This post has undergone many incarnations. Firstly it was an article about the importance of finding your niche when setting up a new magazine, then it was an article about the future of music magazines and what I’d do differently if I was producing Bearded again, then it was an article about making a living from music journalism.
Then I saw this piece from Record of the Day’s Paul Scaife and David Balfour ‘pondering the plight of music journalism’ in light of the recent circulation drops for The Fly (35% downturn year-on-year), NME (16.4%), Uncut (9.7%), Q (8.7%), Mojo (6.8%), and Kerrang! (6%).
As someone who works at the Guardian, I understand the concept of ‘managed decline’ in circulation figures and the need for constantly improving your product to help boost those figures… Read full post
In terms of how to launch a magazine, it’s entirely possible to do it yourself, but as with any project, many hands make light work and – in the case of magazines particularly – you’re not likely to be the best person to do most of the jobs involved in launching a magazine. Read more
It seems natural that the first post of this blog should be talking about what the Untitled Magazine Experiment is, why it exists and what we hope to achieve. You can find a pretty succinct summary on the about page, but let me explain it in with a bit more colour and context.
The UME was (is, I suppose) started by me, Gareth Main. In the magazine world I am known for starting Bearded Magazine – a bi-monthly, independent music magazine started with the idea that there should be a high-quality, beautifully produced magazine on the shelves of WH Smiths that supported and promoted independent artists and record labels. It started in 2007 when I was 23, naive and ideological and ceased printing in 2009 when I was 26, broken and ideological (the website I linked to doesn’t have my direct involvement, although I do pay the hosting costs).
Within those 2.5 years Bearded could have been said to be a success. We promoted some fantastic music, we were on the shelves in WH Smiths, Borders (RIP), and over 1,000 supermarkets, newsagents and independent record shops around the UK, and we had an outstanding mix of contributors – including cover illustration contributions from Jeffrey Lewis and David Shrigley.
Why Bearded ultimately failed then is easy to identify… Read the full post