Editor Life: the full 91 magazine story - part II

Editor Life: the full 91 magazine story - part II

Today I am continuing with the story of 91 Magazine - you can read the first post here. So, in 2014, I had finally made the decision that I had to find some new ways to monetise the magazine. I think the fact that I was pregnant with my first child probably spurred on this plan, as I was having to think a lot more about how to support my family in the coming years. So, in 2014 I started charging £2 to download the digital editions. I published 4 issues that year, and as we seemed to have a loyal readership, I felt hopeful that this small fee would not put people off. I'm not afraid to admit though that unfortunately this move did not work out how I had hoped.

the first digital issue to incur a fee to download.

the first digital issue to incur a fee to download.

I'm not sure if people had problems with the platform I used to sell the magazine through or whether they just did not want to pay for the content, but I was disappointed in the response over the course of that year. I got quite disheartened if I'm honest, I wasn't sure how I could continue without there being some kind of income from the magazine.  

Excitingly though, that same year, I was working with Mollie Makes magazine again as guest editor on their Mollie Makes Home bookazine. The team there were hugely supportive of what I was doing with 91, and offered to include a mini print version of 91 within the bookazine. It was a dream come true for me, to finally get the magazine into print, even if just in a condensed form. 

mini issue in print in collaboration with Mollie Makes

mini issue in print in collaboration with Mollie Makes

home tour feature from the mini print issue. (2014) 

home tour feature from the mini print issue. (2014) 

I worked really hard on bringing both the bookazine and the mini issue together, while also preparing the digital issues for the rest of the year. Oh and did I mention I was also working on my first book?! it was a busy year, as I watched my baby bump grow, and in July my little girl arrived. It wasn't long after that that the Mollie Makes bookazine and the first ever printed version of 91 Magazine hit the shops! 

It was such a thrill to see the magazine in this format, and it made me want to get it into print properly more than ever! But after a tough year with the digital sales, and the realisation of looking after a newborn and trying to write my first book, I decided at the end of 2014 I need to take a break from 91 Magazine. It was a tough decision, but I knew I was just spreading myself too thinly, and I needed to focus on producing a great book. 

The book published in October 2015, (a huge career highlight!) so at that point, I realised it was time to mull over everything I'd learnt about publishing a magazine over the last few years and also look at the current market for independent publications. Firstly, I realised if I was to continue I needed help. It is such an important thing to do when running your own business; to actually admit that sometimes you can't do everything yourself. I knew if I were to continue with the magazine I wanted to do it properly and really go for it, but of course I needed to find people who were willing to be involved. I honestly came so close to giving up on the magazine entirely, until I spoke to Laura. I asked her if she'd be interested in being deputy editor and her excitement and enthusiasm to work together was what saved the magazine. We promptly met up one January morning in a London cafe, and made our master plan! 

the changing face of 91 Magazine

the changing face of 91 Magazine

In the last of this series of posts, I will tell you about how, as a team, we've got to where we are now with the magazine plus my hopes and dreams for it's future.... 

Read part III of the story.