AMA: Kai Brach, Publisher of Offscreen Magazine

almost 6 years ago from Kai Brach, Publisher at Offscreen Magazine

  • , almost 6 years ago

    I hear you. I think the most important part is that you have something to say. Nowadays a lot of designers launch magazines to make a nice product, but that product often doesn't have anything valuable to say. Have a clear intent and define your niche early. That's how you ensure to not just make one issue, but actually build up an audience.

    It's hard to summarise all the things that go into a magazine. Obviously content is key, so that's what I would focus on first. Locate good content sources (which doesn't necessarily mean that you create it yourself) and then build your publishing ideas around that. What types of features would you like? How much of it is text, photography, illustrations, etc? Create a content plan.

    Making the project viable is definitely a challenge. You can try to finance the first issue on Kickstarter (many do), but you'll have to work hard on making future issues sustainable through, for example, a high cover price, ads, sponsors, memberships, events, or a mix of all of those.

    And yes, obviously, distribution is always the hardest part (which is not unique to print, but more difficult in the real world). I was lucky enough to have a niche (web/tech) that finds buying their copy online quite natural, so I don't really depend on shops and distributors. Try to build that (online) community early. Build a good website. Share a lot. Connect with people and be authentic.

    Have a look at magculture.com. It's an important website for all mag makers.

    1 point