Plus some rare mags for sale and news about Magpile 

An indie mag newsletter by Dan Rowden

Issue 13 — July 9, 2018


Hei hei!

It's July, time to spend some afternoons outside with some print for company. No?

In this edition of Coverage, I talk with Seb Emina, the editor of The Happy Reader and deputy editor of Fantastic Man about his work across the titles, Kaylene Langford, an entrepreneur and founder of Startup Creative magazine, and Davide Cazzaro, editor of Asian cinema mag, NANG.

I've also got some news about Magpile and have uncovered a small amount of mags from Magpile Store's popup shop in *2014*, brand new and un-read. These are now for sale online ⚡️

Enjoy your week ahead!


P.S.: I'm thinking about changing Magpile's logo to a “mag pile” rather than the magazine-sporting magpie. Check the screenshot lower down in this email. What do you think? (reply to let me know!) I might throw this up as a Twitter vote...


Startup Creative magazine

3 tips to help your new magazine succeed

Startup Creative is a platform and print magazine started by Australian Kaylene Langford as a tool to help entrepreneurs succeed. My copy is still in the post but the magazine looks like a beautiful, but more importantly useful, piece of print.

I asked Kaylene, as both an entrepreneur and magazine founder herself, to highlight three areas that you need to focus on when starting a new magazine...


1. Get really clear on what you are delivering

The more time and energy you spend on articulating the message of what your magazine will do/be for it’s readers, the easier it will be for them to get on board and support you.

2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and the magazine

It is a huge job and will take a lot of effort to bring it all together. Make sure you get yourself help and that the people you bring on board believe in you and the vision you have for the publication. It really is a love project.

3. Blow our your numbers and your timeline

Chances are it’s going to cost you more and take you longer than you could have planned for so once you’ve done your budget and timeline; add on a few extra weeks and $$.


👉 Grab you own copy of Startup Creative at

Seb Emina

The Happy Reader: a magazine about books

Split into two halves—one featuring a famous book lover and the other focussing on a particular book—The Happy Reader is a project by Penguin Books to reach new readers. Published with help from the Fantastic Man team, the magazine's been a great success so far.

Last week, editor Seb Emina talked with me about his role at the magazine, how the two different halves of the magazine work with eachother, and working across two popular magazines at the same time.

Dan R: OK let’s start with your position at The Happy Reader. What’s your role and what’s the most important part of your job from your perspective?

Seb E: My job is to come up with the overall vision for each issue, secure cover stars, commission writers, edit their work, and then collaborate with the rest of the team to turn all the material we have into a coherent, entertaining and interesting issue. It's hard to say what's most important as it's all important, and all connected somehow.

DR: How big is the team behind The Happy Reader?

SE: The magazine is a collaboration between Fantastic Man magazine and Penguin Books, and the team is drawn from both. There are thirteen people on the masthead, plus all those who contribute to each issue, but if I think about it the web is much wider than that. There are so many conversations with other people at both organisations that end up having an impact on the way an issue turns out.

DR: The mag is a fun mix of books and magazines, literature and visuals, lifestyle and reading. Can you tell more about the concept and how it was conceived? What’s the ultimate purpose of the magazine for its readers?

SE: The concept grew out of a conversation between Fantastic Man and Penguin Classics about what would happen if the former applied their method of magazine-making to the latter. So you'd have this very contemporary way of working with print in dialogue with the best books ever written. Fantastic Man's directors Jop van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers came up with the idea for a magazine in two distinct halves. The first features a long, freewheeling conversation with a celebrity or significant cultural figure about the books they love and that have shaped them. The second is a series of articles inspired by a single classic work of literature, which we call the 'Book of the Season'.

It's a book club, presented as a magazine, with all of the free-form asides and tangents that any real book club ends up containing. “When I read Mrs Dalloway it reminded me of this psychological theory I heard about, which...” and so on and so forth. You don't have to read the Book of the Season to enjoy the magazine, but it's fun if you do.

DR: With a different cover star and literature focus every issue, the magazine covers a lot of ground. Do the two halves of the magazine need to reflect or work nicely with eachother to make the magazine work, or can they exist separately, side by side?

