A world of magazines is out there somewhere

There is no coherent landscape for indie magazines

Magalleria opened in Broad Street in Bath in 2015 selling so-called ‘trendy magazines’. We prefer to unpack that description a little more accurately as ‘fine, independent and specialist magazines’. These are 99% our sole focus.

In a relatively short period of time we’ve sourced and homed a truly vast range of titles from around the world. In doing so we’ve had to manage wave after wave of new entrants and rejuvenated old-timers so we couldn’t, frankly, help it. Along the way we’ve absorbed plenty of noteworthy facts about magazine publishing, marketing and distribution. We’ve begun to work out what sells and formulated a clear idea of what we’d like to sell. We’ll always stock certain popular magazines that confound us and impressive ones that struggle to sell because they’re all part of an interesting landscape.

‘When we started planning Magalleria we found there wasn’t any ‘world of magazines’ the ordinary consumer could simply enter.’

So it follows that we’ve decided to make this blog central to our web presence. When we started planning Magalleria we found there wasn’t any ‘world of magazines’ the ordinary consumer could simply enter. Sure, there were seductive looking magazines draped around numerous halls and galleries across the internet that proved not to be real places but facades for vague, non-accessible or defunct commercial entities. There was a lot of technical musing about design. Nothing much in between and certainly no sign of a real community or any library of current information. If the magazines themselves seemed mirage-like (many turned out to be digital-only), simple facts about them often proved thin, even on their relevant websites. Even today these are still often last place you’ll find useful details. To locate the grapevine you needed to be aware of or stumble across the likes of MagCulture and Stack who were (and are) enormously useful to us as was (is) It’s Nice That. But these operations dominate a tiny handful commentators worth trusting. More than anything else we’ve been informed by our knowledgeable customer base.

But why trust what we say? We’re in the business of selling magazines so we’re unlikely to damn anything. We believe it’s worth sharing our opinions because there are now so many new magazines in the world and we’ve reached a place where we see a fair percentage of them. We’re blessed with curiosity which has probably inflated our range as much as our tastes and instincts. We often wonder whether it’s sensible to offer a bewildering range of magazines in our store, because we’ve seen people freeze with the burden of choice. But, emerging from the maze we entered on start up, we’ve learned that clear guidance and helpful explanation will take to you to what you’re after. And that, we hope, is the most thoughtful, creative, informative and engrossing bank of print available.

We’re almost evangelical about magazines. We can only admire those who get off their backsides to create this stuff, so we’ll never be pointlessly negative. We’ll leave that to our guest bloggers.

Daniel McCabe