When you are first starting out as a publisher, one of the biggest challenges your magazine faces is distribution. There are traditional routes to explore, with the goal for many publishers being chain store distribution. Of course, that is a huge step for publishers–– however, it’s not the only approach to getting eyes on your pages. Learn where to stock your magazine.
Coffee shops and magazines are a perfect pair. Certain coffee shops that are designed for an experience, rather than a quick cup, try to maintain a certain aesthetic that magazines are just perfect for. Think of every flatlay on Instagram with a marble table, a cappuccino, and a beautiful magazine cover–– don’t you think coffee shops want to be tagged in every one of those they can get? Look at Coffee Table Mags for example, a business where this very aesthetic is essential. Scout your local coffee shops for good vibes and distribution opportunities.
Have you ever walked into a boutique clothing store and found so much more? Many niche retailers stock records, books, magazines and more to pair with your super-cute vintage jeans. Take MARCHÉ rue dix and Sincerely, Tommy for example–– two Brooklyn businesses who rock magazine curation.
The benefit for boutiques: Displaying their curatorial taste in a breadth of areas, the likeliness of a casual Instagram post, selling and supporting fellow independent business.
The benefit for publishers: Exposure to new audiences, the likeliness of a customer adding it onto their pile of new pretty things, collaborating with and supporting fellow independent business.
There are a few options to sell your magazines digitally. There are print-on-demand options like Peecho, but selling digitally doesn’t always mean print editions. You can sell your magazine digitally to an expansive audience that isn’t limited by regular print distribution methods. Publish in Canada and reach Australia–– digitally, your reach is as wide as possible. Explore the issuu store for a taste of niche publishing.
This doesn’t seem like the most unique place to sell your magazine… however, it just might be for your small publication. Many independent magazine shops seek out relationships with publishers and printers to keep their shelves stocked with fresh niche publications. Your magazine might not be a household name, but it sure can be one in the independent publishing community. Get inspired by stockists like MagCulture and Magma, whose shelves are stocked with the best mags you’ve never heard of.
From MagCulture’s ModMag17 event