Hub started as a physical magazine in December 2006. Originally intended to sell as a bi-monthly title, with the very best new fiction, features, news, reviews and interviews, the magazine was well-received by all those that read it.
Despite healthy orders and a growing subscriber base, Hub was unable to attract the advertising revenue necessary for this type of magazine to survive, and the print edition folded after just two issues.
Buoyed by the reception Hub had received, I decided to keep the momentum going. Rather than allow Hub to fold, I and co-editor Alasdair Stuart turned the magazine into an electronic journal. Foolishly optimistic, we decided that Hub was to become a weekly magazine, publishing one piece of short fiction every issue, along with regular reviews and occasional features and interviews. The first electronic edition (issue 3) was distributed to around 900 readers on April 20th, 2007.
Orbit, HarperCollins and Arts Council England
Orbit, who had been so generous with their advertising in the two hardcopy editions of Hub, came onboard as official sponsor, and it was with their kind patronage that we were able to pay our writers (of both fiction and non-fiction).
Just two months after launching as an eZine, Hub was awarded a marketing grant from the National Lottery, through Arts Council England. This year-long subsidy was awarded in order to increase the readership of the magazine. The target for the following twelve months was to hit 5,000 readers a week.
We achieved this early, and currently have a weekly readership of just under 10,000.
When Orbit’s sponsorship period came to an end we were approached by HarperCollins, who took over sponsorship of the magazine, and who are our current sponsors. HarperCollins’ sponsorship ends in November 2009, and we are currently finalising a sponsorship deal with another publisher to take us through 2010.