‘I have been a subscriber from the off, and I read every issue with pleasure. But I have to tell you that No. 71 is the best ever. The writing it contains is superb.’ J. Conway, Edinburgh, UK
Greetings from Hoxton Square, where we’re in very good spirits and wish to share some cheering news with our readers. This quarter we’re celebrating a new high: a first print-run of 10,000 issues of the new issue of Slightly Foxed magazine. As most of you will know, we regularly reprint our back issues so, over time, each issue has sold thousands of copies. But now, for the first time, we’re up to 10,000 for the first run of an issue, which feels momentous to a small publisher like us and it’s all thanks to you, our readers.
Since Slightly Foxed began almost 18 years ago, we’ve published over 1,200 articles in 71 issues, 56 classic memoirs in our series of Slightly Foxed Editions and 24 children’s books in our Foxed Cubs list, plus an abundance of Plain Foxed Editions, paperbacks, original titles for special occasions and all manner of bookish goods.
According to industry bigwigs and their formulas, we can assume a readership of almost 22,000 when calculated from the circulation of the magazine each quarter. However, we can be sure to add a great many more to this estimate, as it doesn’t take into account the whole host of readers who pick up copies in bookshops (almost 250 stockists to date) or the thousands who can borrow from, or browse in, the libraries across the globe whom we supply with each issue.
Not only are our readers great in number, but they can also be found all over the world. We now have subscribers in 80 countries, and customers in many more. New Zealand may be the furthest from Hoxton Square, but we also reach far-flung places such as South Korea, Mauritius and the Philippines. And from airmail to the airwaves: we’ve now released 35 episodes of the Slightly Foxed podcast, and are approaching half a million all-time listens.
We could not have imagined the reach of Slightly Foxed back in 2003 when editors Gail and Hazel sat at the kitchen table and began to plan the first issue. Having sought out our craftsman printers at Smith Settle in Yorkshire (a long-term partnership which continues to this day) and starting with only 600 subscribers in March 2004, the print-run and number of subscribers gradually and organically grew. The small team stuck stamps on envelopes for every issue posted (before upgrading to a franking machine, the clunk of which still rings in our ears years later) and Jennie – with the help and hindrance of the original office cocker spaniel Pugwash – would drag parcels around in a very wobbly shopping trolley to the local letter boxes. Until, that is, she was tracked down by a roaming postman: ‘Oh, it’s you who’s been filling up these boxes every day! You do know you can arrange business collections, don’t you?’
In many ways Slightly Foxed is a real cottage industry, moving from a house in Islington to an office-cum-apartment in Clerkenwell to a flat in a converted warehouse in Hoxton. We may have grown in readership, bookshelf space and staff, updated our technology and streamlined our processes – but we continue to write all our gift messages by hand and answer the phone in person, and happily we still have a kitchen table around which we all sit for meetings, mailings, coffee and wine.
And, of course, as well as our small team of staff, we must acknowledge the Foxed dogs along the way: dearly departed Pugwash, spaniels Chudleigh and Stanley, Tarka the whippet, Griff the lurcher, the Sussex-based pack of three – Maggie, Gideon and Humphrey – and office hound Dusty.
It’s been a great pleasure to correspond with our loyal readers over the years and we look forward to continuing to conduct this worldwide friendship through books for many more years to come.
With renewed thanks and all good wishes from the SF office staff
Jennie, Anna, Hattie, Jess & Iona
And on behalf of those who are slightly more remote
Gail, Hazel, Steph & Aimi