If you can remember the first time you received some personalised junk mail, you’ll know there was at least a little wow factor in having something printed individually for you. It probably ended up with all the other junk mail - in the recycling bin - but these printing processes that allow companies to tailor each and every marketing letter personally to you are now available to the public. See also: How to publish a book or eBook
Want to print a one-off photo book of your honeymoon? No problem: just upload your photos, arrange them and add captions. Boom. It’s on its way to you in the post.
But what if you want to start your own magazine? Again – no problem. There are lots of companies ready to help you in your quest, without the hassle and uncertainty of dealing with agents and publishing houses. This is the age of self-publishing.
How to print a magazine | How to publish a magazine
The great thing about modern print-on-demand services is that there are no minimum order quantities. If you need just one magazine, you can print just one. Actually, you won’t order them: readers will, and this frees you from the hassle and cost of having to post them out, too.
The other main benefit is that you don’t need to forecast sales and have stock: they’re printed when an order comes in.
This means that it doesn’t have to be expensive to produce your own magazine: the main cost is the time and effort creating the content. But don’t be fooled: it takes a varied skill set to write the copy and design the pages. You may need to pay a designer or a writer if you’re only blessed with one of those skills.
There are lots of websites which will print your creations, including Amazon, MagCloud and Blurb. Blurb, for example, offers two options for magazines: standard and premium. Both are the usual 22x28cm format, and 20-page issues cost as little as £2.99. Extra pages obviously cost more, and you’ll have to increase the price to buyers in order to make a profit.
How to print a magazine | How to publish a magazine: What software do I need?
Many magazines are created using Adobe InDesign, and Blurb offers a plug-in that lets you easily upload your finished pages. However, many sites (including Blurb) will accept PDFs or even have an online designer so you can create your magazine directly on the site which will print it.
Of course, you don’t have to print your magazine at all. You could instead choose to make it a digital download, which saves on the printing and postage costs, leaving you more profit.
Alternatively, you could make it an online magazine that readers can view for free in their browser, as you can with InstantMagazine It isn’t free to publish on InstantMagazine, though: it’s £300 per year for the cheapest package.
If you’re planning on selling your issues to iOS users with iPhones or iPads, you’ll need your own app to deliver those issues, so it’s not an option for everyone.
Google’s Newsstand Producer can help you to get your magazine on Google Play.
How to print a magazine | How to publish a magazine: How can I promote my mag?
You can sell a printed magazine from your own website by embedding a direct link to it on your chosen printing site, but it can also be listed on the printing website. It’s best to go for a service that lets buyers see a preview of some of the pages before they buy.