December 7, 2016

Maine book publisher launches its own print magazine


islandportmagazinecoverFrustrated by what seem like fewer publicity opportunities in a decimated print landscape, an independent press in Maine specializing in local authors and subjects is making its own bold foray into magazine publishing.

Publishers Weekly’s Judith Rosen reports that Islandport Press, based in Yarmouth, Maine, has partnered with MaineToday Media to distribute the first issue of a glossy magazine designed to promote the press’s books and authors. The first issue of Islandport magazine, which features articles written primarily by Islandport authors, will be included as a free insert in the Maine Sunday Telegram and some copies of The Courier-Gazette in Rockland, Maine. They’ve even secured outside advertising — Audi will be featured on the back cover of the first issue.

It’s a pretty big undertaking. Rosen reports:

Lunt, who serves as editor-in-chief, of the magazine, is currently planning to make the magazine a quarterly. But he said that he would consider publishing it bimonthly. That would mean additional hires to publish the magazine along with the books, since both share staff.

While publishers like Tor, Penguin Random House, and yours truly have developed online platforms for literary coverage, Islandport is gambling on a demand for beautifully-produced luxury reading — they’re publishers known for their regionally-influenced cookbooks, coloring books, and children’s books, and print’s their domain. Lunt told Rosen he’s still weighing the possibility of making the magazine’s content available online, having been inspired by the “wonderful [print] magazines of old.” Perhaps it seems counterintuitive, but the rise of digital certainly hasn’t been linear, and Islandport may well be onto something.



Kait Howard was a publicist at Melville House.