How does the concept of Custom Publishing work, and why is it so effective? Understand the Concept of Custom Publishing in this post.

How does Custom Publishing Work? Understanding Custom Publications

Custom Publishing is a simple concept, and one that’s been very effective for several companies in recent years, although it is a very modern entrant in the world of print media and print advertising. Unlike traditional print advertising where companies advertise their products and services in leading magazines, custom publishing takes a different approach to the same concept. Using custom publishing, companies start their own inhouse magazines instead of advertising in other companies’ magazines.

It may sound absurd to many, but this concept is one that definitely works. Many prospective clients of mine have asked me the same question, why should they start a magazine and enter the competitive field of print media when it’s so much easier to just advertise and forget all about it? It’s a great question, no doubt, but custom publishing also has a great answer.

When you advertise your product in another company’s magazine, there are a lot of disadvantages when it comes to branding. You can read this post on The Benefits of Custom Publishing over Traditional Print Media to understand all about that. The biggest disadvantage is the regular expense which cannot be reduced at any point of time. Still doesn’t seem relevant?

Let’s use an example here, if you had to travel 50 miles to and fro work every day, and you use a taxi cab every day, would you consider investing in a car so you can drive to work every day? I mean, it is a better option, isn’t it? If you have your own car, you can drive through the routes you want, make your pit stops wherever you want, you have your own mode of trustworthy transport and there will be no external factors like cab strikes or errant drivers that would ever affect you.

Now there are obviously many more reasons, and using a simple example like a car and a cab, you can understand the benefits of having your own car over a taxi cab. Now why should advertising really be any different? After all, you do have to spend every single month to increase awareness and improve branding. So isn’t that just like the same thing?

Comparisons can make us see things in a different way. But understanding it and using it well makes all the difference. Now I’m not saying Custom Publishing is the best thing that has ever happened to advertising. Instead, what I really am saying is that it is a great means to advertise and promote your company and brand as long as it works for you.

There are many means to advertise, but for almost all brands, there is one specific medium that literally kicks ass! I’ve written a post earlier, Is Custom Publishing the Best Medium to Advertise your Brand? That may help you decide if Custom Publishing can really help you better than other mediums.

Custom Publishing is a relatively newer concept of print advertising and may take time to trickle down to the masses, though it is extensively being used by leading brands across the world. But if you do want to brand your company well, and want to know more about custom publishing and how you can use it to brand your company in a better and more efficient manner than most advertising mediums, who you gonna call?

I’ll leave that thought to you, and ahem, my contact information too!

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What are the advantages of Custom Publishing over Traditional Media, and how can implementing it into your marketing strategies improve branding and positioning? Find out here.

Benefits of Custom Publishing over Traditional Print Media

For several brands and companies across the world, their marketing strategies have always been incomplete without a good print campaign. It isn’t a bad thing though, in fact, print advertising is a great medium to market a product. Print Media is especially great for branding campaigns because it can really help position a brand better than most other mass media advertising strategies.

Of all the marketing strategies and business strategies that matter, branding plays a very crucial part in the whole process. Branding alone can create exclusive brands and pave the way for more sales and a lot more expensive products. We can even stretch it to a point where we can safely say that everything that any company does with respect to marketing strategies is by keeping the concept of branding in mind. From Wal-Mart to Starbucks, it’s all about branding and brand positioning.

Now moving to Custom Publishing, we have to ask ourselves why custom publishing is a better alternative to other means of publishing. I mean, if it isn’t a better option, then why is the custom publishing market growing in leaps and bounds every year across the globe? There has to be some good in it, don’t you think? In this post, I’ve put together a few reasons why custom publishing can turn out to be a better advertising option than traditional print media.

A Classier Alternative

What’s more classy, advertising in a magazine or having your own magazine?! Seriously, that answer is obvious. Having your own magazine doesn’t just save additional advertising expenses, it also makes your company and brand look bigger and better. Your customers are bound to be impressed, won’t they? Having your own custom magazine gives you more than just a material to advertise, it gives you a great medium to tell your customers and potential customers more about your company and product, in a much classier way!

A Cheaper Alternative

No one would actually believe this. But if you really do understand how much you spend every month on advertising expenses, and also on branding activities, skipping most of that and starting your own magazine can actually turn out to be way cheaper for your company’s pocket! And you’re going to get more back for what you spend when you have your own magazine, in terms of marketing activities. Write to me, or speak to a good custom publisher, and once you’re done working out the expenses and the prospective Return On Investment by using Custom Publishing,  you’ll know exactly what I mean.

The Clash of Competing Brands

When any company initiates a marketing campaign, it is usually very careful about the prospective brands it may be associated with. For example, when you advertise in a lifestyle magazine, there’s a good chance that you would find yourself in between sheets advertising many other products. Bigger brands always have to be careful about where they appear on a magazine, and sometimes, even the best planning and marketing strategies can screw things up. Check out these examples below to see what I mean.

By having your own inhouse magazines, not only would you eliminate such embarrassing accidents, but you can also brand your company better without any hassles. This is one of the biggest reasons why most well-established companies have their own exclusive inhouse magazines to give away to their guests and customers.

