Laura Allen, Founder and Editor of Prototype Magazine gives Startacus some handy tops on how to publish your own Magazine...
Beginning your own magazine requires dedication, passion for your subject and a creative flair. I recently began a publication called prototype magazine which offers those practicing creative subjects a platform for promotion.After graduating I wanted to go straight into a career and I see it as though there is no better place to start than the top. So, I am now self-employed and managing the magazine independently. This guide will give you the basics; offering you an insight into what helped me get to where I am today…
What you will need…
A unique idea. The magazine market is busy; there is everything from digital, promotional, arts, fashion, music, lifestyle and events magazines...Some are free, some are online, some are micro. But what will make your magazine work is if it is needed. Know your market, track down your area of focus and see what’s already out there – try not to step on any toes.
A brand. Any successful product works when it is supported by a strong, identifiable brand. Get it right by looking at other successful brands, what they have done, and what works and what doesn’t. Try and try again until you come up with something that works.
A piggy bank. As with any new project there is going to be a cost involved. It’s safe to say that digital magazines are your cheapest option; however you may still need to purchase web space. As for print, it’s expensive. However, if you get your price points right and shop around you’ll be able to make a profit eventually. So, save your money – a lot of funding platforms will only give you a percentage of the money you need so bear that in mind.
Cause a stir. With social media and online networking as prominent as ever in the world of business start-ups it is an effective and free method of getting people to know about you. Most projects work well when a community or network has already been created pre-launch to support them post-launch.
Read. If anything, reading magazines and everything to do with them will help to expand your understanding. You’ll begin to notice the layouts which are really well delivered, and the ones which you want to avoid. It will help you to know your market, be aware of the competition and also guide your own creative direction helping you to talk confidently to others about the industry.
Experience. I’d say the most useful form of experience is to get involved with what is happening around you. Find out what events are happening around you that relate to your magazine genre. You’ll network with people who will help you move forward and get to know about things you might never have known before.
Say ‘YES!’ Beginning a magazine or any kind of publication can help to build your relationship with the press and circles which you may not have been in before. Therefore you’ll notice you will be offered opportunities to participate in events, interviews, partnerships and collaborations and when you do, say ‘Yes!’ You’ll find your publication will become more popular from doing so. However, make sure what you become involved in is beneficial to your brand and product, be wary of any bad connotations which may occur.
Stockists. This may be the scariest part of creating a magazine. When you are at the stage where you send your hard work to shops and they will either say ‘We love it.’ Or ‘It’s not for us’. Be prepared for disappointment, but believe in your product and others will too.
Work hard. Hard work is gruelling, tiring, but it’s vital and in turn incredibly rewarding. Work your socks off, get to know people you work with or may do in the future, be professional and always keep your heart in it.
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