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Q: How do I get my magazine or newsletter printed?

Answer: Get some professional advice about printing a magazine, and shop around.

Magazines and many newsletters are generally printed by commercial printers on sheet-fed or web offset printing presses. The choice of a printer depends on how many copies you are printing, and in what format (number of pages in the issue, trim size, and so forth).

A good relationship with your printer is critical to your success, not only because printing is usually the biggest of a publisher's expenses, but also because a resourceful and cooperative printer can vastly improve the quality of your publishing business life. Remember, periodical publishers have to meet deadlines and control costs, all the while creating a vibrant and exciting relationship with an audience of newsstand buyers and subscribers. A bad printer can wreck you, and a good one can save you. It's that simple. A production consultant -- someone with many years of experience buying printing services and from several different printers can help you find the best printer and negotiate the best contract. We list some consultants on our links page.

Two annual resource guides provide lists of printers: The Folio Magazine SuperBook, available online at http://www.foliomag.com/ and the Circulation Management Magazine's Circulation Sourcebook issue, also available online at http://www.circman.com/.

Your production consultant will probably guide you through a process of interviewing printers and getting bids. And read more about launching magazines at www.magazinelaunch.com, which also lists some production and design consultants.

More Information

There is a whole chapter on printing in our new book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing, from Nolo Press, Spring 2007. The chapter covers how to find the right kind of printer, negotiate a contract, and manage the relationship. There are also chapters about editing, design, and digital workflow.

 
 

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