Flying quietly under the Hewlett-Packard umbrella, MagCloud
is a new online service that helps groups and individuals to publish their own
magazines. These are “real” magazines, professionally printed and physically mailed to single-issue buyers and/or subscribers in the US,
Canada, and the UK.
It's an affordable way for even the smallest non-profit to publish a magazine — printing and mailing costs are
covered by the readers — and print-on-demand technology means that no paper (or money) will be wasted on printing copies that might not be sold.
All you have to do is upload a PDF and we’ll take care of the rest: printing, mailing, subscription management, and more.
If you’ve got a tame graphic designer among your volunteers, creating a
really slick and professional magazine for your non-profit is well within reach. And for the rest of us — publishing guidelines and MS Word templates are provided.
What does it cost to print your own magazine?
The cost of your issue to end users will be the production cost,
plus shipping, plus your own publisher markup (if you specified one).
MagCloud will pay you the markup for each copy that is purchased.
Production cost is currently $0.20 per page, and during Beta the
shipping and handling is a fixed $1.40 per copy (USPS first class mail).
Printing proofs are free (you pay the cost of shipping) while
MagCloud is still in beta, so you can check your publication before
turning it loose on the public.
In short, the costs are very modest — and may even be subsidized by
advertising, if you want to round up some sponsors. In any case, the
out-of-pocket expenses are limited to the design of the publication, as
your readers pay for every magazine they order.
Magazines (and proofs) will normally be printed and mailed within 2
business days of your order, MagCloud says, with the actual time for
delivery in the hands ofthe post office.
How do you let people know about your magazine?
Each publisher gets a profile page on the MagCloud site, with an RSS
feed so readers can easily choose to be notified when a new issue comes
out, and a preview of each issue can be viewed online before placing an
order. (Have a look at RAILBRICKS, for example — the MagCloud version of railbricks.com,
an online e-magazine for LEGO®-built model train hobbyists.)
A “Share This” feature lets you and your supporters spread the word
about your magazine by email and social media, and you can even issue a
“guest pass” to invite selected people to view a private or unpublished
magazine — useful for getting approval from the rest of a committee
before hitting the “Publish” button!
Don’t take the term “magazine” too literally —
What MagCloud offers is another way to reach people who are unable
or unwilling to read long-form text on the computer screen, or for
those real-world situations where nothing but print will do — another
way to connect your online and offline activities.
If you’re producing
a document in PDF format anyway — a newsletter, a white paper or
special report — would it make sense to go the extra inch, and offer a printed version as an alternative to the digital download?
How about publishing a catalog of your fundraising merchandise? A
keepsake for a retirement dinner? A technical manual, or procedural guidelines for new staff? A collection of
schoolchildren’s writing about your cause? A conference program? Your membership directory? A
policy statement to present to the folks down at City Hall?
Browse the recent MagCloud publications for more ideas…
How might your organization use a print-on-demand magazine to advance your cause?