It’s the beginning of September and we already have one of the features (edit, photography and layout) ready for the December/January issue of MyBusiness. How’s that for working ahead?
Are we studious? Umm, yes, but that’s not exactly why the story’s ready to go. You see, that feature was slated for October/November up until pretty much the last minute, but we ended up not having room for it, so we’re putting it in the next issue. You didn’t think we were just going to throw it away, did you?

Whether it’s more ad pages than you planned for or a late-breaking story, holding articles is part of running a magazine. And there’s no amount of planning you can do to prevent it. But you can follow a few rules to make sure nothing goes unused.

  1. Choose wisely: If you have to hold a page, make sure that page is evergreen, in that it will still be relevant in a future issue. Tax moves to make before the end of the year? 5 ways to get involved in the 2008 presidential election? Those don’t sound like topics you’d want to cover next February.
  2. Delay stock art purchases: Buy all of your stock art right before you start preparing the pages to go to the printer if possible. That way, if you do have to hold an article, you’re not tied to that specific art or layout. When you use the held article in the future, the same space might not be available for it, which might change your art needs.
  3. File them away: Find a safe and obvious place for your held content. For me, that means a folder on the MyBusiness server called “HOLD STORIES.” Yep, it’s in all caps, too. Makes it very easy to spot when I’m slating articles for the next issue.