Connections with Customers

Even though I may have written this as a third pointer, this is really one of the biggest reasons to start an inhouse magazine. Inhouse magazines and custom publishing is primarily created with an intention to communicate, spread ideas and get people to talk about the company. So, more or less, an inhouse magazine’s sole purpose is to help customers and potential customers understand more about the company, and also to get them to start unconsciously evangelising about the company. And I can say this safely, there is no better medium on a broad level to spread ideas and get people talking other than an inhouse magazine. But it also does depend on the type of company that launches a magazine though.

Show you the money!

This is what you’re going to like. Custom Publishing may seem like an advertising expenditure, but if you know how to go about it, it can actually be a potential means of creating monetary income. What does that really mean? Well, it means you can start your own magazine, spread ideas about your company, get people talking about your company, understand more about your company, and with all of that, your company can make more money than it started out with! That really is the Power of Custom Media and Custom Publishing!

You can understand more about the benefits of using Custom Media over Traditional Media by reading this post on Custom Media Strategies Vs. Traditional Media Strategies.

What I’ve mentioned above are just five small pointers on how custom publishing can make your life better, easier, and richer. Depending on the type of company you run, chances are, there will be a lot more that you can do to increase awareness, create better branding opportunities, and increase the number of people that talk about you!

And all this, just by launching an inhouse magazine that can save you money, and make more for you at the same time! Can it get any better? I. Think. Not.

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An Introduction to Custom Publishing. How can Custom Publishing help a company? How can branded magazines be profitable in the long run? Find out here.

What is Custom Publishing? An Introduction to Branded Magazines.

Custom Publishing, you must have come across this phrase while browsing through a few websites, or chances are, you just came across this phrase and wanted to know more about it. For starters, Custom Publishing is the process by which a company can create its own customised publishing solutions, a great example of which is custom magazines. And custom magazines and branded magazines are one and the same. But what is it really? And why is it so talked about these days?

The History of Custom Publishing

Several decades ago, I don’t think anyone’s really sure when, but someone decided to start advertising in magazines and little paper flyers. This concept took off, and now, just about every brand does the same, and we’ve given it a fancy name, print advertising.

Around a couple of decades ago, just when advertising in magazines, newspapers and flyers was on a total high, some brand somewhere in the world started thinking and innovating. The brains behind the brand probably asked themselves why they needed to spend so much money on print advertising when they could start their own magazine for a small percentage of the costs incurred by regular print advertising. They tried it, it cost them a lot less, and they were able to reach out to a lot more people who were genuinely interested in the brand, and most of all, their new magazine gave them a bigger and better reputation!

And that, my friends, is my version of the story of Custom Publishing. And that is how it probably began. No one really knows, because this concept may really have begun many years before we even knew it existed. But it’s a great, profitable story anyhow!

The Growth of Custom Publishing

Today, across the world, every brand has already started its own magazine, or is thinking about it. But why do brands really need it, and is it really as good as everyone says it is? In my opinion, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, Custom Publishing is the new next big thing for brands. That is, if they really understand the benefits of their own magazine, and know how to create a great magazine and implement it well.

But before I get into the details, you should know what these brand magazines are called. Some companies call it custom magazines, some call them custom publications, while some parts of the world call them contract publications and inhouse magazines. On the other hand, based on the parent company that starts the magazine, the magazines can be called corporate magazines (distributed within a corporate circle, usually companies) or branded magazines (if the magazine is started by a consumer brand).

Call it what you want, but they’re all the same. And they’re all safely tucked into a new type of publishing called Custom Publishing. And this one packs a mean punch, because it’s cheaper, more efficient and a lot classier. I’ve written more about Custom Publishing and why it’s better in other posts of mine, which should help you understand why custom publishing is a better option, and also the different requirements if you need to start a custom magazine yourself.

You can click on this link, Benefits of Custom Publishing over Traditional Print Media to know more about the advantages of Custom Publishing.


How expensive is starting your own magazine? Here’s the last part on how to run a successful magazine all by yourself.

Nicole Faria Miss India and Zaid Bin Nazir MTV Roadies on Confetti Magazine Cover Page

Talking about expenses involved seems to go on forever, though I’m really trying to keep the pointers as brief as possible. But anyways, this is my final post on expenses involved with a magazine, so you could probably work your own calculations to understand how expensive your new magazine would turn out to be on a per issue basis. But in case you’ve come here straight without reading my earlier post on expenses involved with a magazine, you could start by reading How much does it costs to start a magazine?

And if you want to know everything you ever need to know about starting your own magazine, including all the details from the smallest ones to the biggest ones, I have a series of posts that can turn you into a professional magazine publisher in no time. You can read the entire series by starting from this earlier post of mine, The Beginners Guide to Starting your Own Magazine.

Continuing on the expenses involved with the creation of your own magazine, we have the following expenses that can’t be missed.

