Imagine you could gather all of the creatives behind all of your favourite design magazines in one room and had time to ask them all the gory designer details of starting and running a magazine you could ever want to know. Now imagine you took note of all the wonderful, wise things these creatives offered during your meeting and you basically have So you want to publish a magazine? by Angharad Lewis. Featuring words of wisdom from the creatives behind some of the best independent magazines including Wrap Magazine, IdN and The Gentlewoman, the book is pretty much your dream indie-publishing event in paper-form.
So you want to publish a magazine? covers an array of topics from the fun parts all editor-in-chief-wannabes fantasise about like choosing a cover image and naming your publication to practical tips of the less glamorous sides of publishing like finance and distribution. The book is also filled with quotes and interviews from people working in all different parts of the industry, all of whom share their thoughts on both the challenges and delights of starting your own publication. All in all, the book could potentially be even better than being able to throw your dream publishing event you can imagine because - as you are not too busy fan-girling all over your favourite creatives to actually take anything in - you are able to take the wealth of wisdom in at your leisure, slowly building the knowlege and confidence necessary to commence your own publishing adventure.
There are so many great anecdotes throughout the book, perhaps my favourite coming from Editor in-Chief of The Gentlewoman, Penny Martin:
"If an outsider came to the first editorial meeting after an issue is back from the printers, they'd think none of us liked the magazine - "That was a disaster, this didn't work..." - but it's just that we're Scottish and German and Dutch and that's how candid and fanatical it is in here. Everyone's completely focused on making sure each issue is better than the last."
Reading that such an iconic indie mag as The Gentlewoman is still constantly pushing itself to improve shows how exciting and ever-evolving the modern magazine industry truly is and this makes So you want to publish a magazine? such a modern and valuable resource.
As you may have guessed from the fact I am featuring the book, publishing my own magazine is pretty high up on my list of designer dreams! It's safe to say that I am not at the stage of trying to make this a reality just yet but I truly hope that one day I will be. So you want to publish a magazine's best take-away is how exciting the modern day magazine industry is and it makes me want to be part of it even more! For now, the book will be taking pride of place on my book shelf, ready for when I decide the time is right. If in years to come, it shares a shelf with copies of Headless Greg Magazine, then I will, in part at least, most definitely have Angharad Lewis to thank!
You can order a copy of So you want to publish a magazine here.