It’s a jungle out there.
The magazine publishing business is a tough place, there’s no doubt about that. Not surprisingly, industry events often focus on the challenges and the strategies necessary to survive.
But for Jeremy Leslie, founder of the annual ModMag conference, there’s a different reason behind his yearly event.
“The main intent behind ModMag is to spark a celebration of the creative side of the industry; a counterpoint to the tough business context we find ourselves in,” founder Jeremy Leslie told Folio: in an email exchange during the lead-up to the event. “I hope people attending will return to their desks the next day excited and reinvigorated about their work.”
According to Folio’s Greg Dool, the first ModMag event in 2013 was created as a launch event for Leslie’s book “The Modern Magazine.” From there, it’s grown to be a celebration of the art of print publishing.
As you may know, Leslie is the founder of London’s brick and mortar shop magCulture, where more than 400 indie titles from around the world can be discovered. Their tagline – We Love Magazines – sums up their overriding ethos, and that passion is echoed throughout the event.
Of course, there’s still talk of the business side of the industry – without a solid business model, it’s tough to sell even those most amazing magazine. Yet Leslie believes the future is bright, telling Dool that there’s a new emphasis on “higher quality over unnecessary quantity.”
“The business challenges facing print have provided a much-needed opportunity to reassess what we do, and the indies have helped a creative explosion in the industry by reminding us of the importance of trying new things,” said Leslie. “We’re witnessing a creative high for magazines, and that makes me optimistic about the future. The internet and social media have been great for magazines, powering this indie explosion.”
For the creative people behind indie magazines, this kind of event is so important. If you didn’t make it to NYC this year, watch for next year’s ModMag conference and get on board.