Sorry about the long absence from blogging . To bring me back, this is a response to Jonas Sandberg from Wagazi, a great blog about the convergence of old and new media. Jonas asks about the distribution model for ShelfMade. (You can read the business concept for ShelfMade)
ShelfMade is a service that allows users to publish their favourite online articles into a personalized magazine. It hasn´t launched yet, but I think it´s a really interesting way of combining new media and old media, and putting the power in the hands of independent publishers… However, one big issue for magazines are distribution. It is time consuming, and expensive. But if the magazine I create through ShelfMade isn´t distributed, no one will read it. And how fun is that?
So my question is if they have given the distribution problem any thoughts, or if they believe people will sort it out for themselves?
ShelfMade isn’t focused on traditional distribution for our magazines. In fact, eliminating the waste of a traditional distribution is a key part of business model, and it offsets the increased cost of customized, on-demand printing.
We are still going to make it fun.
The distribution will be direct, like a physical RSS. So just as your personalized magazine can be built from blogs, your website readers and online network can subscribe to your magazine and make you a publisher, not just a consumer. Imagine a widget on Wagazi where your readers can purchase or even subscribe to your magazine.
With a networked and direct distribution the newsstand isn’t necessary. The goal is to have employees subscribing to the CEO’s magazine, Ron Paul’s supporters can subscribe to the magazine his campaign builds and everyone contributes to Michael Arrington’s magazine.
If the business is successful and growing at a decent pace it would be nearly impossible to manage the process of getting magazines on shelves. Jonas, your correct, traditional distribution is costly and time consuming that is why we’re avoiding it.
Of course I am open to hearing all ideas.