Subscription Team

If you’ve read my earlier post on Partners you need when you launch your Own Magazine, you’d realise that subscriptions can actually bring in a good amount of pocket money for your media house. Along with that, subscriptions can increase the credibility of your magazine, and also help you win more loyal readers and get more advertisement offers. Overall, a good subscription campaign can make a big difference in the success of your magazine. Most media houses hire subscription agencies on part-time basis rather than full time because it’s just not worth the pain of have a hundred interns walking around the office doing nothing when there are no subscription drives. It’s easier to partner with an external team or hire an event manager to set the whole campaign up for you, a few months in a year.

In most cases, you can get away without spending any additional money, by parting with a percentage of the money generated by the subscription drive to the agency. But a bigger subscription agency may want a share and an additional retainer fee to work on a project. In either case, if you can get this right, there’s a good chance that you can make a decent sum of money, and help raise awareness, at the same time.


A birthday present just doesn’t feel right unless it’s all wrapped and tied on top with a pretty ribbon. Likewise, a magazine just isn’t good enough unless it’s printed on the appropriate paper with the right colours. Additionally, the cover page has to be laminated, and the spine of the magazine has to look firm and neat. As a general rule of thumb, printing is the bulk of the expenses for all print magazines, and generally costs around 50% of all the expenses put together to publish a magazine. But this also depends greatly on the number of copies that you would be printing, so at least for the first couple of years, this rule of thumb may not be applicable to your relatively new magazine. Speak to a few good printers and get the best rates you can get from them.

When it comes to printing, it is always a good idea to speak with quite a few printing presses so you can get the best quotes without compromising on quality or delivery time. Along with the expenses involved with the printing press, you would also need a production head or a print coordinator to ensure that the colours are set to perfection without any errors, just the way you want your final magazine copy to look like.

Surveys and Market Research

You may assume that you run a great magazine, and your editorial team too may be convinced that you are running a great magazine. But it’s not your opinion that matters, but the opinions of your readers and potential readers. Occasionally, you can partner with a research company or hire a few interns, or even partner with an event management company to conduct surveys and research into the type of content people want to read, and also to get a feedback from your loyal readers. This is not a fixed cost and can vary based on how detailed you want your responses to be, and depending on the number of cities in which you would want to conduct a research. You can also increase the awareness of your new magazine by conducting surveys as you would be able to reach out to more people, and also to potential readers who wouldn’t have heard of your magazine yet.

Cover Shoots

This is the most exciting splurge in the entire magazine, but it is also an expense that can make or break your magazine. We’ve heard the old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover, and we’ve come to believe it. But in the case of magazines, it’s all about the cover. There are hundreds of magazines available every month, and all of them are displayed together. What are the chances of someone finding your magazine, and deciding to pick yours up over all other magazines in the rack?

This is where a great cover makes all the difference. A good cover page automatically rouses curiosity and involuntarily makes a reader reach out to read more, even if it’s an unheard-of magazine. So always try to conceptualise the best covers that you possibly can create. Cover shoots involve a lot of people, and it’s crucial that you hire the best you can afford.

You would need everyone from renowned photographers, gorgeous models, hair stylists, make-up artists, costume designers, clothes stylists, concept designers, well-equipped studios and shoot coordinators and conceptualisers. And all of these involved people should deliver their best at the same time to ensure a great shoot. I can’t really put a price to a great shoot, but I can tell you that it is not going to be cheap. But here again, by creating favourable partnerships with all the involved parties, you can cut costs by a large extent.

So there it is, all of the basic expenses that are involved with the production of a magazine. I’m still warning you though, running a magazine doesn’t come cheap, and you’d probably have to be well funded to launch and run a great magazine that can compete with the best magazines available on the stands.

But then again, I started my first magazine with limited funds too! Remember that it is not easy. In fact, turning your first magazine into a successful media house is as hard as hard can be, especially for a start-up with limited funds.

If you’re passionate and dedicated and believe that you can become a success, well, no one can hold you down! Here’s me wishing you the best of luck!

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So have you always wanted to started a magazine, or is it just a a passing whim? Either ways, this post should help you understand the costs involved with the starting of a magazine in a much better way.

How Expensive is it to Start a Magazine? Kitchen Magazine. Custom Publication by Confetti Media.

This post of mine is a continuation of How Much does it Cost to Start a Magazine? So if you’ve come by without reading the earlier posts, I’d suggest you start all the way from the beginning, The Beginners Guide to Starting a Magazine.

To the more informed ones who’ve followed my earlier posts, in this part of the post, we’ll continue with where we’ve left off. I’ve told you about the expenses involved with the editorial, marketing and the photography already, and here, I’ll tell you about the rest of the essentials and how much it could cost you.

Design Team

A design team comprises of designers, creative directors, and at times, illustrators. For a magazine to run successfully, the design team has to be competent enough to coordinate with the editor and the writers. But at the same time, they also have to be creative enough to come up with unique designs that aren’t just cut and pasted from other magazines.

