Print on demand magazines?

Picture_2 I don’t know about you….but even as much time as I spend online, I love reading magazines.  I like the way they feel, that I can rip out an article or dog ear a page.  I’d think that my age was showing except for the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble.  Every time I look, it gets bigger.

MagCloud, a new self-publishing magazine service from HP Labs, is bringing the ability to be a magazine creator to all of us.  Now, anyone who can create a PDF can publish a magazine.

How does it work? Users can upload a PDF of their magazine for free, creating their own profit margins by calculating the difference between their cover price and MagCloud’s charge of 20 cents per page, plus shipping.

The concept builds on the success of companies that offer a simple, online method for consumers to self-publish books (like Blurb or Lulu) and on the understanding that members of Generation C are eager to share their creative output, and expect to be paid for their efforts.

No matter what the author’s "status" in terms of credentials or experience, MagCloud provides them with a no-risk business and communication opportunity, and the ability to tap into infinite niche audiences that will find their content relevant and worth paying for.

While the site is in beta, publisher accounts are by invitation only.  Shipping is currently restricted to the US, but they’re working hard to open up its service to Europe and then the rest of the world.

What do you think?  Could you/would you be a magazine publisher?

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10 comments on “Print on demand magazines?

  1. Hi Drew,

    I really like this concept, and thanks for bringing it to my attention, because of its flexibility. When the site is fully operational the service can hit business, organization, and consumer niches. I really like the idea of doing low volume custom stuff for applicable b2b pitches but all too often the cost is prohibitive because of current print shop pricing. This solves the problem and gives me a way to quickly and easily execute an idea.

    Dave

  2. Gavin Heaton says:

    Now I am seeing a whole Age of Conversation magazine with subscription offering 😉

  3. Gavin,

    Hmm, well now we know what we’re doing in November! 🙂

    Drew

  4. Dave,

    We’ve talked about doing the same sort of thing. Sort of a new business leave behind but a lot sexier than something you either bind at Kinkos and a lot more cost effective than printing 1000’s of brochures.

    Drew

  5. Bill says:

    Wow, what an idea! I wonder if it will work. I don’t think to many people will make money with their magazines, but maybe one or two will take off. The others will just like seeing their ideas published. I hope they have enough people sign up to keep it going.

  6. Bill,

    Like blogs — this gives anyone who wants to make the effort a voice. It will be fun to see who steps up and becomes the next magazine mogul.

    Drew

  7. I think this is a fantastic idea.

    I can’t wait for a British version to be launched…

    ( maybe there already is? )

  8. Amy,

    I have to think someone there has started something similar. And it also sounded like this company has plans to expand. So either way…it should be right around the corner.

    Drew

  9. Eric says:

    Will they be able to fulfill subscriptions throught the site for us I wonder?

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