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Self-Published Magazines?

September 7, 2009

Posted by Rick

Self-publishing has been going on since, well, a long, long time ago. Long before the printing press. And for a while, getting your book self-published was doable for a “nominal fee.” You just had to hope that your mom and grandparents would buy enough copies for you to recoup your costs.

In recent years, print-on-demand (POD) technology has made it possible to publish books with little or no capital. In fact, your book is not printed until it is purchased, saving on warehousing. Not that this is a great way to get your stuff read because, even though you may get your book placed on Amazon, it’s probably not getting read by the reviewers, agents, and editors that you need to be seeing your stuff.

All of this is a roundabout way to get to my writer’s tool for today. MagCloud is a POD magazine service that, like the books, doesn’t shed a drop of ink until someone orders it. POD magazines, like the sub-culturally popular self-published, hand-crafted ‘Zines of the 80’s 90’s and beyond, tend to run in the obscure (RallyCross, Mormon Artist, The Magazine of the Commonwealth Club of California) though the possibilities are endless.

So, the reason I’m posting this is not necessarily as a way for you to “get discovered” or “get published,” but as a tool for expression. This might be a good venue for a group of writers to self-publish a small[er] literary magazine than the traditional. Or writers who are working among their communities or with younger students might find this an excellent way to add legitimacy to the voices of those they work with.

As the website notes, “MagCloud uses HP Indigo technology, so every issue is custom-printed when it’s ordered. Printing on demand means no big print runs, which means no pre-publishing expense. Magazines are brilliant full color on premium paper with saddle-stitched covers.” The ‘zine has come a long way from the cut-and-paste, Xeroxed, and hand-stapled editions of last century.

Check it out at: www.magcloud.com (or, check here for what others are doing specifically with POD Lit magazines.)

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