Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Guest danielmryan

Starting A Print Publication

8 posts in this topic

I was wondering if anyone here has had experience in starting a printed publication which is distributed free of charge, and could flesh out any hidden difficulites in getting it up and rolling, and keeping it going. If you have any tips when it comes to avoiding any associated financial difficulties, please include them.

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was wondering if anyone here has had experience in starting a printed publication which is distributed free of charge, and could flesh out any hidden difficulites in getting it up and rolling, and keeping it going. If you have any tips when it comes to avoiding any associated financial difficulties, please include them.

Thanks in advance.

I haven't done it myself, but my best friend has had four separate music publications, all of which had free distribution, so I have a little bit of insight from observing her.

The single biggest expense is printing. It's important to understand that almost all printing costs are incurred prior to any actual printing, so printing one copy is almost the same price as printing a thousand. An important consideration is how large your circulation will be.

If you are distributing strictly within your own town, you can probably handle it yourself, but if you are branching out to other cities, you may need to hire a distribution company, which adds to cost.

Expect to operate at a loss for a good half a year (and maybe even longer). Your only source of funds is advertising, and businesses are usually hesitant to buy ads in unknown publications.

Are you going to pay your writers? You probably don't have to at first. Just find some unkown writers fresh out of college. They'll be eager just to get published, even if they aren't getting paid.

The reason all of my friends publications failed in the end was that it became more than she could handle by herself, and it's very hard to find others who share the passion you will have for your publication. Keep that in mind when trying to find good editors, or ad salespeople. Even if people say they are interested in taking on some responsibility, be prepared for them to flake out when they figure out what is involved.

I would suggest having a group of four people minimum who are truly interested in seeing the publication thrive. One to sell ad space, one to manage the money, one to deal with writers and manage content, and one to do copy editing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your reply. This proposed project is being started by a friend of mine, not me, so both you and me seem to be both acting as agents with regard to this issue. If it gets off the ground, I would be (or so I hope) one of those volunteer-writers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked in the electronics industry for 20 years as a writer, editor, and publications manager. Ten of those years were in self-employment, and I had a variety of clients.

The most important, though negative, suggestion I could make to anyone considering becoming a publisher is: Avoid Publisher's Pitfall.

That pitfall is the wishful thinking that leads to confusing one's own desire to send a message with the intended audience's supposed desire to hear the message.

The classic example of publisher's pitfall is the slick, expensive, and largely useless corporate publication that trumpets the corporation -- but doesn't answer any serious questions. These shiny magazines accumulate in corporate office reception rooms -- unused, except perhaps as coasters for coffee cups.

The positive message here is to make sure that there is a strong demand (desire plus willingness to pay) for the product you intend to offer but is offered by no one else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more thing: Step #2 is to e-mail me for a price estimate on printing. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One more thing: Step #2 is to e-mail me for a price estimate on printing. :)

That response is good enough for me to pass around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol, please do. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0