and idol.

Of course each magazine also featured ads of various idol-related merchandise that fans could purchase to show their devotion.

Isn’t this what writers are doing today with social media, sharing their activities and talking about their feelings as a way to stay connected to their readers. Writers post photos from their personal appearances or daily home life. Readers can leave comments to directly talk to the author and meet up with other fans.

Some writers use Facebook to constantly update their online “friends” as to their daily activities. Some use their blogs to share their feelings about their personal lives. The goal is to present the author as more than just a headshot and a brief bio on the book jacket.

Of course each blog also features the author’s books that readers can purchase.

Please leave a comment or sign up if you’d like to receive notices about my upcoming releases. Thanks for reading!



Blogging, the new fan magazine — 19 Comments

  1. Sally, what a fun connection to the heyday of teen magazines and idols. At one time there were more teen idols to go around, nothing like the Justin Beiber’s etc., but that’s okay too. I’m looking forward to see what you will do here. Augie

  2. Great presentation for this blog, Sally. Will definitely keep in touch. Please stop by my blog too, when you have a moment:

  3. Welcome to the world of blogging! I remember avidly reading Tiger Beat. Not sure if that’s what inspired me to be a journalist, but I incorporated some of the ideas into the school newspaper when I was the editor.

  4. Great topic for a first blog, Sally. I guess I go back a little farther than you do. I remember reading about the Everly Brothers, Frankie Avalon and several others, and there were contests to win a date with a rock and roll singer. I even belonged to a couple of fan clubs. And I remember a local girl who won one of those contests.

  5. What’s interesting is today’s teen mags are printed on glossy, quality paper in full color. The ‘zines from the ’50s-70s were on cheap paper with mostly B&W photos. Over the years those “disposable” mags are now collectors items. But will today’s computer savvy kids save their paper ‘zines?

  6. Sally, What a great tie-in: teen magazines and the Internet. It is a way for people of all ages to keep in touch with what’s happening with their favorite stars or writers and their characters. It will be fun to see what Sandy has to say.

  7. Nice blog, Sally. I must admit, I had not made the connection. I didn’t read those early magazines. But the Internet certainly expands the reach, and allows for instant feedback. Thanks for the post.

  8. Yeah! I’m glad you’ve joined the blogging community. Now I can stay up to date on your books. I’m looking forward to the next one!

  9. Sally,
    I remember the teen idol craze. I enjoyed a lot of the groups but I was madly in love with The Beatles, especially Paul McCartney. Oh, how our tastes change as we grow up!
    Nice blog!

    • When I was younger I had a crush on George. I’m over that but I still listen to the music!

  10. What a colorful blog, Sally. I didn’t read the fan magazines but I loved the music of the mid to late 50s and my new memoir is peppered with song titles and lyrics of that era.

    I’m going to enjoy reading your posts!

  11. Sally, congrats on your new blog! Great idea and looks wonderful!


  12. Hi, Sally! Fun looking blog! I read “Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” and really enjoyed it. Loads of nostalgia. Can’t wait to see the next one!