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The process for publishing a magazine starts with assembling the writers, photographers, and editors who will help produce the content for the magazine. Once the content is ready to be printed and distributed, the editors need to make decisions about the aesthetic of the magazine. If they plan on publishing a magazine in black and white, the process may be different than printing in color. The pages can be matte or glossy, and the paper quality can vary. These decisions should be made before any work on the magazine is done to avoid problems and setbacks during the publishing process.
The layout is an important step in the process of magazine publishing, as well. Once the content is written and the photos are taken, the editors must make decisions about where to place photos, how to orient text, and where to place ads. It helps to consult an experienced graphic designer who can help make an attractive and easy-to-read layout. Anyone with experience in the proper layout programs can probably make an effective layout, but a professional will lend experience that may save the editors some headaches down the road toward publication.
Once the layout is complete, the editors may take the next step in publishing a magazine in several different ways: if the magazine will be online, the editors may choose to have a web designer post the pages on a website. This will require a specific type of layout and knowledge of how websites are built and operated. If the magazine is going to be printed as a hard copy, the editors may send the magazine to a professional printer who will present the editors with a few options for printing and binding. The magazine can be bound so that the pages are stapled together or glued together. Thinner magazines with fewer pages are usually bound with staples, while thicker magazines will require one end of each page to be glued to the spine of the magazine.
The last basic step in publishing a magazine is distribution. In order to reach a distribution market, the publishers of the magazine must market it to get people interested. This may mean advertising in newspapers, on websites, or around town, depending on the purpose of the magazine. Publishing a magazine is pointless if the magazine does not have a readership, so publishers may try to reach customers through direct mailers, television advertising, or other avenues directly related to the topic of the magazine.
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