Laine Publishing is a Finnish publishing house behind the Laine knit magazine and multiple crafts and lifestyle books. Since 2021, their multilingual publications have been created with WoodWing Studio. We met with the company’s COO and co-founder, Sini Kramer, and managing editor, Maija Kangasluoma, and heard their thoughts on how WoodWing Studio has helped the company to grow internationally.
Simpler and faster publishing processes
When Laine was founded in 2016, the magazine was published three times a year and only in English. Back then, the publication was created in Adobe InDesign, and the publication process was not ideal. To illustrate, the graphic designer was in charge of making all necessary changes, such as fixing typing errors.
“The process was heavy, but with that publication frequency, it worked well enough,” Kramer states.
A need for changing that process arised in 2020, when they published their first book – both in English and in Finnish. The same year, Laine also became bilingual.
“We noticed that with more publications and several languages, we needed more streamlined processes. Maija and our co-founder, Jonna Hietala, had worked with Studio before. That was one of the reasons why we chose it,” Kramer explains.
With Studio, the processes did become simpler. Now, the graphic designer does not need to edit the text anymore. Instead, the editor can do that themselves while proofreading the publication. On top of that, the editor can also view the impact of those changes in real-time in Studio’s layout preview mode.
Targeting international audience with multilingual content
Ever since starting their business, international visibility has been crucial for the company.
“When we launched Laine, we knew that there would not be enough audience for a knit magazine in Finland. In addition, in 2016, Nordic slow living was an international trend. So, it made sense to head to international markets right away”, Kramer reminisces.
In addition to English, the company’s current publishing languages include Finnish, Swedish, German, French, and even Japanese. According to Kramer and Kangasluoma, the multilingual publication process in WoodWing Studio is simple.
“Managing language versions is smooth, as language is the only element that changes in the layout. Ads, images, and other components remain in the exact same positions,” Kangasluoma describes.
One platform to publish both online and in print
Laine Publishing’s books are not only multilingual, but also multichannel: they are published in both printed and digital format as PDF files.
“We aim to create visually appealing high quality books, so many of our readers want to buy them as physical items. After pondering the sustainability of printing paper books, we have come the conclusion that knit books are timeless and generally used for a long time. Hence, from our perspective, printing our books makes sense,” Kramer states.
As for E-books, the company started publishing them around 18 months ago. The goal was to make their books more accessible to their international audience.
“Although our E-books don’t sell nearly as much as their printed counterparts, they do have their own audience. Shipping a print book to, for example, South America can cost as much as the publication itself. That’s why we want to offer digital versions as well.”
Laine is currently only published in print format, but that might change in the future. Digitalizing the magazine requires some concrete decisions from the company management, but the tools for that are ready – in WoodWing Studio, of course.
Smartium supports and helps in need
Smartium has been the publisher’s partner with Studio ever since its deployment. Samuli Jokipaltio from Smartium helped them create their own Studio environment and determine the necessary settings. On top of that, he trained the personnel to use the publishing system.
“I had used Studio before when I was working in the publishing field, so I already knew Samuli,” Kangasluoma says. “The deployment process and trainings left us with good experiences.”
She tells us that most often, she is the one to contact Smartium when any problems arise with Studio. According to Kangasluoma, the problems are usually solved quickly – especially when a release is approaching and the need for fixes is the greatest.
Future focus remains on crafts
The company’s future goals involve focusing even more on the Finnish audience, and their core field: knitting and crafts.
“We started by conquering the world, but now, we want to return home, too. The Finnish knitting community is now quite big, and crafts are a popular hobby here. In the past, we have taken some side steps and published cook books and business guides. Now, we want to really concentrate on creating craft books,” Kramer envisions.
In October 2023, Laine Publishing sold the majority of their business to A-lehdet, one of Finland’s biggest publishing houses. Laine will continue its journey as A-lehdet’s independent subsidiary. Essentially, the two companies will join their efforts to provide knitters and other craftaholics with even better content – both in Finland and around the world.