Editor Nathan Cleary started Wildland as blog on Tumblr to share his love for traveling and photography. Aiming to make us see the outside world beyond our computer screen, he publishes a palm-sized magazine for readers to enjoy slowly.
Baron: What’s the story behind Wildland Magazine?
Nathan Cleary: The idea behind Wildland is to take people’s personal travels, lifestyles and exploration stories and bring them to life in print and picture. Each issue will feature a different theme, this could include camping in the Italian Alps to kayaking in Slovenia or even creating custom Skateboards in East London. All of these stories and images will come together beautifully in this palm-sized journal.
My vision for this journal is a new and exciting way of publishing. There are no budgets for photographers or writers. Instead each happy contributor will be entitled to a share of the profit from each magazine sold. After the printing and distribution costs are covered, the rest will then be split equally between all contributors making it equal, fair and original.
B.: How does that translate to an editorial policy?
N. C.: In issue one, I took the time to find people that I had previously liked on Tumblr and Behance and then got talking and worked it from there. Issue two has been very different. I initially wanted to create a journal of people’s stories of their travels and experiences, trying to create that exclusive content. I’m pretty open when it comes to work for that particular theme. I want it to be as exciting as possible and at the same time cater for as many different people as possible.
B.: Why choose print? What kind of paper do you use and why?
N. C.: To be honest, when I started Wildland it was initially going to be a blog, which curated images that inspired and motivated me to travel and strive to do more things with my own life. I was blogging daily and realized this could be a digital magazine using the Issuu platform. After doing this, I wanted to hold and feel my magazine. I remember buying many skateboarding magazines as a youth and loved the feel and the smell so I went looking at various magazines and, for issue two, settled on 150gsm coated paper with a nice 250gsm coated cover, finished in gloss. To me, this just felt right.
B.: What was the readers’ response?
N. C.: It’s been fantastic! The indie magazine culture is really thriving; people are open to so many new publications. With issue two, my concern was always the size and how people would react. I see magazines getting bigger, not smaller. I also see white everywhere! I definitely took a gamble but it’s paying off.
B.: Good print mags get a lot of love, but this isn’t always reflected in sales or advertising. How are your sales doing? What is your advertising philosophy?
N. C.: I never started this to be a millionaire or seek fame, I started very low quantity, hundreds as apposed as thousands. I’m financing this from my own pocket so I always take care when making costly decisions. Sales wise, I’ve almost broken even on the first batch.
Advertisement is something I don’t want to focus on at all. Sometimes too many magazines focus on this rather than the content and it loses its appeal. Some magazines will sell a cover or two to get that much needed cash injection, I don’t agree. Keep it simple and it will work out.
As a new publisher, I still have time to grow and build my customer base. I would say I have a good chance to succeed if I stick to what I’m doing now.
B.: Any upcoming projects?
N. C.: At the moment my brain is on overtime. I have so many ideas on how to improve and take Wildland further in the future but, for now, I have issue three in the making. This will hopefully be featuring a lot more exclusive content. I have a couple of new writers on-board and plan to focus more on stories, which 1 and 2 didn’t.
I have also decided to change the paper stock to a beautiful uncoated 150gsm and a 300gsm uncoated cover, finished in matt. I felt that people prefer this look and feel to coated stock. I also have issue four planned in for the end of the year, after which I will be creating an exclusive photo annual which will feature the best bits from 2014 and be very limited, so look out for that one at the end of the year.
I’m always looking for people to get involved, photographers, writers and journalists. If you are keen and want to get involved, contact me here [email protected]