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.