Hunter S. Thompson once famously said, “The magazine business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.”
Okay, okay, he was actually talking about the music business but there are times when we’re convinced that this analogy could apply equally to the vagaries of the mag distribution game.
Now, don’t confuse the industry with the magazines: we love the mags, but we utterly loathe the endless hoops that we need to jump through to get to them.
There are times when we have encounters with our wholesale suppliers that leave us utterly speechless at their variable levels of competence. On some days we’ll receive a random delivery of 250 copies of a single magazine when we have explicitly asked for none (this happened yesterday) and others when we’ll ask for 100 copies and receive… twelve.
We were at the receiving end of some more logistical hijinx this morning when we discovered that instead of the many hundreds of copies of Lula that we’ve taken for previous issues (we tell them that we’ll take as many as they can get us) we’d only been allocated a tenth of our normal supply. Thankfully, dealing directly with the publisher in the UK overnight resulted in a further 100 copies being sent our way.
Funnily enough, dealing directly with publishers seems to be hassle free – dealing with distributors is anything but. We’re sure they’re trying their hardest, but given the well documented woes that the printing and publishing sector is currently undergoing, a supremely inefficient distribution model is about as helpful to all concerned as a kick in the crotch.
If you happened to have dropped by any of our stores in the days following a Lula delivery, you’ll understand what a massive deal this is for us. This mag is a genuine blockbuster. Usually, we get so many copies that we’ll be cramming them anywhere they will fit… stacking copies on top of shelving units, in stairwells, cleaning out storage cupboards so we can ram a few more in and for a few days, we’re bursting at the seams with Lula and then just as quickly… they’re all gone.
So, what does this mean for Lula fans?
If you already subscribe, don’t worry! We’ve ensured that we have copies beyond the store allocation to make sure that you’re covered.
If you’re not a subscriber, then the best way to ensure that you’ll get a copy is to subscribe or pre-order online and we’ll post you out a copy as soon as they come in. If you’re happy to wait until late-July or even early-August, we’re hoping to get some more copies then. Fingers crossed.