For years, eBooks, digital magazines, and online media have filed the internet. Quick, easy and delivered instantly, these online mediums are efficient and the number one choice for many across the world. Have we all but forgotten about physical media these days though? The days of having stacks of magazines under our coffee tables, and bookcases filled from left to right, shoving books on top and between shelves.
My name’s Jeff Porter, and I haven’t forgotten, as I’ve found many others who feel the same way. The thought of having a monthly magazine delivered to your home and being able to physically hold in your hand has always stuck with me since I was a small kid. I wanted to bring back this feeling of nostalgia and be able to offer something fresh and that readers would enjoy. Thus, The Indie Gamer Magazine was created, and I’ve delivered physical prints all over the world! Living in a small town in the rural United States, many believed this wasn’t possible. You need to be a big city to create a business, how will you reach people, and what makes you think people will even care? Well, I’m here to say, it doesn’t matter where you live, all that matters is you have a passion. A passion with a fire under it is worth more than anything else in the world. All it takes is you, telling yourself you’re going to do something.
The beginning of this journey was surprising and tough though, as I had no idea how to design a magazine, how I would fund it or if this was even possible. All I knew was how to write, as I had been a game and movie journalist across websites for years, but never truly embraced it as a career or job. My first and foremost goal was to discover if this was even achievable before I got my hopes up. People do e-mags all the time, but print was something else entirely. I took to Google and YouTube to find my answers, and after several weeks of research, I came to the conclusion that this could, in fact, be a possibility, if the market was there. Much of what I’ve learned over my 25 years of life, isn’t what I was taught in school or College, but what I’ve taught myself or learned online. I often joke with friends that I feel I got a 4-year degree from YouTube videos. If you are nervous about starting something because you don’t know something, look it up. There’s so much free knowledge across the web, you’ll wonder why everyone doesn’t do this. I then created a Kickstarter, detailing every cost, making an informative video, and offering backer rewards that were unique. I had realized that while there would be some upfront costs, it was very manageable and a Kickstarter would not just raise money, but also raise awareness and find like-minded individuals who would be interested in the content.
Like I mentioned, I had been a game and movie journalist for a few years, and most recently had begun to reach out to independent developers and ask about their newest projects. To this date, I’ve never had a developer shoot me down, as this benefits us both. I showcase their game and bring players, and with their content, I bring in customers. There’s really no way to lose.
After the Kickstarter was successfully funded, I began work on the backer rewards and the second issue. I began to feel like this could truly work! I felt like I was on a roll. The second issue brought in even more readers, and since the first issue, I’ve more than tripled my readers! A majority of which order printed issues! This is important, that while my main focus was on print, I also offered e-mags for those who prefer them. I could offer the product and in multiple mediums for each person’s preference.
I’ve even gone as far as creating a small video ad campaign, complete with fun commercials referencing back to the 90’s, “infomercials” and more. The first was released last month, and you can watch it below. These have also brought me new sales, laughs, and people who enjoy a guy creating something on his own terms.
The biggest challenge thus far though, has been with subscriptions. Subscriptions were a no-brainer, and of the publishers and distributors I found, many offered this on their platform. However, their printing prices were also very high, and I wanted to keep the costs down for readers. I found the best option for print and digital, however, they currently do not offer subscriptions, which meant this was going to have to be handled by myself directly. It has taken some time, and after releasing the 4th issue on November 1st, I feel I have finally found the answer! Digital subscriptions are a go, however, print is still being worked on. I would need to keep stock, so as to send them out on time, but being an independent creator, money is tight. So to remedy this situation, I believe I’m going to do a pre-order for prints, so I can get an accurate count, and print ahead so as to send out on time. This is still in the works, but you can keep up with on the details on my Facebook page.
The Indie Gamer Magazine has become a huge part of my time and life, and I couldn’t be happier. Finally being able to do what I love, and make a living from it is something everyone dreams for, and as time goes on, my opportunities become larger and also the more I can accomplish.
If you’re interested in ordering a copy or subscribing you can find out how at the bottom of the article. Independent games and developers are often overlooked in the gaming industry, and I love being able to shine a light on their projects. Every developer I’ve spoken with have been the nicest, most gracious people I’ve ever spoken to, and I feel I’ve made friends all across the world. As I always do on Facebook, or in the magazine, I want to thank the readers and backers who have made this possible, and the future only holds great things.
Jeff Porter, Editor/Creator of The Indie Gamer Magazine
Latest issue (Click here, or the image below)
Subscribe to the digital issues HERE (Website still currently being worked on)
Interview about The Indie Gamer Magazine, on Gametyrant.com
Follow along on the Facebook page!