“How do you begin a magazine?”
That’s the leading question to this article in YCN.org that aims to help a would-be magazine publisher get going “on the path to publishing success.”
We appreciate the encouragement, but think Jeremy Leslie is somewhat misguided in breaking this down so simply. It appears that Leslie is addressing his comments to the start-up “self” publisher, but it’s not really clear.
While he does offer some good advice on the production side (his rundown of paper considerations is good, and his advice to actually meet with the printer is sound), he sadly neglects the heart and soul of any magazine venture: the editorial components.
In fact, content isn’t even addressed until step eight, and then it gets less than 60 words:
“What will be the balance between text and image? Is the text serious or light in tone? Are there photographic stories? Do you include illustration? Do the text and image elements of the same story match in angle and tone? And who’s supplying all this material? These are all questions that will need to be answered,” he advises.
Please don’t misunderstand: We get that many people are venturing into self-publishing, and we think innovation in print and magazines is a great thing. We just wish Leslie would take a deeper look at the “whys” behind any magazine launch. How does it fit into your business model? Is there a readership base to support it? What is your editorial philosophy and guiding publishing mission?
Magazine publishing is art and science, sweat and tears, and not just something to knock off with a to-do list. Keep the commentary coming though, Jeremy, and please dig a bit deeper for the next few articles.