I remember the thrill of being a magazine editor, just before I left the publishing arena a little more than 6 years back. The seemingly never-ending work of changing paginations and shuffling of ad space to make everyone happy. The swoosh one feels as time ticked closer to signing-off time, and when deadlines were looming so quick the only way to slow down time was to focus on the task at hand.
So when I saw the first issue of YCN’s magazine – given out as part of a subscription in their latest new membership site, it brought back memories. Very specific memories of that harried time of printing presses and multiple edits.
The theme of their inaugural issue was about magazines – specifically, the publishing of independent titles. With a very meaty 10-point-plan into staking your very own corner in magazine publishing by none other than Jeremy Leslie (who runs the fabulous Magculture blog), the magazine is off to a sprinting start. This is then followed closely by a look at some independent publishers (I was thrilled to see some of my favorites like Wrap, Oh Comely and Anorak profiled), along with words of wisdom garnered along their journey; and as their spotlight into magazine publishing progressed, a couple more articles on the oftentimes perilous world of publishing wrapped it all up thoughtfully.
The magazine then moves on to profile some interesting individuals and their enterprises – with a firm nod to beginnings. I particularly enjoyed the article on Charles Olive who designed his first tie collection with Microsoft Excel (because he didn’t know how to do it any other way.)
A section dedicated to travel is in the magazine’s second section (there’s 4 main ones altogether), where the focus is on Antwerp, Belgium. The third opens up to various writings on tech, sports, food, travel, an in-depth interview and miscellaneous musings in between. The last chapter is a showcase of talent recommended by the contributors themselves, and runs gamut from photographers, illustrators and artists.
What made YCN’s magazine special was the extended features that made up a big chunk of the first half of the magazine. It was helpful enough for anyone who wanted to break into the magazine publishing industry, and shared enough advice from others who came out the other end triumphant; all the while without being dry or condescending.
What I look for in a magazine comes down to whether or not I was being entertained and enlightened at the end of it – and YCN has certainly managed to surprise and delight with a broad enough range of topics that served to inspire. A strong beginning indeed for what’s to come, and I can’t wait till the next issue rolls off the press.
You can get your subscription of the quarterly magazine, bundled with their Super Membership over here.
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[Images from YCN’s website]