Indie magazines gain a foothold in the publishing industry


Food magazines have been falling like dominoes – Gourmet, Food Arts, Lucky Peach – these and many others have succumbed to the pressures of digital publications and sagging subscriptions. Just when it seemed like the industry was doomed, a handful of independent magazines show that the demise of food publications is not a certainty

These new magazines are succeeding by following a different path than the old publications which are experiencing difficulties remaining afloat. Rather than employing large staffs, these magazines are tiny, with as few as one or two people manning the entire affair. Likewise, the circulations are small as well, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand subscribers. Many have just a few issues per year, and high pricetags: upwards of $20 USD per magazine. 

What these publications have in spades is passion and commitment to telling a store. The pages of magazines like AmbrosiaDill, Compound ButterKitchen Toke, and Peddler are saturated with high-quality images and intriguing, complex stories. They aren’t trying to be the new Gourmet or Saveur, but instead focus on narrower subjects or a specific audience. 

While the number of new magazines is increasing, success doesn’t come easy. Many of these smaller publications don’t last beyond the first few crowd-sourced issues. Most struggle to make money and their creators often work at other jobs to pay the bills. Despite these obstacles, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling venture. 

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  • kprovost  on  April 5, 2018

    I consider Bake from Scratch and Sift to be indie-ish publications and absolutely love both of them. I recently cancelled my Food & Wine subscription that I've had for over 20 years. I also subscribe to Delicious from the UK. Those 3 are enough to keep me busy!

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