Thursday, April 08, 2010

Interview with Deepa - Editor of Glo Adventurer

A few weeks back, we reviewed a new and interesting children's magazine called Glo Adventurer. We caught up with the editor of the magazine - Deepa Venky and discussed with her about the new magazine.

What is the inspiration behind starting a new children's magazine?
As parents, my husband and I are always looking for quality content that would help our son discover and explore India in a fun and memorable way. We learned that there were a lot of people looking for the same thing with no obvious answer. We had a vision for how we'd want to kindle a child's imagination with books made just for them; books with bright, colorful photos, easy-to-read content, and really engaging activities. That's how Glo Adventurer came to be.

Why did you decide to take one theme per issue? Will all the themes be related to India?
We took a look at a lot of the contemporary magazines and felt like there was so much information covered in them - kids were either going to be overwhelmed, or would be left knowing these random tid bits without being aware of the larger context of any topic. Kids are smart - they have a thirst for knowledge that's pure. We wanted to quench that thirst. Pick a topic, any topic and there's always a lot to learn about it. Take a topic like the Indian Railways for instance. There's the fascinating story of its history; the role railways played in India's independence; the different types of trains - and how they compare to trains from around the world; how trains are built; the fascinating world of toy trains. And even this is only scratching the surface!
About themes - yes, the Journey to India series will be focus on India. Our goal is that anyone reading the magazine (including parents) learn at least one new thing about the topic we are covering by the time they are done with the book:) There is so much to learn about India - we hope they'll join us on our journey! Over time, there'll be other countries we explore:)

What are the challenges you faced during the process of getting the magazine started? Did you guys have an idea of the publishing industry and workings of the publishing industry before starting on this venture?

:) We have absolutely no background in publishing or even writing for kids. I do some creative writing - but nothing targeted towards that age group. But we had a clear vision for what we really wanted - and went about recruiting the talent that could help us make the vision a reality.

Why did you decide to go with no advertisements? Will it be workable in the long run?
Kids today are exposed to ads everywhere. As a parent that is a huge concern to me. We did not want the Glo Adventurer magazine to be one more place where they encounter these ads. I think parents will appreciate our approach. In most countries around the world there are regulations against presenting advertising material to kids in the midst of magazines that are specifically meant for them. If they take the opportunity to read the magazines themselves and get one in the hands of their kids we think that they will not be able to put it down easily. As long as we keep the excitement going I think we'll be able to survive the "No ads" model.

Will the magazine be available in outlets/bookshops in India or will it be subscription based?
We are working on some partnerships with bookshops and other outlets and hope that the magazine will hit bookshelves by late summer.

Are there plans for other magazines targeting different age groups?
Yes, absolutely. We are working on a magazine for younger kids that introduces them to different cultures from around the world in a fun way. We also have a "Glo Adventurer - Around the World" series in the works. Our mantra is simple. “Give kids a chance to discover, explore, and celebrate countries/cultures from around the world.”

Who are the folks behind this effort? A few points about the team behind this magazine would be great.
We have a small but experienced team behind the magazine. We are very deliberate about who we bring on board. Our key strength lies in our two writers, two designers, and our editor. The five of them come with a combined experience of 40 years in working for magazines such as the National Geographic. Then we add spice to the mix by introducing new talent – like our storywriter Swami – who has a simple, yet incredible way of writing short stories.

What are your favorite children's magazine(s) as a child and currently? India based or other wise?
I was born and raised in Chennai. I remember waiting impatiently for my monthly copy of Chandamama:) My father traveled a lot on work and would bring back Amar Chitra Kathas that I remember fondly. He also had a big library of National Geographic magazines - he's collected them ever since I can remember. It was like having the world at our doorstep. That's one of the inspirations for our magazine as we designed the concept.


ranjani.sathish said...

Great to hear your views here !

I agree with the point which you have mentioned that it is better that the magazine pick up one theme per issue and deal with it in depth. In fact in the Tigers issue, along with my son I learned so many new facts. As I told Sathish, each of these issues can be like a mini-fun-encyclopedia for our home library :-). We can go back to them as and when we need info on a specific topic also.

Good luck with all the wonderful work you are doing and looking forward to the subsequent issues !

Karthik said...

Excellent stuff. How are you planning to market the magazine in the US?

Praba Ram said...

An inspiring interview! Thanks for this, Sathish.

Anusha said...

It was awesome to read your interview here Deepa.
Thanks for introducing us to Glo Adventurer and bringing us this face to face, Satish.

We received our trial copy today, and all four of us have our paws on it :)

Deepa said...

Hi all:

Thanks so much for the warm reception of our magazine! We are looking to people like yourselves to keep us honest and on track to meet the standards we aspire to. Feel free to send comments over time to

@Ranjani - Yes, we are hoping that readers consider it a mini-fun-encylopedia - something that they can collect over time.

@Karthik - we work out of the Pacific NW and are working on marketing programs in the region to start with. The goal is to identify scalable programs that we can then introduce in other cities where there is a higher concentration of Indians.

@Praba - thanks for your support!

@Kodi's mom - do share your thoughts with us when you are done -

And finally, @Sathish - Thanks for the coverage on Glo Adventurer! We can't begin to express how much your coverage means to us.

utbtkids said...

We just finished the Bengal tiger free issue. I have only good things to say about it. Make it loads and loads of good things :)

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