Posted on August 19, 2016 by Jason Zaragoza – It’s All Journalism
When Margaret Brown first saw the iPad, she saw her future.
“I have loved magazines since the time I could read,” Brown said. “I’ve subscribed to magazines my whole life. I always read every single magazine my parents subscribed to. That’s my passion, that’s my experience.”
With more than 25 years as a magazine publisher on her resume, Brown went to the owner of the publication she was working on at the time and suggested starting a line of digital magazines. He declined because “no one else was doing it.” Without the cost of paper, postage or print, Brown decided to try her hand at digital publishing.
She started a digital book review magazine, Shelf Unbound, in 2010 with the intention of building it up and selling it off. Within a few years, Shelf Unbound had built a steady readership of 125,000 with distribution in the U.S. and 75 other countries. “We distribute it for free and make our money by ad sales,” mostly from self-published authors who appreciate the “large audience of people interested in the literature.”
Shelf Unbound has been nominated for a Maggie Award each year of its existence and won in 2015. In 2016, Shelf Media, Brown’s company, won another.