Creating a magazine is an exciting and dangerous adventure. It must be developed from A to Z, printed, distributed… To avoid getting lost on the way, make sure you grid each step of the creation of your magazine. This is how you will achieve a result that will satisfy you and please your readers. Indeed, creating and printing a magazine cannot be improvised. It is necessary to find out in advance to be sure not to make any mistakes. To find a good magazine printer, turn to professionals.
In a few titles:
1. Define the theme of your magazine
First of all, choose the subject of your magazine. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t necessarily know where to start. They want to create a magazine to support their business or enterprise, for example, but have no idea how to do it. Here are the questions to ask yourself to define the theme of your review:
- What is my favourite subject?
It is not an obligation, but if you plan to write the texts for your magazine yourself, it is advisable to choose a theme that you like. The more interested you are in the subject, the easier and more pleasant it will be to work on it.
- What theme is expected by my future readers?
It is about meeting the expectations of those who will read your magazine. Don’t necessarily think in terms of a fashionable subject, but rather in terms of a timeless theme. It can be a highly specialized theme, which will meet a small but passionate and therefore loyal audience. On the contrary, it can be a vast and popular subject for the general public, such as health, cooking or travel.
2. Write the texts
Once you have found the angle of your magazine, you must think about the texts. Will your magazine give more importance to writing or photography?
If the first case is considered, surround yourself with good writers. Be realistic: if you are alone, it is unlikely that you will be able to write all the texts in your magazine. This is a time-consuming task that is usually performed by several people.
Find your team of writers
If your magazine will remain confidential, you can easily surround yourself with relatives who like to write and who are interested in your project. If you are considering wider distribution, why not hire professional writers, whether freelance or full-time.
Finally, don’t forget to use very good proofreaders to proofread your magazine before it goes to press. This will help you avoid the embarrassment of having missed spelling, grammar, syntax or typography mistakes.
3. Choose the visuals
Visuals are very important when creating a magazine. Indeed, the aesthetic aspect of a magazine is its images and photographs. It is very pleasant for your reader to leaf through well illustrated pages and this is likely to encourage him to acquire your magazine.
For your photos, you can take them yourself if you are a good photographer and if you have a quality camera. Alternatively, you can use a professional photographer.
Image banks, gold mines
Feel free to go and pick visuals from an image bank. There are free and paid ones, the latter being often better provided and offering high quality photos.
Don’t forget to take so-called “neutral” photos: they will be your transparent background on which you can put text. It’s a good idea to have a readable and airy magazine.
4. Use DTP software
Once you have imagined the layout of your magazine, you will need to design a first layout using DTP (Desktop Publishing) software. If you are good at graphic design, you can try to make your own model from scratch.
Otherwise, use a template already done. On Adobe Indesign, for example, you have many magazine templates available. You can choose your favorite template according to your tastes and the space given to visuals and texts. Some are specific to specific uses: school newspaper, company newspaper…
Digital, a very interesting format
Think carefully about the form your magazine will take: will it be distributed in paper or digital format or both? If you publish it in digital format, you can add internet links, multimedia modules, videos or even audio recordings.
5. Print your magazine
All you have to do is find a cheap magazine impression. When you want to print a magazine in small quantities, it is tempting to want to do it yourself. Yet, it’s a false good idea!
Unless you have a very good quality printer and have skills in this area, you may find yourself with a very disappointing result. Even if you want to print a magazine in one copy, it is better to rely on the know-how of a professional printer.
Good printers are rare
To find a competent printer, look for a specialist in the field. A good magazine printer knows where to focus in order to produce a magazine that is worthy of the name.
6. Define the characteristics of your future magazine
You should consider several criteria before printing your magazine. These details will be given to your printer at the time of the quotation. Here they are:
- The format
For the format, it all depends on the size of the magazine you want. You can choose between pocket size (11 x 17 cm), large (16 x 24 cm), A4 portrait (21 x 29.7 cm) or A5 portrait (14.8 x 21 cm).
- The paper
There are different types of paper. In the case of a magazine, the most commonly used are the standard (80 grams white) and the smooth satin/photo (90 grams white). Choose the latter if your magazine contains many beautiful photos.
- The coverage
The choice of cover is absolutely essential in the creation and printing of your magazine. Choose a great illustration that will highlight your magazine and make readers want to flip through it.
- The number of pages
How many inside pages will your magazine contain? Of these, how many will be in colour and how many in black and white? All these are important details to provide to your printer.
- The number of copies
To avoid wasting money unnecessarily, start by printing a small number of copies of your magazine. This will save you from having a lot of unnecessary reviews on your hands if your work is not as successful as you would like it to be.
Then, once you are confident, you can print several hundred copies at a time.
7. Distribute your magazine
Your magazine has just left the printer’s office? We’ll have to think about distributing it. If your journal is aimed at students at your school, your colleagues or your entourage, the question does not arise.
However, if you want to market it, you will need an ISBN and a barcode. You can contact booksellers or publishers directly to try to sell it directly in specialized stores.
Otherwise, use the great tool that is the Internet to distribute your magazine and consider self-publishing. Consider offering subscription packages to build reader loyalty.
Focus on word of mouth
To make your magazine known, it is essential that you talk about it around you. Distribute a few free copies to have it tested, offer the opportunity to leaf through a few pages…
Talk about it on social networks, a huge vehicle for meeting and sharing. If you have created an online magazine, you can very easily promote it on the net.
In addition, be open to criticism when the first issues of your magazine are published. This is your chance to improve your magazine by taking into account the feedback you receive.