Distribution was the most foreign part of magazine publishing for us. In the sights for the entire time, but dreading figuring it out until we absolutely had to: procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate. We briefly had an excuse to postpone it even further when the first edition came out because covid hit, and the retailers shut their doors…
It was only a series of simple emails and phone calls that had us figuring it out though. Months earlier we had contacted a couple distributors (having no idea how it worked), and they said they couldn’t consider it until we sent them a finished magazine. Which was funny because to get a barcode, you need a distributor, and to get a distributor, you need a magazine…with the printed barcode on it, lol…
Any way, we found out BC Ferries’ retail manager’s email, and she put us in touch with TNG, a wholesaler, as they don’t work with individual companies. She, then, told us we needed to be with a distributor that they already work with, like Disticor—a north american distributor. And if we did that, it sounds like FOLKLIFE would be perfect on the ferries. They were the same ones we had previously inquired with, so we sent them FOLKLIFE. Soon after, we got an email from them saying:
“Thank you for sending a copy of Folklife for review. I think you and your team have done a really nice job putting the issue together. We would be happy to represent Folklife at the newsstand.”
This was the most exciting news ever (even if it’s not a money maker as we get hardly anything of the cover price back--that’s print publishing for you. To be expected, can’t be in this stuff for the money). But we couldn’t imagine just how exciting until right now, as FOLKLIFE have hit the shelves. The first one we found was Vancouver’s Whole Foods on Robson. We went in for a delicious muffin, having low expectations that it would actually be there…and there it was. A huge stack on the first shelf! We were so excited, hopping around, taking pictures, telling the staff what a great magazine it is, buying a few for ourselves (they need to sell, so we can get the next edition everywhere).
And as we took some time off to visit family, we found them in random hole in the wall places around Alberta and BC, and in beautiful shops too. We have no idea what makes an idea something super legit. Was it in the creation of it? The printing of it? The fabulous response from all you lovely supporters? Seeing it on shelves everywhere where strangers will buy it? Selling out at almost all of the retailers we’ve stocked ourselves? (whom we love so much by the way— Artifact Shop, Laughing Oyster Book Shop LTD, Cafe Books West, Jipsi tree, Abraxas Books, Ten Old Books, Nesters Market - Gabriola, Nature Spirit Earth Market, North Road Sports & Clothing Co., The Looseleaf Galiano, Pilgrimme, Orca's Pod, Books On Mayne, Artzi Stuff, Talisman Books & Gallery, Ecossentials Local Market, Salt Spring Books, Salt Spring Goods, Salt Spring Mercantile, The Pottery on SSI, Picnics and Poetry, Amelia Lee Boutique, The Papery, SALT SHOP, 3 Singing Birds)?
Whatever it is, we are so very stoked that this whole distribution part has somehow worked out! Yayayay! Be sure to tell your friends and family to check their neighbourhood book and/or magazine shop for FOLKLIFE—a quick taste of home. Cheers!