Creativity, unique design creation and understanding of colour combinations are of utmost importance while hiring a design team. But most designers don’t really understand the most important aspect, that the designs created on the computer screen and the final design that appear in the magazine usually don’t look the same. Absorption of colours on paper can create significantly different looking colour combinations on paper, especially while working on gradients, or on CMYK and RGB options. And all these little tips and ideas actually make a big difference between a good magazine and a fabulous one. While hiring a design team, try to get people who have experience in print magazines. Expenses-wise, a good design team would cost you around the same as your editorial team.

Airbrushing and Colour Testing

Great magazines boast of having the perfect airbrush artists. Usually, it is the design team that works on airbrushing images and making images and people in the magazine look great. One tip you really should know is that every single image you use in your magazine definitely has to be airbrushed. It may look stunningly good on the computer screen, but it’s always going to lose almost half of that quality when you transfer it to paper.

Unless your design team is exceptional, outsource a very good airbrushing artist or top-notch designer to airbrush your images, especially your cover page. Remember, airbrushing is not an option, it is a definite requirement. Airbrushing artists can cost you quite a lot based on their experience and knowledge of print media. But then again, if you have a great design team, you wouldn’t be requiring an airbrush artist anyway.

Circulation Team

Just like advertising and branding a magazine, circulation too is an extremely variable expense. Depending upon how aggressively you want to promote a magazine at the point of purchase, you can spend the bare minimum or go all out and spend millions on a national scale. Basically, circulation of a magazine involves more than just distributing a magazine to newsstands and stores across your country. It also involves sticking of magazine posters, manufacturing little fancy magazine stands and clips with your magazine’s logo on it, and banners and small hoardings that can be hung over the newsstand. Along with this, some publishing houses also create branded shade umbrellas, and fancy awnings that are branded with the magazine logo. Additionally, you can also pay a significantly higher commission to the vendor for selling your magazines, or pay a bonus for every magazine sold, or just pay a retainer fee for displaying your magazine upfront in newsstands.

But all these methods are just like grains of sand in the ocean. Every day, circulation managers and executives come up with more unique ways to advertise and promote their magazine sales. To have a successful team that can come up with innovative ideas, you need to have at least one experienced circulation head or manager, and a few people to work on the circulation needs. Circulation expenses wouldn’t really be as high as your marketing expenses, but it would be a good option to hire an experienced team that already has a good rapport with the local newsstands and vendors.

Click here to read the last part on How much will you have to spend to launch a Magazine?


What are the expenses involved with the running of a magazine? How much does it cost to start a magazine and run it successfully? Find out here.

How much does it cost to start a magazine? Confetti Media

Over the last few posts, I’ve elaborated on all the requirements of launching a magazine, and now, you’re probably ready to read the part where we talk about the involved expenses. In either case, the last few posts of mine should help you understand everything there is about launching your own magazine even if you’re just a fresh entrepreneur who knows nothing about magazines, or how to go about starting them. Here is a list of posts I’ve written earlier that you definitely should read to understand everything there is about launching your own magazine.

1. The Beginners Guide to Starting your Own Magazine

2. How to Start a Magazine? The Requirements

3. Starting a Magazine – Planning and Execution

4. Partners you need when you Launch your own Magazine

5. Six Essentials to Start your own Magazine

With this information, you are probably ready to launch a magazine by yourself. And if anything does scare you even now, it’s probably just your nerves or your lack of experience. But we all have to start somewhere, don’t we? Do remember an important pointer that I’ve said before, running a magazine is expensive business. And to make matters worse, there’s a lot of competition. And money, at least in the beginning, comes in trickles. Unless you’re an exceptionally clever and shrewd entrepreneur who can make all the right associations, it is going to be a difficult journey ahead. And you need to put in a lot of effort, and need all the dedication and passion you can muster.

Now coming to the expenses involved with the running of a magazine, I’ve listed most of the generic expenses that you would definitely have to spend on. Any other expenses that may come across your way would probably be the added expenses involved with running a particular niche magazine like a travel magazine (which involves travel expenses) or a celebrity magazine (clicking celebs in compromising postures doesn’t come cheap, really!).

The different expenses that you would have to deal with, issue after issue, include:

An Editor

Just like how a ship needs a captain and an airplane needs a pilot, you need a great editor to steer your magazine in the right direction. Pick an editor with a lot of experience, or if you can’t afford a great one, hire an editor on freelance basis as a Consulting Editor. But yeah, even a consultant will cost you an arm. After all, a great editor can be the difference between a successful magazine and a miserable one.

Editorial Team

An editor may steer your magazine in the right direction, but you still need a great crew to assist the editor. A typical editorial team involves a lot of people, but for starters, you could do with a couple of feature writers, a copywriter and an executive editor. You could also take in a few interns on a stipend basis to help your short-staffed team, at least at the beginning.

Marketing Team

Marketing is the life-blood of any publishing company. And the faster you understand this, and harness the power of a great marketing team, the bigger your advantage of sustaining and profiting from your magazine. Most shrewd start-up entrepreneurs spend more on a powerful marketing team than on any other division involved in the magazine business. It’s a clever move, but could also backfire if the focus is shifted away from the real reason behind the success of a magazine, its editorial. For starters, get in touch with the biggest marketing man you can afford to hire, and see if you can work out a deal. Beyond this, hire a few fresh or less experienced marketing professionals from the city you’re based out of. And about other cities across your country, partner with freelance marketing professionals until you can afford them on a full-time basis.

