Interview #16 comes from Dean Van Nguyen who creates One More Robot; an independent magazine published and printed in Dublin, Ireland. Covering music, media and pop culture, 12 issues have been published to date with each edition typically relating to its own unique theme.
What was your first publication?
I’ve worked as a journalist and editor on a whole bunch of magazines, newspapers and websites, but One More Robot is my only self-published print project. I started almost exactly five years ago now and have produced 12 issues. Because the content can be so varied – most issues have their own unique theme
– I guess I never really felt the need to publish another print magazine under a different title.
Why did you start self publishing?
I’d just started working as a freelancer and work was a little hard to come by at first. I started One More Robot as a way to showcase myself as an editor, but also to help pass the time during those first few barren months. A few issues in I started to believe that maybe this was something I could do professionally – that maybe I could take if from a couple of hundred readers to a newsstand title. But some setbacks coupled with the realities of trying to make a print product commercially viable these days meant I abandoned the idea. The last few issues I’ve just done because everyone involved seems to really enjoy it.
What/who are your influences?
As a writer I tend to take influence from my journalist friends and contemporaries. I’ve been really lucky in that whenever I’ve reached out to someone I really admire and asked would they be interested in contributing an article to One More Robot, 90 percent of the time they’ve said yes. In terms of the One More Robot ethos, magazines like Stop Smiling, Vice, Clout, Juke and Article would been an influence.
What is your favourite material or method?
The magazine is created on Adobe InDesign. I’m no designer but I’ve gotten fairly competent at putting it together, plus we’ve got an amazing team of illustrators and photographers whose work really lifts every page.
What’s the best & worst things about making a zine?
The best thing, for me, is reading the work that comes back to me from the writers. Even though we’re really small time I believe the editorial content in each magazine is at least a match for any publication in the world. The worst thing these days is trying to find the readers. Magazines are just such a hard sell, which is why events like the Zine Fair as so brilliant for me as a publisher. I can move as many copies in a day as one of the stores that stocks the mag does over a couple of months.
How do you distribute your publications?
There’s a handful of independent stores in Dublin that stock One More Robot: The RAGE, The Winding Stair, All City and White Lady Art. Also, you can buy it online via onemorerobot.storenvy.com