SE: So far we've actually been quite keen for there to be a contrast, for the cover star and book feel quite different to one another. There's a second cover in the exact centre of the magazine which marks a clear transition from the world of the interview to the world of the book. But then you'll see little touches that cross between the two. In the current issue all of the footnotes are headed by graphics resembling plant markers. These are inspired by The Black Tulip, our horticulturally-themed Book of the Season, but they spill over into the interview with Olly Alexander.

DR: You also work at Fantastic Man; how does each role influence or affect the other? Or are they mostly separate “jobs”?

SE: They are separate jobs but each magazine is driven in some way by a sense of curiosity and wonder about people and their inspirations. So I'm sure that lessons learned in The Happy Reader are often completely useful to Fantastic Man, and vice versa. Both are dream projects, really.

The latest issue of The Happy Reader is out now.


Dan's Mags shop

Rare mags for sale 💥

Back in 2014, I hosted a pop-up shop for the Magpile Store in one of the best coffee shops in Helsinki, the since-closed Freese Coffee shop.

I'm currently on holiday in Finland and I found the last remaining stock from the pop-up, featuring old issues of magazines like Offscreen, Hello Mr, Boneshaker and Works That Work.

I've thrown all these past issues—most have since sold out—online with free worldwide postage. 💌

Go to to grab yourself a magazine before they go for good.

There are also a handful of Totes Love Magazines bags available in the same shop at a special discount. Go check them out!


NANG Magazine

Origin Story: NANG

NANG is a magazine about “cinema in Asia”, and one that steers clear of typical movie magazine stereotypes. Intelligently and beautifully crafted, the magazine looks east to film and is a pre-defined 10-issue series, published until 2021.

Davide Cazzaro, founder and editor, tells us why he started the magazine...

“NANG had two beginnings, so to speak: we released a short pilot issue in May 2016 after several months of preparation – think of it as an introduction+‘trailer’+production test of the whole project – and then we started in earnest in September 2016, with Issue 1. Since then, we have published two print-only issues per year and we will do so till we reach number 10, scheduled for April 2021 (gosh, this is probably one of the farthest-away-in-time issue announcements ever made!).

“NANG began in my mind ‘as an itch,’ I was rather frustrated by the traditional film magazine form and format, and I long believed that exploring cinema through the medium of paper could (and should) have been more exciting and adventurous than what most existing publications use to do.

The independent nature of this project presents many challenges but has certainly allowed us to take different directions, I am thinking in particular to our ambitious focus on cinema in Asia and to the fact that every issue is conceived, from scratch, around a specific theme and prepared by a unique group of guest editors, each using a distinct yet diverse approach.”

Issue 4 of NANG is out now, entitled “In & Out”. Get your copy at
(Scroll down for an exclusive discount!)



Changes coming to Magpile!

Magpile, the magazine wiki-type site I started, is now 6 years old but the site has basically been the same since day one. I've been carving out time in my super hectic week time to modernise the design, add some new features and rip out a lot of old stuff. Hopefully we'll end up with a super-duper version of Magpile that will aid growth and last into the years to come.

Updates coming
- New design: new typefaces, bigger covers, new code
- Easier way to add magazines and images
- New “like” buttons
- Faster internals
- The Magpile Store is closing down

I'm hoping to have this new Magpile online next week. Stay tuned!


Not a Magpile user?
Magpile is a user-supported archive of the world's magazines. Everyone can add details about magazines. You can also track and record your magazine collection by adding magazines to your “pile”.

Sign up at ⚡️


20% off NANG!

A discount just for Coverage readers

You can get 20% off NANG issues with the following code. Thanks Davide!


Discount is valid until Monday 16th July.


Follow my magazine adventures...

@dansmags on Instagram


@dr on Magpile



Subsail powers magazine subscriptions for indie publishers ⚡️


Coverage is a magazine newsletter from Dan Rowden

Say hi — hit reply! 😄

UnsubscribeView in browser

Sent with love from Finland 🇫🇮

Powered by EmailOctopus