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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 idea.

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 startups

 

 
 

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