Are you planning on self-publishing your own magazine? It is a brilliant idea. However, the journey of self-publishing a magazine is no easy one. You need to spend a lot of time researching, editing, printing, and marketing. Therefore, it’s a hard task but an equally rewarding one.
Self-publishing your own magazine is a wonderful way to showcase your passion for various subjects. But if you are not 100 percent dedicated to the plan, you may not succeed as this is a cut-throat industry. However, if you are prepared for the challenges and the bumpy road ahead, the remuneration is incredible. To get started fast, here are some easy to follow steps to self-publishing a magazine in no time!
To self-publish a magazine is a major project and a costly job, physically, mentally and financially. So, before you get started, you need to consider various factors such as money, time and energy. Therefore, research is required to weigh the value of the project. Some of the things to look into include:
Knowing your competitors
Browse the internet and visit local stores to learn more about your competitors. Study their content and how they appeal to their audience through printed magazines.
Identifying your audience
What kind of people are you looking to serve? The research is more than age, sex or religion. You need to talk to your potential audience to know what they like and what they do not like. (which is why most people start magazines about their own passions)
Finding a unique selling point
If you think your competitors are not providing the best, you need to look for a unique selling point that will satisfy your target audience and set you apart
2. Consider your budgets
Self-publishing is a great plan but needs a lot of hard work to get there. And before you roll-out the project, you need to plan your resources. By knowing the cost, you can easily move onto the next stages of printing and distribution. You need to know:
- Your printing budget
- The number of colored pages
- The circulation target
- Additional investment
- Sponsors and advertising income potential
3. Market your magazine
Marketing is another major task you’ll need to overcome. It’s essential to note that even the most popular magazines in the market started with very small audiences. Therefore, you need to have effective strategies to plan your growth to eventually getting a space in the retail stores. For example, before you publish your magazine, ensure you have a website with free content. Also, make sure that people can subscribe online to get your audience started!
4. Create high-quality content
The spine of a good magazine is content. Without content, you cannot reach your target audience. Happily, it is possible to get high-quality writers who can contribute to your magazine sometimes for free. Through freelance and social media sites, you can have a network of writers who can write good articles on various niches.
5. Edit the content
Once you will have a batch of articles to use every month, you need to pick the best that can attract readers. Edit the content and then release the content on your site before publishing. Obviously, printing should come after establishing an online following and testing your concept.
6. Establish the design
This is a step where you must be creative. Fortunately, you can go through other magazines for inspiration and creativeness. You also need to look for programs to make the work easier for you like Adobe design suites and other tools. If the budget allows, you can engage a professional designer to design for you.
7. Perfect Proofreading
With an online magazine, you can easily edit and change the content. But with printed magazines, you cannot afford to make mistakes. Therefore, you need to proofread your work and work with one or ideally more people to proofread the content for you. This will include checking the grammar, spelling mistakes, and the page numbers.
8. Pick the right printing company
Getting the right wholesale printing company plays a very big role in the success of your magazine. Therefore, you need to do research to ensure you pick a company that provides quality services at an affordable price. Depending on your subscriber numbers and projections, consider wholesale magazine printing as it will be much cheaper.
9. Quality checks
Keep in mind that what is on the computer may not reflect on the hard copy. From colors to the quality of the images, there are certain elements you need to look out for. For example, image resolution, page sizes, and other features need to be addressed.
10. Deliver the exact layout
Ensure you send the finished PDF files in one file to the printing company to make it easier for them to manage and organize the work. Also, ensure you provide enough time for printing and delivery to have room for correcting any mistakes before the distribution.
Self-publishing is a challenging task but very rewarding. And by following the above steps, you should be able to put a magazine together and distribute it to your audience a lot quicker than you’d expect.
As a last tip for all the startups out there, don’t be afraid to engage experts in the magazine field for advice and opinions. If you have questions concerning the printing, ensure you ask the printing company in advance and the first step is just to get started!
Featured Image: Supplied by author