A new way to fund your independent magazine
Making an independent magazine costs, at the very minimum, several thousand pounds. That’s a best-case scenario — only possible if you don’t pay yourself a penny and every single one of your contributors works for free — which, of course, they absolutely shouldn’t have to. So we were interested to see that In Perpetuum, the publishing arm of People of Print have teamed up with Kickstarter, to help fund new magazine ideas they think are really good.
The way this works is you apply before 31 December, using this form, detailing your idea plus a basic business plan. If yours is one of the selected applications, People of Print will:
- Run a Kickstarter campaign with you, directing you on what to post when to reach the target you need
- Mentor you and offer advice
- Support sourcing the print & finishing through their contacts
- Store the magazine copies for you in their warehouse, and manage the distribution
- Take your magazine to international fairs throughout 2020 and beyond, where it will be branded as an official In Perpetuum product.
Kickstarter wanted to support the project in order to help talented publishers survive a difficult market: “We see it every day on our platform, passionate independent writers and publishers have developed innovative ways to connect with audiences and create economic opportunities in an uncertain time. Through an Open Call, we hope to inspire even more unique publication creators to navigate the independent publishing model.”
The brains behind the opportunity are Amber Weaver and Marcroy Smith, who work together on People of Print, and who both have experience of running successful Kickstarter campaigns. (Amber is the author of Femme Type, an all-female publication about type design and typography. Femme Type is published by In Perpetuum and made £10,000 on Kickstarter when it was crowd-funding.)
That success made her want to nurture new magazines that might not have the same resources and contacts at their disposal, so what PoP are hunting for, Amber explained over the phone, is an idea with a “unique design aesthetic”, as well as a clear sense of where the magazine will fit in with the current industry.
In return, In Perpetuum will come to some arrangement with the magazine maker. As an example, Amber mentioned that In Perpetuum could take 20% of the funds from the Kickstarter campaign, but also said that each project will be assessed on a case by case basis and they may decide not to pursue a revenue share at all. Twenty percent sounds like quite a cut, but it seems there’s plenty of room for negotiation so it could well be worth investigating if you have an idea that could benefit from the support and expertise of People of Print.