The Leveller Publishing Group was established in 2008 as a virtual publishing business. today it has grown and even put a foot down in the real world with a small office and real staff! The business is run by Andrew Lee who has over 20 years of publishing experience in online and offline formats.
To date it has completed two web based history sites, built up a book publishing portfolio and launched three newspapers.
In 2010 we launched the Langport Leveller with a circulation of 1,000 copies in the Langport area. Following the successful growth of the paper in its first year of operation, in October 2011 the Somerton Sentinel was launched and finally in 2015 a new title, The Somerset Leveller for the largers towns beyond the Levels such as Bridgwater, Yeovil, Taunton, Street and Glastonbury.
Our vision has always been to set up a very different type of publisher. We work without offices, communicating through laptop and mobile, using freelance writers and an outsourced printer to maximise our flexibility. This means that our papers run in a much more flexible and efficient way than traditional newsprint newspapers.
Within Langport we are lucky to have a dedicated team of distributors who have worked for us since the early days and we are grateful for their support.
Most free newspapers quote a print run. They simply do not know how many copies of their paper or magazine are picked up and read. They either dump large numbers of papers around the region, and leave them to be recycled when the next lot turn up, or have them delivered door to door.
We could see the advantage of knowing exactly what our circulation was, just in the way that other paid for newspapers like to quote an ABC figure to tell you what their circulation is. So as we expanded from Langport we distributed our papers through drop points, a network of pubs, shops, post offices and community halls. At the end of each month when we take out the new issue, we count back in all the untaken copies. So each month we know exactly what our circulation is.
And since our launch it has grown every month, from 1,000 copies to over 8,000 today.
And of course the fact that it is growing rapidly gives us a great story to tell and one we want to shout about.
That success was recognised as early as November 2012 when we won the Somerset Small Business of the Year Award in the Chamber of Commerce sponsored Somerset Business Awards.