It's hard not to get excited whenever we come across a story about print media finding new, unique ways to thrive. That's why we love what Lim Cheng Soon is doing. He's the creator of Hacker Monthly: a print and digital-edition magazine that curates the best articles from Hacker News. Soon wanted a way to keep up-to-date with the best articles from the site while offline, so he started compiling them into a print magazine. Twenty-two issues and 4,700 subscribers later, he's now working on Hacker Monthly full-time.
Soon carefully selects the articles he wants to publish each month, then reaches out to the authors to get their permission — contributors receive a free print issue that their article appears in, as well as a year-long digital subscription. After that, two copyeditors give the articles a light edit, and a designer prepares the print and digital versions. Yearly subscriptions cost $88 for a print edition and $29 for the digital, which brings in about $150,000 a year. As Andrew Phelps from the Niemen Journalism Lab so simply puts it: "A niche, printed magazine, compiled from free content and buoyed by a digital edition, is turning a profit." We like the sound of that.