How many magazines?

by Steve Watson in November 2012
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Here’s a thing I’ve noticed. Lots of people I speak to ask why I think independent publishing is booming at the moment. In the last couple of weeks that question has come from one journalist, two students and an audience member at the end of a talk I gave.

It’s a really good question, except I’m not sure independent publishing really is booming. There are certainly lots of good magazines around at the moment – my desk is home to an ever-growing pile of great looking magazines that I (still) haven’t managed to read yet. But I’ve never seen any hard numbers to show that there are more independent magazines being made today than there were five years ago.

That’s not surprising – the nature of independent magazines means that there aren’t really any audited figures for number of titles produced in a year. And this isn’t just a numbers game anyway – one of the things I’m surprised by is the amount of really good quality independent magazines being made.

So this post is kind of a request really. Has anyone ever seen reliable figures to show how many independent magazines are being produced in different years in different parts of the world? And does anyone have any idea why there are so many great magazines knocking around at the moment?

I’d like to be able to answer the question next time I’m asked…

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