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Published December 16 2013

State of the Magazine

by Peter Biľak

First year of Works That Work magazine in numbers.

The end of the year is a time when many people pause for reflection, and as incredible as it may seem, this marks the end of WTW’s first year of existence, so this is a good time to take stock of where we are and where we’ve been. Here are some of the highlights of what we (and that ‘we’ includes you and the whole reader community) have been doing.

Reader Meetings

We have been meeting together all over the world, a feat which included over 50,000 miles (80,467 km) of travel (that’s about twice the Earth’s circumference) to do regional launches and present the magazine to various communities, including The Hague, London, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, San Francisco, Moscow, Amsterdam, Arnhem, Žilina, Košice, Santiago de Chile, Utrecht, Moscow, London, Warsaw, Nijmegen, and Birmingham. All in all, we promoted WTW at 18 reader events, two book fairs (New York Art Book Fair, Tokyo Art Book Fair) and Dutch Design Week.

Thanks so much to the hosts and organisers of the following events, because we couldn’t have done it without you!

Stroom Den Haag, X Marks the Bökship, Leste, ímã mobilizadores, Artspeak, Ross Milne, Tipocratia, Bebel Abreu, Emily Carr University of Art, TYPO San Francisco, FLACON design-zavod, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Tabačka, Stanica Zariečie, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Centro Cultural Mil Metros Cuadrados, Creative Mornings Utrecht, British Higher School of Design, Serebro Nabora, Design Debate Warsaw, LCC London, LhGWR, Nijmeegs Ontwerp Platform, An Endless Supply, and Library of Birmingham


As of today we’ve sold 5,460 printed copies of the magazines (including hybrid print & digital copies). The print edition of the first issue is sold out, but we still have a few boxes of the second issue. We also sold 689 digital-only editions, which amounts to about 12% of total sales. This percentage is growing, especially since the first issue is now available only digitally.

When we launched the magazine, we spoke extensively about distribution as a factor in the design of the operation. We started the Social Distribution experiment, paying readers for bringing the magazine to their communities and friends. So how has that worked, and what part does it play in our sales statistics?

We sold 2,731 printed copies directly from our website, making it the single largest point of sale. We are grateful for this, as it contributes significantly to our finances, (we keep 100% of the sale price this way).

We also work with one traditional book distributor (because some shops refuse to carry the periodicals unless they are delivered by contractually bound distributors.) Idea Books Amsterdam, whose network reaches across many different countries, sold 400 copies, but we receive only 40% from those sales, not even enough to cover the production costs of the magazines.

And fin