Q: What is the best way to approach a publisher who might launch
my new magazine or website for me?
Answer: Book companies depend on authors to write
books, and you can submit an idea for a new book to them. But periodical
and website publishers are different. If you want to create a new
magazine or website, you generally have to start up a publishing
company yourself because the established publishing companies never,
ever buy an idea from people outside of their company. Unless you
are Oprah or Rachael Ray, or some other television personality,
you'll never get a media company to launch your magazine or website
Instead, people start new publications by raising money to hire
writers, designers, editors, ad sales people, and they sign contracts
with printing companies or website hosting services. And they create
the new product themselves. After you prove that your idea is commercially
viable - that it attracts lots of paying readers and advertisers
- then you might be able to sell the company to a bigger publishing
corporation. Such sales are relatively common.
But in the meantime, your idea does not have much commercial value,
and you will not be able to find a publisher to buy it from you.
Read our article about writing
business plans for magazines and we also have one called, Who
Funds Startups that should help you understand how the industry
works. You should also read Cheryl Woodard's book, Starting & Running
a Successful Newsletter or Magazine (Nolo Press). The
book will give you an overview of the whole business so you know
what you're getting into. It's available in bookstores everywhere,
online from Amazon.com or from Nolo Press at 800-992-6656.
Amazon sells the book for about $19 plus shipping. Bookstores
sell it for $29.95. Most libraries have it, too.
There are several other good books about starting publications in our online
publishing bookstore. We also offer a simple magazine
business plan kit that will help you quickly assess the potential for your
magazine idea and develop the financial projections you will need.
After you've read some books and written your business plan, contact us. We
offer a range of low-cost consulting services for