Pagan publishing in a changing world: an interview with Anne Newkirk Niven

FOREST GROVE, Ore. — Pagan magazine publishing might be considered a cottage industry, with a rich tradition that extends back to the days when newsletters were created on photocopy machines and shared ad infinitum among friends. BBI Media might not be operated out of an actual cottage, but it is one of the last remaining publishers of Pagan-focused print magazines in the United States, and it isn’t exactly an empire, either. “We work out of our basement,” said Anne Newkirk Niven, whose company puts out both Witches & Pagans and SageWoman magazines. “People are surprised when they call and I answer the phone.

Borders Closure a “Body Blow” to Pagan Publishers

On July 22nd the bookstore chain Borders started the process of closing its 399 remaining locations. This move was long predicted by industry watchers as the once-mighty chain wobbled in the face of Amazon.com’s rise (a company it once outsourced to) and costly missteps in non-book merchandise. The last few weeks of media coverage has featured a mixture of fond reminiscences, 20/20 hindsight analysis,  and predictions for the future of the book-selling industry. Many of the predictions haven’t been too cheery, for example, the investment site The Motley Fool predicts that Barnes & Noble will ultimately suffer the same fate, noting that “just because B&N will be the last one standing doesn’t mean that it will be standing for long.” Even if the Borders closure is the last domino to topple as the retail book market restructures itself for a post-ebook and post-Amazon world, that development alone could have far-reaching and possibly disastrous consequences for businesses that cater to modern Pagans.