You may not know but with just a computer and a phone anyone can publish a magazine with very little technical skill or graphic design or knowledge on print production. All you need is a knowledge of your proposed subject matter, an idea of who would be interested in reading about it.
There are lots of franchise models out there that can help you get content together and ultimately make the starting of your publishing journey a lot easier with a set look and feel this can help you get established. The downside of these franchise publications is normally the restriction of area by postcode, county or region. So make sure you understand what your are buying and how it can help get you publishing your first magazine.
If do want to go it alone without support don’t be scared. Although an uphill battle, running your own show is rewarding and extremely satisfying when all goes well. Oh and we can always help too.
Where to start once you have the idea of starting your own magazine. The first thing to get your head around is how is the magazine going to pay for itself and start making you money. Most publications rely on advertisers to pay to be in-front of your target audience. If you go down this route you have two main considerations when looking at potential advertisers. Number one, how does the advertiser make your magazine look? Do they cheapen your look and feel? Do they attract the right audience you want reading your publication. This other thing to consider is where would they fit in your publication? Would they get a better return for their investment with you if they were on the back page or sponsoring a relevant article?
More often than not most magazines will take all the advertisers they can get as lets face it they all want to spend money with you. But be aware of the impact on your publication to your readership.
Now you have them on board one of the biggest and most important lessons to learn is about how to get paid from your advertisers or sponsors. Make sure you spell out your credit terms and when you want to be paid and never be shy about asking for money! I emphasise this as we have been victim to late payers and businesses going under which will have a massive effect on not only your business but those around you. So keep your paperwork efficient and your wording tone firm but friendly.
Have you thought about how you are going to get your artwork sorted and print ready? Here you have a number options. The first is do it yourself? you have a computer why not?!? Well quiet simply do not attempt it unless you know a graphics package well or you are a competent print designer as you will end up with all kinds of headaches. I would say that unless you know your gutters, from your bleed and you know your CMKY from your RGB then look at getting some help. There are a number of options available to you the first is ask us to help you create your master piece we can make the process as painless as possible. The alternative is to find a designer that you are happy with, make sure you check out their portfolio and keep a close eye on how you are going to be charged as the artworking costs can quickly get expensive. Remember that most designers will work by the hour so the more prep work you can do for them the cheaper your bill will be.
The next step is getting the printing done. Now as you are reading this here I will happily go on all day about why we are the best printer to produce your magazine but make sure no matter where you go you need to get set costs for all the page and quantity variations you need. Some printers will be able to hold you prices for a certain period of time (6 / 12 months) so if you can fix you costs then you know how to budget.
Once your magazine print job has been placed and you understand when you are looking top take delivery of your first publication. You need to sort out the distribution to the readers. Now if you are a local publication then the cheapest route is to enlist the help of friends and family to get your magazines out to the right places. If you aren’t so lucky then you can contract local distributors or we can even help you pack the parcels and send them to the right people for you.
Once your publication is out to the masses make sure you go after feedback from advertisers as well as readers. This way you can tweak and manipulate your offering to ensure your business is viable for the future. Do not forget the other ways to get your magazine out to the masses i.e. online via an eBook as there is a large audience out there ready to be told about your prospective on your subject matter this will also give your advertisers better bang for their buck!
Now his is a bit of a whistle stop tour of the things to think about in publishing but the main focus has to be your cash flow as I’m sure you know that without money to produce the magazine you are only leaving you and your suppliers exposed.
If you need any further help then please feel free to call us. We would love to hear from you.