Got asked by the good people at Issuu.com to write a post for their blog. I was incredibly flattered so naturally it took me 2.5 months to bang out 400 words for them. FYI, I’d also add Hobo, Inventory and Color to the list of great indies being produced in Vancouver right now (didn’t include them because for some insane reason they don’t use Issuu).
Oh, and give a listen to Martin from Issuu’s band Epic Typo. They’re excellent:
A great little secret of the publishing world is that there’s a thriving independent magazine scene in Vancouver right now. Along with the magazine I edit, ION, there are numerous stylish indies—like The Block and The Lab—being produced on Canada’s West Coast. These magazines are as good as anything on the newsstands and, in a lot of cases, far more interesting.
The rewards that come with working in independent publishing are too numerous to list. Unfortunately, money isn’t one on them. You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at them, but the magazines I listed aren’t produced in Madison Avenue skyscrapers. Rather, they get made in people’s apartments on shoestring budgets. There’s no money for writers or elaborate fashion shoots… ‘The September Issue‘ it ain’t. It’s the passion, tenacity and resourcefulness of the staff and not a massive financial windfall that keeps these publications going.
At an independent publication, you have to wear many hats. Aside from editing ION and coordinating its production, I also made the website and update it (sometimes I’m a janitor too). I enjoy updating the website but it’s not something I always have time to do. And because there’s no money, we can’t hire a team of web nerds to maintain the site for us. But it’s not like we can just stop updating the site, you might as well stop printing if you’re going to do that. This is where we’ve found Issuu to come in really handy. It takes minutes to upload a file and even less time to embed it on our site.
Aside from saving us a lot of time, I’ve found that Issuu has actually helped us cut down on our mailing costs. If you email me and want a copy of the magazine, I’ll send a link to Issuu. Did we do an article on your band/art/clothing? Here’s a link to the specific article we did. It may sound cheap (because it is) but these little cost cutting tricks add up. No one ever complains either because Issuu is the best way to experience flipping through a magazine on a computer screen.
On a monthly basis, some new company emails us to say that they have our web publishing solution. That they can help us produce an amazing digital edition for the low monthly cost of $300. Ninety-nine percent of the time their “solutions” are clunky, ugly and in some cases, nauseating as they want to place their own text ads all over the magazine.
Thanks but no thanks… we’ll stick with Issuu.