At work with: Bryony Lloyd, Antenne Books
When on the hunt for intriguing, new magazines, one of our go-to sites is distributor Antenne Book’s website - a constant source of new titles. Although we regularly check their site to see whether the next issue of Wax, Noon or Kaleidoscope is out, we wondered what being an independent magazine distributor is like day-to-day. As they share the same building as us, we decided to pop over and start the week off by chatting with sales manager Bryony Lloyd, who filled us in on all the distributor details.
Where are you today?
In the Antenne office in Panther House, Clerkenwell. Panther House is an old factory building, now housing all sorts of offices and studios.
What can you see from the window?
The bricks of an old building like ours which is adjacent to recently built flats - a new addition to our view.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Both! Morning is the best working time for me. I have an hour long walk to the office every morning which helps me arrive with a clear head.
Which magazine do you first remember?
Hot and Cool was one of the first publications that we worked with. I admire the way they've followed their own path, avoiding taste trends. We've seen the magazine evolve but they've also stayed true to the original sentiment, always using interesting photographers and well considered content. It's one of those titles that you can see being important in the history of indie publishing.
What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
The strong visuals of Noon are providing much needed stimulus for a Monday morning. The print quality is gorgeous and the selection of projects featured in this issue are particularly strong.
Many people will have only a vague idea what the distributor does – explain your role in magazine publishing (online and off).
The distributor is part of the stage between publisher and customer. This mainly involves logistics and sales. Distributors make sure a publication reaches the relevant shops.
Our online role is particularly important. Unlike most distributors, our website functions as an online catalogue for the shops that we can't regularly visit; it’s a crucial selling tool.
Antenne specialise in smaller magazines – do you have a selection criteria?
We like to champion independently published magazines. Publications with a corporate feel don’t really work for us – it makes sense for us to work with magazines that have less advertising. But there’s no set criteria, submissions can always take you by surprise. I look for titles with a unique standpoint and value for money in the production.
What’s been your best seller this month?
Ala Champ Magazine! I think the editors really understand their audience and they do a great job at connecting with them.
Have you developed a sense of what will sell and what won’t – do you get surprised by some of the successes?
In a sense, yes. We’ve been involved with magazines for a few years now so we can make informed decisions but it’s important to stay open minded. I’m pleased to say that we do get surprised. There are titles that I expected to be slightly niche as they have an unconventional format and unusual content, including Buffalo Zine and A Nice Magazine, but people have really taken to them. I hope this represents a craving for something different, which is great as it keeps publishing pushing forward.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
Meeting up with a new and exciting publisher. I always look forward to face-to-face meetings and the prospect of interesting conversations sparked by one of our titles.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
What will you be doing after this chat?
Reading up on new titles in preparation for a meeting with a book buyer.