One of the few areas of publishing that seems to be displaying optimism is the so-called independent magazine sector. These are titles produced with the emphasis on individual design, left-field writing and high production values that are done in small runs, often infrequently and often unprofitably.
Of course some of these ‘independents’ are as slickly professional as the mega-publishing corporations (one thinks of the Church of London for example, who are building a collection of strong brands, or Port magazine with their high-quality quarterly), but all share that independent spirit of making the product as good as it can be and letting the money follow (or hoping it will. Or not giving a damn whether it does or not.)
One of the most passionate advocates of these titles has been Jeremy Leslie and his magCulture blog. Although his site features his selection of great editorial design from wherever it appears – from the obscurest irregular publication to some of the world’s biggest magazine brands – there’s naturally been a focus on the independents as these are often the magazines pushing the boundaries of design and content.
This is also an area that iSUBSCRiBE have been interested in getting into, partly so we can continue our mission to provide the broadest possible range of magazine subscriptions to customers, and partly so we can give a new way to market to publishers who are finding the traditional routes difficult.
So it made sense to get together – which is what we’ve done with the new magCulture shop. Jeremy makes the selection of titles to display and iSUBSCRiBE powers the back end of the site, taking the orders and processing payments.
We’re starting off small, but the intention is to develop this over the next few months, adding more single copies for sale, building up back issues of notable titles, signing up more titles who want to offer subscriptions both to this market and via the main iSUBSCRiBE, WHSmith and other sites that we run.
Go visit the store if you’re after something a little bit different to the usual newsstand fare. And if you’re a publisher that wants your magazine available to more people, drop me a line and I’ll tell you how it all works.