A guest blog post by Kolor Magazine, Issuu’s August Publisher of the Month.
Starting a magazine is expensive. That’s what I knew before I started Kolor. That’s what I read on entrepreneur.com when I got to the line, “starting a magazine is relatively cheap and easy–at least for the first issue. Woodward estimates you can put the first issue on newsstands for as little as $15,000 (and that’s an article from 2006),” and that’s what I was faced with when I decided to move forward with Kolor Magazine, without an extra 15 grand laying around to pursue my dreams. Pair the hefty price tag with the facts: 1,000 new magazine debut yearly, up to 20,000 new publications are uploaded to Issuu.com daily and 70% of new glossies never make it past their first issue and you’ll realize that starting a magazine is not only expensive, but it’s also a risky business. I pressed on though with my lack of funds entering into a crowded space that’s been referred to as “dead” and I’m proud to stay I’m working on Kolor Magazine’s Fall 2019 issue and in 2020 we’ll be in our third year of operation. To call it hard work is an understatement but if you’re up for the challenge of starting your own publication, whether it be fashion like Kolor or food like Chickpea Magazine here are 3 apps I use to keep Kolor Magazine running at under $100 dollars a month!
If you’re reading this great, you’re already on the first app that I use, Issuu.com. I first learned about Issuu working as a contributor and as the Style Editor for Heaven Has Heels Magazine (also available on Issuu). Being somewhat familiar with the platform, no Benjamins to jump right into print, and with the knowledge that while the nostalgia of print can still entice a magazine connoisseur, media is going digital I decided to use Issuu.com to host my magazine. I’m able to upload my PDF onto Issuu and within minutes I have my flip-book magazine and its ready to read. It also helps that with the Issuu’s mobile app I can direct people to their phones, tablets or laptops to check out the latest issue of Kolor Magazine when some asked where they can find or buy Kolor. Issuu offers 4 different plans from its basic free plan to its optimum premium plan for $299 dollars. For Kolor, I use the premium plan and I’ve opted to be billed monthly which only cost me $39.
To get my feet wet with publishing my own magazine I started with 2 projects, The 25 Most Stylish Black Women in Fashion and The 25 Most Stylish Black Men in Fashion (both published on Issuu.com) and I designed those on Pages (a free app on iOS). When my lead photographer told me about Blurb, and I used it for the first time, I was hooked. Blurb allows you to create anything from photo books to magazines. The best thing about Blurb is its desktop software is free. Once your done designing your book you pay for your final PDF copy which is $5.99 and you can take that do what you please.
Squarespace is the final connecting dot in Kolor Magazine’s holy publishing trinity. Squarespace is another app I was introduced to while working for Heaven Has Heels and I loved the endless options that they provide to set up your homepage and blog post. With my premium Issuu plan I can embed Kolor Magazine on my homepage and in all of my blog posts to maximize my magazines, impressions, and reads! They also have a mobile app so I’m able to update my site, publishing articles and monitor Kolor Magazine’s stats from my tablet. With Squarespace, I pay $26 monthly to host my website on their platform.
And that’s how I keep Kolor’s engine running for under $100 dollars a month. Let us know in the comments about your magazine idea and if this post encouraged you to start your own publication!