Friday, May 14, 2010

Start your own print magazine at no cost

Rolling Stone. Newsweek. Good Housekeeping. You've heard of them. Now you can join their ranks.

Ever wanted to own your own print magazine? Maybe you’d like to publish a fiction magazine with short stories written by your friends? Or possibly you’d like to create a niche magazine about a certain topic? Pets? Sports? Video games? Whatever?

But that costs a lot of money. Right? Right.

Not any more.

Now there’s MagCloud.

What is MagCloud? It’s a self-publishing web service.

Yeah, but what does that mean? Basically, MagCloud is a print-on-demand service.

Let me break it down for you.

You want to start a magazine, so first you’ve got to get all the stories and artwork together. Then you design your magazine and save it as a PDF file. Next you create an account on MagCloud. You upload your PDF file to MagCloud. The folks at MagCloud print out a copy of your magazine and mail it to you, and this might take a couple of weeks. Once you get the printed copy of your magazine, you look over it for any errors or what you perceive as printing or design issues. You log back onto MagCloud and make any corrections.

From then on, your magazine is available for purchase online.

And it didn’t cost you a thing.

How is this possible? Readers can order your magazine online. Since MagCloudoperates as a print-on-demand service, they only have to print out however many of your magazine has been ordered. If ten orders are put in for your publication, then MagCloud prints out ten copies and mails them out. If a thousand orders are placed, MagCloud prints those and mails them.

It’s rather simple.

And, within reason, you get to set the price for your magazine. Of course MagCloud will have some upfront fees to cover printing services, but the reader will pay for those in the price of the magazine, not you.

For example, according to the MagCloud website, the magazines available through them cost about 20 cents per page. That’s cost to the reader. So if you have a 20 page magazine, the base cost to the reader will be four dollars.

But if you want to make money, you just charge more than the base price. Let’s go back to that four dollars. That four dollars covers the printing costs, so that has to remain. All you have to do is tack on a dollar, for example, and suddenly you are making a dollar for every copy of your magazine that is sold.

It sounds simple, and it is.

So if you’re interested, start your own magazine today. The potential is even there for other projects. If you sell a product, you could create your own catalogue. Or you could make a chapbook of your short stories to give to family and friends. You could even make a promotional brochure. The ideas are only limited by your imagination.

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