Photography Team

We’ve been through this part in my earlier posts in this series, so this should come off as a clear pointer. Every magazine needs good photography to stand out of the crowd. If you’re alright with sharing images, and don’t really care if you use images that are also used by other low budget magazines, then stock images may be a decent option to start off with. Even stock options can turn out pretty expensive based on the exclusivity of the images you intend to use. When the money does come in, spend some money on producing your own photoshoots so you can move away from the tag of a low-budget magazine. Another way by which you could get good images for less is by creating partnerships with local photographers. Strike a retainer fee agreement for a certain number of images every month, and as long as you get good images, you’re going to have a good thing going on for you.

Click here to continue reading about How Expensive is it to Start a Magazine?

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What are the most important requirements to start a magazine? There are quite a few, and you need to focus on all of them if you want to make a difference in the media industry.

Essentials and Requirements to Start a Magazine Confetti Media

I’ve written quite a few posts in this series on starting a magazine and running a media house successfully. And if you would like to read everything there is about launching a new magazine, I would recommend that you start this series with this post, The Beginners Guide to Starting a Magazine.

After you’ve read my earlier posts and understood all the details, you should now be ready to know the real requirements of a magazine, not a publishing house, but a real magazine. So what are the different teams that you would require to run a magazine successfully? There are a lot of people and teams that you would need in the long run, but for starters, you could split the requirements into six basic essentials. In this post, I will briefly explain about each requirement. If you need any information about any of these details, or would like to partner with my organisation on the same, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Editorial Requirements

Content is King. It’s been said before and it’s still something that’s of utmost importance. Pay a lot of attention to good content because a magazine won’t have any faithful readers even after a series of well branded advertising campaigns if the content’s no good. Unless you are an excellent editor, it would be advisable to hire an editor. The problem with most writers is that they can’t judge their own writing skills without spell check, let alone edit other writers’ work. It’s always difficult to edit your own work, unless you’re really good at what you do. Every magazine needs a few writers, a copywriter, and a couple of editors to work on the editorial content. You could skip a few people here to start off, but then again, can the others cope with the burden of overworking while maintaining the quality at the same time?

You have to think as a businessperson here, and not take someone’s word in this case. Think about it, you must have come across several magazines with atrocious editorial content and grammatical errors. Does that mean the boss is a loser? Nope, it just means that he or she trusts their employees way too much, and allows their writers to cloud their judgement. Don’t fall in this trap. Always get second opinions and surveys to understand what people want and how good your writers and editors really are.

Photography Requirements

If Content is King, then I can safely say that Photography is Queen. Just as magazines need good content to connect with a reader, magazines also need great photography to complement the content and enhance the visual appeal. Some magazines also do focus a lot more on the visual appeal of photographic images to sell their magazines. There are so many magazines that actually sell only because of the titillating images that are splashed on the pages of the magazine. Half the men’s magazines belong in this category. But its importance and requirements depends on the content and type of magazine you wish to start. You would be a better judge of the kind of photographic requirements, so plan your steps to cater to your magazine’s needs. Hire at least a couple of photographers, or partner with a photography agency to obtain the images for your new magazine.

Design Requirements

Good content may be king, and great photography may be queen. But they really can’t look their best unless they’re dressed up for the occasion. And for that, you need an excellent design team. Just like a great editorial team, you also need to invest in a quality editorial team that involves designers, creative minds, and art directors. The editorial and the design team usually works closely together, so unfortunately for your money, the design team is a requirement that you just can’t afford to miss out on.

Marketing Requirements

A business is only as good as the money it brings in. That sucks, because it just shows that creative minds can’t really make money without being shrewd and street smart. But unfortunately for the creative people, this fact is true and truly harsh. The golden goose of every magazine publishing company is the division that brings in the money, i.e., the marketing department. You could run the magazine on your personal funds for the first couple of years, but if you can’t sustain the magazine with external funds even after a while, then there’s no use of launching a magazine, is there? You really aren’t performing a charity service for your readers. Hire a good marketing team to bring in the advertisements to fill your pages, or partner with a good marketing agency to help you during your start-up phase.

Distribution and Circulation Requirements

You could publish a great magazine, but you also need to distribute the magazine to newsstands across your state or country so people can get a chance to read it. Partner with a few distribution agencies to circulate your magazine to the newsstands, and also hire an internal team to ensure that the magazine is delivered from the printing press to the distributors. Additionally, your internal team should also keep track of the magazines and ensure that the magazines are distributed well to all the stands, and are prominently displayed in the magazine stalls. Getting the magazines to be displayed prominently is dirty business, and can also cost you a lot of money. You’ll understand this in first person when you start your publication. Every country has its own circulation strategies and involved expenses, so talk to a few newsstands and you’ll know how to go about it.

