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Old 6th September 2006, 08:11 PM   #1
imbobbyus
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Arrow Need Help in Starting a Magazine

Hi folks, We are planning to start a Monthly Pet Magazine but have no experience at all. I would really appreciate if anyone can share any information about printing and disctributing magazines.

Thanks in advance!

Bobby

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Old 7th September 2006, 10:50 PM   #2
torka
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About the only thing I can offer is that from what I've read you should plan on at least two years before the magazine will be profitable. It's rare that a new magazine shows profit in any less time than that, and some can take much more. I believe I read somewhere recently that Sports Illustrated took ten years before it turned a profit. (Of course, it does quite well nowadays... )

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Old 8th September 2006, 01:57 AM   #3
Old Welsh Guy
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If you have no experience at all you wil struggle believe me when I say this.

I have published magazines and newspapers and interactive CD roms, and I can assure you unless you know the industry you are likely to lose money and make huge mistakes. The elements are
1. typesetting and layout
2. Pre press preparation
3. distribution.

Add to this content collection advertising sales credit control, and you have a logistical nightmare.

I do not know what country you are in so can not help you. IN the Uk there are basically 2 diastribution companies, the biggest being WH Smiths (they districute across all stores) The second is John Menzies, who again distribute across all stores. By 'all stores' I mean not just their own but neswagents and all stores who sell. Here is the problem though, they work on sale or return, so you ONLY get paid for the magazines that sell, and they will also charge you for handling.

Who is going to carry out all the tasks like design and planning? Who will write the copy? What ratio are you using od ads to content? what will the price be? what % of revenue will come from advertising? How will you sell the advertising? what will be the costs of proofing ads to advertisers? how many proofs are included in the design? who will supervise the proof distribution and approval?

I could go on and on, as there are many elements you have to cover, but those above will give you an idea of the common elements that need to be covered.

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Old 12th September 2006, 09:06 PM   #4
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Bobby,

Have you ever thought of an online magazine or e-magazine. This way you can cut the printing and shipping cost while gradually reaching more readers. When you have large audience then you can start with printed magazine.

Regards,

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Old 19th September 2006, 10:13 PM   #5
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Maybe start as a newsletter first and mail it to your existing customers and locals. Make sure it is designed well (most important). Ask your suppliers if they would like to contribute an article and advertise in exchange for part of the newsletters production costs.

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Old 21st September 2006, 09:46 AM   #6
sharyn
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Default magazine advice

Bobby,

I used to publish 3 magazines a month, and now work for a commercial printing company, and do some consulting for magazine companies. It is a very hard industry to get in to. There are lots of pitfalls that can sink you, but knowledge is power.

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Old 21st September 2006, 07:07 PM   #7
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Sharyn,
what are some of those pitfalls?
Maybe if you offer some advice in your posts instead of just the "pick me" approach you may get some response. Remember that there are a lot of people who just read the posts looking for information, if they find that you are giving good advice they may eventually interpret you as a professional in the industry.

Just some advice cause i seen a couple of your other posts as well:welcome2

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Old 22nd September 2006, 12:34 PM   #8
sharyn
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Default I'm not sure what his questions are...

Jase,

I'd be glad to answer any of Bobby's questions if I knew what they were. I don't think spouting off random things about publishing would be that helpful to him, but thanks for the advise. If he feels like asking me something, I'll answer.

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Old 11th October 2006, 12:32 AM   #9
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Hi imbobbyus

The only pitfall I find is not doing, not carrying out your idea. What's my qualification? I got my own full colour magazine which is distributed through Sheffield, Rotherham, going now to London, Manchester.

What a lot of people do is they come out with some much crap about how risky it is and pitfalls. The thing is, there are risk in all things, pitfalls in all things and what one needs to do is find solutions not excuses not to do it. So what is your solution.

For one, you can contact me if you have questions or put questions here for me to answer. I will do so. I am now on my 8th issue and I got HSBC banks and other banks, and businesses coming in and guess what? The distribution started by using a car, bang all magazines in boot, in back seat of the car and GET THE JOB DONE.

Because one thing I learnt - to get the ball rolling you are going to do it yourself. Everything bobby is learnable, so I taught myself by first looking at magazine, their layouts, and collected as many magazines, newspapers and layouts I love. That done - I had to learn to design using software, so before I went out there getting the software, I went to talk to PRINTERS.

The reason for this, is they got knowledge on laying the magazine out, and what software they use. I built relationship with a printer by knowing how many pages I want in my newspaper, but most importantly the content, the people, niche I am aiming it. They were friendly, some were not, but persistance paid off.

So when I knew what software to use, I went and started playing around and now, I am fluent at Photoshop, Coral Draw, also Quark Express, Freehand and many other softwares but I am also creative in design because I went and joined a network of designers and learnt and stared at their own portfolio.

When you really want something done, you will go out there and do whatever it takes. I did whatever it took. I know if you want yours to get out there, and know that you haven't a team yet, then the first few issues will be done by you. Hardwork, I know but remember - thinking about the vision.

I visited so many businesses and I got advertisors to pay for the print run, my petrol and other things. This helped for the next issue and built a solid relationship with the printers. The second issue went out and again, I distributed them myself. Now, first and second were just in Sheffield and it was a quarterly magazine at first. When second went out people really started talking about it and I started to recieve emails from people which then I created a Letter section.

Third issue went out and fourth and now, I was recieving emails from designers, funders too and businesses and from then I started to create a team. Now, all this is done from home until issue 8 came out and I am making serious money to pay 6 full time workers. A graphic designer, journalists who have photography ability and one admin. Also I got 9 voluntary workers who I promised, when it grows of a certain capital, I am going to give them jobs. Five of them will be paid jobs in three months from now.

The most important lesson I learnt is you got to have ownership mentality. You alone can make this baby grow. Whole office was running and now got a building, my jobs was to go out and network with businesses, get advertising, and even leads for stories.

What helped me the most?

1. I asked why am I doing it and not thought about how first. I thought about why. When that was clear enough and I saw the vision, I was ready, really on fire inside of me.

2. I wrote down short term goals and long term goals.

3. I got a plan together. A Plan to start. Not a plan to end at the destination because goals never changes but plans sometimes due to circumstances. It doesn't mean you give up because the plan didn't work but to tweak it along the way.

4. I knew what type of people I want on board. Positive people, of vision, who can work as a team but have leadership quality.

5. Have a mentor, someone who has been in this field before and you can talk to to bounce ideas. It's called the Master Mind.

5. I went out there and put the ACTION in.

My goal now, due to the income coming in and not worrying that some don't get sold, I am working on hiring a distribution company.

Why I started the magazine? I wanted to help my mates, families, and my city in creating jobs. That was it. Objective is being achieved and very rewarding.

Long nights bobby for a while but when team comes, you can take a step back and give leadership.

Hope this is helpful.

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Old 11th October 2006, 08:45 AM   #10
J.Albright
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I would be the last person to tell you not to pursue your goals and dreams...but in my opinion and I would focus on starting an ezine before I would do a magazine...the benefits of an ezine over a magazine are endless!!!

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