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Can You Really Publish A Print Magazine For No Upfront Money
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You must be wondering just how possible is it to publish for no upfront money?
First, you'll create your plan.
Benefits for Advertisers
Frequency of Issues
Number of Copies per Issue
Determine free space (editorial, etc)/paid space (advertisers)
This includes researching your niche. Really focusing on just exactly what it is you want to share with your reader. Next, you'll research your target market - that is, who exactly IS your audience.
At this point, you'll work out whether you need to mail your publication - or deliver it to appropriate locations where they can easily pick one up. For example I created a tourism publication. Every advertiser received copies as well as various locations throughout the city where tourists (and residents) could easily pick it up. I also distributed several hundred to a number of tourist locations including visitors centers along I-95 within less than 100 miles.
After honing in on the above criteria, it's then much easier to determine your ideal advertisers.
There will be the obvious: in my case those who most benefit from tourism such as restaurants, events, lodging, etc. But don't forget the ones many don't think about: dry cleaners, laundries, real estate, wineries, etc.
You'll want to be clear as to the benefits of your market to your advertiser. The advertiser will care less about how wonderful your publication is and will care more about who the target market is. Of course, the magazine has to fill a desire for the target market! If no one picks it up, no one will gain - not the reader, the advertiser, or you!
At this point, you'll have an idea as to the frequency of issues and the number of copies you'll want to print of each issue. This is subject to change as you grow. But you'll need a starting point. You'll find a graphics person and/or a design person to help you set-up/lay-out the publication. You'll also need to know the costs from your printer.
If you're going to mail, you'll need those costs as well. If you're going to distribute, you may do it yourself at first or you'll have to hire someone. Be sure to include those costs.
With all of this in hand, you can then back into the pricing of your ads (ad rates).
You'll then take advertising information to your customer base. If you decide that you want 50% editorial (which is free space). Then each ad will have to pay for twice the size. For example: if I sell a full page ad, my rate will actually be based on the cost of creating/printing two pages. Remember, someone has to pay for the editorial pages, etc.
Please, please, please, do not forget to include your own salary. It can grow with the magazine's success. But do not leave yourself out of the equation. If you can't gain anything out of the effort, it soon eats away at your passion and leads to failure.
Making Those Third-Party Payments
The graphics/layout person and the printer will most likely accept payment at the time of print. In some cases they will give you two weeks to 30 days. Your task will be to collect enough to pay each of them as soon as possible. The key to success is to NOT - absolutely do not - allow these payments to accumulate. Not paying your third party vendors will quickly sink any possibility of your success.
This is your plan in brief! It can be done, I've done it three different times. Do your research. Create a plan. Follow it through to your success!
Here's to your successful publishing!
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