Printing Requirements

Quality of the paper plays an important part, depending on the type of magazine you intend to launch. If you’re looking at a weekly news magazine, a newsletter, or a tabloid, your readers may not really care about paper and colour quality as long as you provide your readers with great content. On the other hand, if you’re planning to launch a monthly lifestyle magazine, your readers will obviously expect you to bring out a glossy, colourful magazine that can be shown off! So based on your requirements, hire a printing press that can satisfy your requirements, and your delivery deadlines.

You do have to understand that all of these above essentials are equally important, even if I may have given unfair attention to a few essentials. After all, a spacecraft may have thousands of parts, but there’s no way it can complete an expedition with total efficiency even if a single part is missing.

So if you really do want your new magazine to go straight ahead on the road to success, don’t miss any of these steps. Do all this, and you just may have a good chance of making it big in the media business.

Next Recommended Read: How much does it cost to start a magazine?


You may want to start a magazine yourself, but a little help from the outside can help you go a long way. Here are a few partners that could help you run your new magazine successfully.

Confetti Magazine - Partners You Need When You Launch Your Own Magazine

In another post of mine, Starting a Magazine – Planning and Execution, I’ve mentioned the two most important partners that you would need when you launch a magazine by yourself. Here are a few other partners that you are quite necessary for a start-up company that wants to launch its own magazine.

Circulation Agencies

Creating a magazine is a difficult task, and requires a lot of effort. But all that effort can go to waste if you don’t know how to circulate your magazine. Magazine Circulation is to a magazine what SEO is to a website. You can have the best content money can buy on your pages, but what good is great content unless you optimise it enough so people can read it, enjoy it, and come back for more. The next time you go to a newsstand vendor or a magazine stall, ask the vendor to recommend a few good circulation agencies to help distribute your magazines. Once you speak to a few stalls, you’ll have a list of five to ten good circulation agencies you can contact and partner with. Speak with different circulation agencies and find out the terms and conditions on which they work.

Remember though, that circulation is a dirty job with a lot of secret hidden agendas and dark paths, and you usually never get paid for your magazines at the scheduled time of month. So maintain an aggressive yet good rapport with your circulation team, or chances are, a rival magazine may pay someone to keep your magazine off the stands! But no matter what, be wary of your dealings with circulation agencies and always have a backup plan, unless you want to risk storing all your magazines in a storeroom for the rats to read. There’s a lot more you need to know too, but I guess time will teach you all the strategies and secrets of circulation.

Subscription Agencies

A magazine breathes and gets its life through marketing activities, but for spurts of “pocket money” especially at the early months of your company, magazine subscriptions can play a lifesaver. To someone who doesn’t understand how subscriptions work, it may seem mysterious considering the low costs at which the magazines are given away and the additional gifts that come with them, but every move involved in the magazine industry is a strategy, and getting a high number of subscriptions can actually give the publisher a lot more than just money. If you can’t get subscriptions yourself, partner with a good subscription agency and let them handle all the activities for you. A good agency will also be able to bring in a lot of subscribers for you, at a small commission fee, of course.

Delivery and Mailing Agencies

When you start a magazine, you would be mailing a significant number of copies of your magazine every month to subscribers, agencies, clients, prospective clients, and a lot of other people. Sometimes, the number of copies distributed every month can number in thousands of copies. Partner with a good courier agency or mailing agency, so they can save your time, and also reduce the costs by a huge extent. And once you’ve partnered on a long term with a good delivery agency, not only will you ensure that your copies are delivered efficiently and on time, you can also save a lot of time on the inserting of magazines and pasting the addresses. After all, time is money, and every minute saved is a minute earned!

Digital Printing and Colour Testing Agencies

You may think you could spend an entire month working on your magazine, and take the magazine straight to your printer at the end of the month and have a ready magazine waiting for you on your next visit back to the printer. But it really doesn’t work this way.  If you want to create beautiful, well designed magazines every month, you need to spend a lot of time to ensure that your magazine looks good.  Partner with a good digital printing agency and colour test your prints every few days. A few good digital printers even have options to set the colours to match the original bulk printing colour and quality of printing presses, be it web or offset types. It may cost more, but it’s worth the money. This way, you can ensure that your digital prints will look exactly the same as your final prints. By tying up with a digital printer, and working on a contract basis, you can get better rates and also ensure that your regular digital printer knows your exact requirements, which can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

You would also require screen printers or digital printers as per your preferences and requirements to print your business cards and envelopes.

Hardware and Systems Agency

When you start a publishing house, you need many systems and software to ensure that your team can stay in tune with the current innovations and available software. This isn’t really a critical requirement if you or one of your team members know their way around new innovations in technology and how to install hardware and software. If you can handle this yourself, then you can skip this requirement.

Legal Advisors

Depending on the type of magazine you intend to start, this can play a crucial part in the process. If you intend to start a political or news magazine, then you would definitely need to partner with a good legal advisory or even hire a team full time. But on the other hand, if it’s a typical lifestyle magazine, you may need a legal team mostly to prepare your contracts, employment terms and conditions, etc.

