How to make a magazine – By @hollygordonn

By Holly Gordon


How to make a magazine


On Tuesday evening, I went to an event held by Stack where a panel of independent magazine creators discussed and answered questions about the ins and outs of making a magazine. The panel was made up of Steven Watson, the founder of Stack, Caspian Whistler, the founder of A Profound Waste of Time, Elisabeth Krohn, the founder of Sabat and Susperia and Helena Jennings, co-founder of Nataal.


All the magazines started out as passion projects, two coming from the progression of a university project and the other coming off a well followed website. It was really interesting listening to each of the panellist talk about their own experiences developing their own magazine and below I’ve listed gems that were said that I thought I would share.


“Zines are all about rebellion.”


Said by Caspian Whistler, he said he started his magazine whilst at University as a way to respond to the anti-feminist environment in the gaming community. Starting out with zines, which he would write and illustrate himself, he stressed the importance of making sure if you have something say, get it out there in what way you thing is right for you.


“It helps when what you sell strikes a chord with people.”


The importance of audience and respecting the connection they have with the magazine. Each magazine had a different audience and the panellists all explained how the connection with their online communities helped them when putting together the physical product.


“Time is money – I could have spent all my money making two okay magazines or one great one. So I made one great one over the span of one and half years.”


Self-explanatory I think. If you have the money and time, use it to your advantage and make the work you want to put out into the world.


“Physical media can do something digital media can’t.”


With all three magazines all having online community, they all discussed how that had played a part in their magazine development. Everyone loves something tangible and with magazines, like Sabat, which is about witchcraft and feminism, the design of it mirrors that of a spell book, which would look different if it was only on social media.


“Books are bridge between interests.”


Independent magazines have the power to introduce us to things we aren’t informed about or interested in. However, there is a lot of thought that goes into every page so people are drawn to them. There is always going to be a group of people who are interested in something similar to you, and a magazine can form that community. 


“Stuff will go wrong, but the desire has to be what keeps you going. You have to love it.”


Learn from failures and keep going.


“We don’t want to be business people. We want to make beautiful things because we love it and want to share it with others.”


Make something because you want to and for no other reason. And try and share things with other people as much as possible, weather its collaboration or just showing them your work.






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