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.

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