The different partners that I have mentioned here would include almost all the media partners you would need to ensure that you have a publication free of worries and troubles in the long run. But then again, every individual magazine has its own requirements. Most media houses already have internal teams for each of these requirements. But as a fresh start-up magazine, ask yourself what you would require internally and externally, as a media partner, to ensure that your magazine takes off and runs successfully without any glitches.

Click here to read about the Six Essentials and Requirements to Start a Successful Magazine.

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What are the requirements of starting a magazine? What is the planning behind a successful magazine, and how do you execute it well? Find out here.

Tips on Starting  a Magazine by Confetti Media

If you’ve read my two earlier posts on starting a magazine, The Beginners Guide to Starting Magazines and Understanding Publishing Requirements, you would be able to set a good foundation, and would be ready to launch a magazine, and a publishing house. A firm foundation is always a good start, but foundations are no good unless you have a good plan to make use of the foundation. Starting a publishing house involves legal procedures and official documents, but starting a magazine requires great planning and perfect execution. In this post, I’ll tell you the most important criteria to run a successful magazine business.

There are two primary requirements, other than passion and determination, to run a good media house. You will need the Right Team, and the Right Partners.

The Right Team

You may have watched a lot of movies over the years, and you may have seen a lot of one-man army movies where the good guy vanquishes an entire army of bad guys in one and a half hours of screen time. Those scripts make for great movies, but reality is far different from those scenarios. If you intend to start a magazine, you can’t do it all by yourself. I’m not saying it’s not possible. All I’m trying to say is that it is inefficient. You could start a magazine yourself, or with a friend, and you could spend endless nights and long days working on all aspects of the magazine production yourselves, and may still be able to bring out a great magazine. It works, believe me, I’ve been there and done that.

But over time, you’ll understand that your talent can be put to better use by focussing on a particular aspect like writing, or designing, or perhaps, marketing. By doing this, not only would you be able to learn more about a particular niche of magazine publishing in detail, but you also have a responsibility to achieve the targets and follow deadlines. If you’re writing and marketing a magazine, chances are, you may spend more time writing and less time running around making money, or vice versa. And this could lead to imbalances in successful magazine requirements. Sometimes, great multitasking capabilities can actually turn out to be a shot in your own foot.

Use one-man or one-woman army tactics only if you have no choice, or can’t afford an exhaustive team. But then again, I’ve said this earlier, running a magazine is expensive business. If you don’t have the money or don’t think you can be successful soon enough, it’s better not to enter this field in the first place. But then again, don’t let me stop you from pursuing your dream. Think about your options, and ask yourself if you’re ready to take the leap.

Get in touch with people you know for recommendations, or talk to a good hiring firm, and hire people that you can gel with. But you have to be careful about your first set of employees. After all, they are going to be the benchmarks in their particular fields. You need leaders who are passionate and willing to trust you to lead them to greener pastures. But at the same time, they should be independent enough to take great decisions for the benefit of your company. This is crucial, and in most cases, can go awfully wrong.

One bad apple can spoil your entire basket, and a month later, every single one of your employees may walk out on you if you pick the wrong team. I could go on here, but you know what they say, you’re not going to know what the Sistine Chapel smells like unless you’ve been there. So, you’ve got great tips on picking a team in this post, go figure the rest. It’s your world, your dream, and your instincts that should guide you to your dreams.

The Right Partners

Running a magazine requires a lot of effort from several divisions. And chances are, you wouldn’t be able to handle all those requirements internally. There are two important partners that you could use, and I’ve mentioned them below. For any other partners you may need, you can see the link that I’ve added at the bottom of this post.

Printing Press

Printing of a magazine is one of the primary divisions that is almost always outsourced to a printing press. A good printing machine can cost millions of dollars, and as a start-up company, instead of investing in a low-cost printing machine, partner with a high-quality printing press. Speak with a few printers in your city and find out if you can look at them as long term partners.

Find out about their delivery timelines, the sort of machines they use, and the paper options they offer, and the other printing options like number of colours, effects, etc., and the different fancy paper cutting options they can provide. One of the easier ways to find a good printer is by flipping through the pages of leading magazines available in your city. Find out where they get their magazine published, and there’s a good chance that you may be able to pick a good printer right away.

Marketing Agencies

You have to understand this well, you cannot run a magazine on your personal investment forever. If you intend to do that, you’re really not cut out to be a businessman. You need to create a source of revenue generation that can bring back money to your office, and sustain your daily bread and butter. For this, you need an excellent marketing team, and the best marketing teams are really expensive, even if they’re worth it.

To save costs on marketing teams, you can partner with another media house, or with a marketing agency, and pay them a monthly commission and perhaps, even a retainer fee, to generate revenues for your magazine. But not all of them are good, so be wise when you go on a selecting spree. But as a word of caution, know that marketing agencies will also work with other magazines just like yours, and you can actually end up killing your own company if you’re not careful about the other magazines that are marketed by your marketing agencies. My tip to you is this, hire a marketing agency when you start a magazine, but only until your company is established enough to have its own marketing team.

