When an idea takes off

A magazine stacked by Paper Planes

A magazine stacked by Paper Planes  


Paper Planes offers indie magazines on a monthly subscription service

Catch 33-year-old Nupur Joshi on dispatch day and she’ll tell you how chaotic it is — “I pack all the magazines and take it to the local post office, stand in line, and there’s always someone behind the counter who looks at me questioningly because I’m carrying all these bulky packages,” she exclaims.

Paper Planes, started by Nupur, is the cause of all the chaos. A monthly subscription service that delivers a cross-genre of indie magazines, Paper Planes lets you choose, or rather, makes sure you choose, different magazines every month. You can choose from ‘three stacks’ of three genres each or the ‘surprise me’ option. The service offers three subscription plans that are quite steeply priced: a rolling monthly plan for one issue a month at Rs. 1,000, nine-months for nine issues at Rs. 8,550 and 18-months for 18 issues at Rs. 17,000. 

The idea, Nupur says, for such a venture came through her love for the printed word. “I was a corporate lawyer but I was always attracted to the creative side of things. I took a break from work, travelled and I came across a lot of indie magazines. So I decided to start a platform to showcase indie publishers and magazines,” she says. Some of the titles Paper Planes stocks are indeed lesser known, like Lebanon-based  The Outpost that explores the culture of the Arab world or the UK-based  The Gentlewoman, which features inspirational women from around the world. There’s also an online store featuring more niche, smaller titles such as Airbnb’s  Pineapple or Monocle’s  The Forecast. “Sometimes there are extra issues lying around so I sell them on the store. I’m also planning to showcase limited edition magazines and box sets apart from stocking Indian indie magazines,” she says. 

As part of the research, Nupur attended an indie publishing biennale, in early 2014, in Amsterdam to meet publishers. “I loved the atmosphere. Who doesn’t want to see their name in print? If it’s online, you don’t who’s reading it or what’s happening to it.” At the end of the day, Nupur says all she is looking for is like-minded people (Paper Planes currently has 55 subscribers) who are willing to devote their time to read magazines that concentrate on the art of detailed, analytical narratives. “I know 90 per cent of my subscribers because I reached out to them. I’m not here to convert digital-people into print-loving people.”

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2018 4:18:18 PM |

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