So far, 2009: not the friendliest year for publishing. But amid the wreckage, smaller magazines that aren't burdened by gigantic staffs and...
So far, 2009: not the friendliest year for publishing. But amid the wreckage, smaller magazines that aren't burdened by gigantic staffs and expenses are finding ways to thrive. One way: getting your supporters to fund you directly.A photography magazine called Hamburger Eyes is using Kickstarter-a platform that allows anyone to submit a project and raise funding for it-to finance their 13th issue. They wanted to raise $3,000 by July 2nd. They've already raised $4,056 from 96 backers, with two weeks to go. I don't know how scalable this model is-that is to say, how big could a magazine using this method get?-but I like that small titles are taking advantage of the internet to keep print alive, while large print titles are floundering because they can't figure out what to do with the internet (and, you know, other stuff).As I've said before, I think what is happening in the magazine industry right now is probably a healthy correction. Small magazines like Hamburger Eyes-put together with limited staff, tiny budgets, and a lot of passion-are models for publishing success in the future. And the fact that they are now able to take advantage of the distrubuted generosity of fans, thanks to the internet, will only further ensure their longevity. There's also something nicely meritocratic about this method: if people don't think your ideas are good enough, or you don't have enough supporters, then your magazine won't get published. That makes sense to me.