It’s time for another interview with another of our prized publisher partners! This time we’re lucky enough to have posed our serious (and not-so-serious) questions to Tony Rollinson, Sales Director at Permaculture Magazine.

Permaculture is a visionary magazine that gives readers the tools needed to create productive and resilient homes, gardens, economies, relationships, schools, farms and communities; an essential companion on life-changing permaculture adventure.

Both individuals and institutions can subscribe to the complete archive of Permaculture in the Exact Editions shops.

You can find all the latest updates from the magazine on Twitter by following them at @PermacultureMag.

Archived issues of Permaculture stacked on the Exact Editions reader

The Interview

1) What’s your role within the magazine?

We all do many things; be it connecting with people around the country and world and telling their stories, or some of the more nuts and bolts tasks such as partnering with individuals, companies or communities. That partnering is one of my main fields of influence, and our readership are certainly our partners too. So Partnerships, Marketing, Sales.

2) What attracted you to the magazine publishing industry?

Being inspired by others, and in turn being there to regularly inspire others and make real differences (magazines are not one-offs, they are regular, which I think is one of the main things for me).

If you love people, love words, love colour and variety, who wouldn’t want to be involved in an industry which involves so many connections with people, culture, creativity, and can-do-ness? We are key influencers, so as Spidey would say; with that comes “great responsibility”.  

3)  If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Gotta give two answers, Grapes or Chip Butties. I love fruit more than anything (am definitely coming back as an orangutan I reckon). But potatoes grow here in good old Blighty (might be out of the EU and the UK by the time this is published) and I think I could have spuds in all of their different ways each day if I had to.

4)  If you weren’t working in publishing, what would you be doing?

I love music and play in a band called Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience and we are releasing a Best Of album at the start of 2020.

Tony and his wife Andrea (photo by Sandra Brown)

5) Do you have an all-time favourite Permaculture issue?

Our recent 100th issue, because it truly did sum up what we have achieved, but also points to our increasing impact and influence, especially with our annual £30,000 Permaculture Prize which has taken to a whole different level. I think we are all very, very proud of the people that it reaches.

6) If you could live in any city, where would it be?

I live in Portsmouth, south of London by the sea already, so I am sorted. It is an amazing community city, we have a football team which held the FA Cup for the most successive number of years ever (look-up why). 

7) What do you think will have changed in the publishing industry in 5 years?

Not enough actually. Still too many vacuous celebrity and car magazines on shelves and peddled as something that we “need” … not against that stuff, just too much of it. Not enough life changing, culture influencing publications for me.

Obviously the big changes are Amazon and Digital. But, both are exciting. The digital edition of Permaculture has been picked up institutions worldwide, again helping us to grow and genuinely become an influencer (we have been invited onto a very, very prominent Commonwealth Climate group). Amazon has had a Ying and a Yang. It has made ‘Permaculture’ available at a click of a button worldwide, which has helped us reach more and more people. But, at the same time they take a big cut and take a while to pay, so cashflow in publishing has changed dramatically. Amazon’s effect on the high street has been dramatic and magazines are coming under increasing pressure to ‘get out there’.

You have to innovate to survive, it is just not the same. So we use inventive, relevant social media and have our own YouTube channel which is just growing and growing. It’s up for grabs as to which magazines will survive or have any use. Younger people don’t read on computers or laptops any more, it is smart phones … you’d have to be dumb not to be smart wouldn’t you? 

Thanks for taking part Tony! Definitely agree with you on the potato front…

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