I always wanted to publish a magazine. Since I was a kid thumbing through my older brothers’ car books I have been interested storytelling on the printed page. However the cost and risk were just too high to test and play. Then, along came the internet.
I have been publishing my content on sites since 1996, and even though I called it a magazine, it was never taken seriously until I tested HP’s MagCloud. Now I tell people I have a print issue and their attitudes change, dramatically.
Here’s how it came to be. I was converting a couple of my online articles of garage tours to send to the shop owners. In the conversion, I thought I would put together a couple more articles to see how a magazine would look. I had heard of HP’s print on demand site MagCloud.com.
The layout of my mag isn’t super special, no design tricks, just a consistent grid of columns, typographic styles, and use of photos and all of a sudden I had a magazine in the making. Next I put together the cover pages, a table of contents and voila, I had it done and ready to format to HP’s specifications.
Upsides to Magcloud
The PDF template is simple to load and use and the upload was quick. Before I made it available to the public, I ordered one myself to review design and print quality. I was happy with the result; a couple of minor changes and I released it to the public.
The book is a bit pricey. For a 40-page magazine the cost to print is $8.00, add a dollar if you want perfect binding, add a mark-up if you want something for the effort. In the order process they claim 1-2 weeks from order to receiving it at your door. In Southern California my magazines arrived in 5 days; great turn-around!
Buyers can preview the magazine and can purchase a print or digital version or both. To preview my magazine, head over to my Magcloud page.
I wish I could communicate to the buyers. Thinking they are purchasing my content, I should be able to send them a thank you note, but the privacy rules of HP do not allow that. Their promotional tools include different blog post layout templates that are limited in customization unless you know html code.
All-in-all, I am very pleased with MagCloud, sales have been better than I expected, and the magazine well received. Are you using a print on demand site? If so, I’d like to hear your experience. Add a comment below.
This is a guest post by Tony Colombini. Among other things, Tony is the owner an operator of Blacktop Media Network, which includes branding and media solutions as well as magazines and other creative pursuits.