Interview – Amanda Canning, editor of Good Place
A couple of years ago Amanda Canning took part in our ‘How to launch an independent magazine’ class. When she got in touch last summer to say that the class gave her the kick-up-the-backside required and that her Kickstarter campaign for a new travel magazine was live, we couldn’t wait to read the first issue.
Good Place issue 1 was a hit, and the second edition of the ‘new travel magazine for the endlessly curious’ has just been published. We spoke to Amanda about what she picked up from the Delayed Gratification class, and what it’s like getting your own independent magazine off the ground…
How did you come up with the idea for Good Place?
Essentially, I made a magazine that I wanted to read! The focus is on ‘travel less ordinary’ and ‘tales less told’, which are two things that excite me the most. There’s such pressure on travel media to always cover the latest new thing and to tell readers to get to a destination before anyone else does, and I wanted to step back from that and concentrate on places and experiences that remain inherently good, paying no attention to the whirl of fads and trends. And I wanted to make a magazine that showcases the work of the very best writers and photographers out there.
Why did you sign up to the Delayed Gratification independent magazine class?
I’ve worked previously as the deputy editor of a magazine so already felt pretty confident I knew how to put a magazine together. Beyond that, it was all new to me, and I thought it’d be really useful to take advantage of the insight and expertise of indie publishers who produce such a quality publication and who’ve made a commercial success of it. It really didn’t disappoint.
How did the class help you turn your idea into reality?
Not only did it give me plenty of practical tools and resources to use, but it was great for giving me a little bit of a push to get on and publish. Before I took the class, I had stewed over this for a very long time, and it gave me that little confidence boost to go ahead and try it. Getting feedback on my ideas from the other participants and from Rob in such a positive and friendly environment was also incredibly helpful.
Is there a piece of advice from the class that has stuck with you?
There’s no point making a beautiful magazine if no-one knows it exists!
Have you learned anything new or surprising about making indie mags through the first two issues of Good Place?
Making the magazine is the easy bit – creating awareness of it and encouraging people to make that purchase are the parts I’ve found the toughest. My background is in editorial, not in publishing/sales/business, and that side of things has been a steep learning curve. On a positive note, I’ve loved being part of the indie mag community – it’s so supportive and the people in it have been so ready to offer help and advice. That’s been a really nice surprise.
What can readers expect from issue 2 of Good Place?
Plenty of striking imagery from some of the world’s most exciting photographers; original writing from award-winning journalists; one beautifully designed package; and a world of unique travel inspiration. We venture to an abandoned Soviet mining town deep within the Arctic Circle; discover how a hot dog unites Andy Warhol and the Queen Mum in New York City; find out what it means to be a 21st-century laird and lady on the Isle of Skye; follow in the wake of pilgrims and prophets on the King’s Highway in Jordan – and much, much more besides.
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