These are two of the most important partners that you would need when you start a magazine, on a lower budget. But the list doesn’t end there, in fact, there are several other partners that you would need to ensure that your magazine runs smoothly, and at a lower cost than regular publishing houses.

Click here to read the next part of this article on Partners that you would need when you Start a Magazine.

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So are you ready to start a magazine? Here are all the tips that anyone could ever need to start a magazine.

How to Start a Magazine? Understanding the Requirements

If you’re still convinced that you’re ready to start a magazine after reading my introductory post on The Beginners Guide to Starting a Magazine, and just as enthusiastic about launching your magazine, then this post will definitely help you further in starting your own successful magazine. My earlier post would surely have revealed the high odds of owning a successful magazine, but fret not, if you know how to go about it, you’d definitely be able to launch and run a successful magazine.

Before I go into the technical requirements of starting a magazine, I really must tell any entrepreneur about the emotional and physical needs of starting a magazine. On the other hand, if you’re an entrepreneur that’s backed well by a long, glowing resume, and a big venture capitalist, well then, good for you, life can be just a bit softer on you. But wherever the money comes from, you’ve got sleepless nights and tough decisions to take in the years to come, and sometimes, even hard work may not give you the positive results you expect or want.

Unfortunately, passion alone isn’t enough to run a successful magazine. Sometimes, your core team may have differences with you and you may have to sever ties, which can make circumstances quite ugly. I’ve been there and done that, and the road’s tough. There were days when I had to partner with companies even if it wasn’t profitable for me. But I had to take on the opportunity in the hope of continuing my dream. But years down the lane, it would all be worth it. At times, it is completely acceptable to take one step back, to jump three steps ahead.

Today, I can actually decline a proposition to partner with a company if I want to, and I’ve walked away from several prospective clients just because our business ethics and communication styles aren’t compatible. Running a magazine isn’t only about the money. It’s a lot about crucial associations and partnerships. And it’s always about long term plans. What might seem easy and perfect today isn’t really the best option unless you can project a positive growth curve in the years to come. So what are the real issues that you need to look into when you start a magazine? Here are a few tips that can help you take the first few baby steps.

Legal Requirements

This is a very important part of launching a media publishing house. Amidst the enthusiasm and the eagerness to bring out a magazine, some people forget these crucial requirements. If you really are planning on staying around and playing the game for a long time, build the right foundation. If you’re partnering with a few friends, then have all the details including the expenses shared and the revenue sharing ratios recorded. Create exit options in the contracts between the partners, just in case things aren’t going to be cushy and nice in the years to come. And most importantly, register a company name and copyright all the relevant logos, etc. Speak with a legal advisor who knows and understands the working of a publishing house so you don’t end up with the short end of the stick.

Title and Magazine Registration

Almost all people who want a start a magazine don’t know this crucial piece of information. You cannot start a magazine legally unless you have registered the magazine with your country’s newspaper and magazine council or registrar. Now each country has its own government body overlooking these procedures, so I can’t really advise everyone here. In India, we have the Registrar for Newspapers in India (RNI) which overlooks all these procedures.

Your first move would be to verify the name or title of your prospective publication. Most government bodies have their own websites where wannabe publishers can find out if a magazine title is available for use in their country. This process is similar to looking for new domain names on the internet. You would have to apply for your title and get an approval to go ahead with the process. After the Title Verification, the next process is the Registration of the magazine. In India, as I said previously, you would have to obtain a registration number before launching a magazine from your local district commissioner’s office. Only after you receive at least a temporary registration number can you launch your first issue. But it doesn’t end here, there are a few more processes that you would have to involve in. But once you get the first step right, the respective authorities would be able to help you further and tell you how to go about the other formalities in detail.

The only case when you have the option of skipping a registration number is if you don’t intend to sell the magazine. You may find this anomaly in a few internally distributed company magazines, that are not sold on stands and don’t have a price tag on the magazine. The only risk in such cases is if someone else applies for a title that is the same as an unregistered company magazine, and gets all rights associated with that title. Under such circumstances, all the legal rights of the title ownership would pass on to the person who has registered the title under their name, and guess what, the legal owner of the title could also sue the company!

These are the two basic steps that you would have to cover in detail, before you give a thought about working on the magazine. So even before you sit down to work on your content, or hire teams, hold the thought and finish these two steps.

So what next? Well, it’s launching a magazine! Click here to read about Planning, Executing and Launching a Magazine.

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Vinod Srinivas Confetti MediaVinod Srinivas is a leading media strategist and consultant. As the co-founder of Confetti Media, one of India’s leading custom media houses, he has partnered with several organisations to create successful media strategies over the years. Being one of the pioneers of Custom Media solutions in India, he is one of the most established experts in the application of Custom Media.
This blog discusses the relevance and profitable utilisation of Custom Media, and has definitive and illuminating posts on Social Media, Custom Publishing, Content Marketing, Custom Publications, and new innovations in the world.

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