How to Make a Homemade Magazine
Magazines continue to be publications of interest across the globe. There are many small press publications that are produced worldwide that have quite a following. Producing a magazine takes quite a bit of time, determination, and trial and error on the part of the entrepreneur; however, a home-based magazine can be a successful enterprise.
Publishing Your Own Magazine
Determine your subject matter and the desired length of your magazine. Create your magazine around a unique subject that focuses your magazine's content. Always choose a subject that has some kind of importance to you or is in your educational field.
Collect articles that are relevant to the overall theme of the magazine. These articles may be written by you or someone else. However, it is important to always have permission to reproduce another writer's articles and, where possible, get written permission from the author.
Keep your magazine articles on topic, but not repetitive. For example, a magazine entitled, "Poems from the Blogosphere," might contain articles that are all relevant to that issue's chosen theme. A poetry-themed magazine might include poems, tips about writing poetry and lists of poetry publishers or contests. Remember that your magazine's focus is solely the choice of you, the creator.
Choose artwork that is relevant to each article. It is important to use original photography and artwork, or select artwork and photography that is published with a GNU licensing. Public-domain and GNU-licensed artwork will allow you to use high-quality images without having to pay for their use or face possible lawsuits for copyright infringement.
Select a magazine or booklet template. There are many booklet and magazine templates available online; some are free to use. Determine the most cost-effective product for your budget before purchasing any templates.
Using your computer, place your articles and images into a booklet template. Templates are self-explanatory: simply delete the sample information and copy-paste your information into the slots provided. The magazine will print exactly the way it appears on screen.
Before printing, read through your magazine and determine if you're happy with its layout. Don't worry, finding the perfect layout may take some trial and error. Remember to arrange your articles and artwork so that they flow seamlessly from one page to another. Always ask yourself if the page layout appears to be busy, or if it is lacking detail. Ultimately, you have to be happy with its design.
Print the inside of your magazine using 36# groundwood paper. Groundwood paper, according to an article entitled "The ABC's of Paper" (Reference 3), has a much smoother feel and lower brightness than other papers. Groundwood paper also provides an excellent printing surface.
Print the cover page using glossy paper. This will give your magazine a more professional appearance.
Arrange your printed magazine so that the pages follow a chronological order, and then fold the papers down the center so they resemble a book. Place the paper onto a saddle stapler and apply three to five staples through the center section of the fold. The amount of staples needed is dependant upon the size of your magazine. The staples should be placed vertically down the center section of your magazine. Make sure that the staples are equally spaced apart. Place one staple at each end of the center fold and one in the center. If needed, add one more staple between each outer edge staple and the center staple.
Choose easy-to-read fonts for the covers and inside section headlines of the magazine.
Use photographs and artwork for adult-centered magazines.
Use clipart and cartoons for children's magazines.
Remember that white space is okay in a magazine. Too many pictures, boxed quotes and graphics can make a magazine cluttered and hard to read.
- Choose easy-to-read fonts for the covers and inside section headlines of the magazine.
- Use photographs and artwork for adult-centered magazines.
- Use clipart and cartoons for children's magazines.
- Remember that white space is okay in a magazine. Too many pictures, boxed quotes and graphics can make a magazine cluttered and hard to read.
Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.