Shred Magazine, born in 1996, has launched an online version that is free to read and interactive thanks to a tie in with Kent-based software programmers Pagesuite.
Shred’s owner and publisher Steve Toze said: "I am always looking for new ways to get people reading my magazine and doing my best to come up with ideas and material that are different. A few years back Shred Magazine was hitting bike stores across the UK as the first ever free bike magazine. Many of the UK’s bike stores do still receive copies of the magazine for free thanks to Shred’s distribution tie-in with Silverfish UK and they are able to sell these magazines or give them away to their customers."
But with increasing costs of production Toze to look at his publishing model:
"The problem a small publisher has is a face-off between needing bigger pagination and circulation to attract more advertising interest, and more readers, against the deep desire to remain true to your course and produce nice quality printed publications that sit on the coffee tablef or months to come. If you chuck money at pagination and circulation then something is going to break and usually this will be the quality. 12 months ago I thought the future was to produce a bike website to mirror the magazine but it never sat comfortably with me, the Pagesuite option allows us to maintain our great relationship with Bikemagic and Singletrack and also to walk our own path."
Shred has a current readership of c. 8000.
"With the online mag we can produce more pages and have a bigger balance of editorial with more product reviews, with links to the manufacturers for more info, as well as more images," said Toze.
"There is only so many places you can take a laptop. The truth is that the online reader is going to read the magazine in a different way, flipping from page to page and clicking the links to ads and perhaps focussing more on the product reviews and diary dates – basically the easy to digest bits of info. This works for the online reader at work especially as you don’t have to download the magazine – it just opens right up."
Issue 45 of the magazine is available here.