Growing Publications
Publishing Tools




Q: I want to start a magazine, but how do I find readers?

Answer: Figuring out how to find readers can be complicated, but there is help available. First, try to be specific about what kind of people you want to reach. Think about things like their age, income level, occupation, and hobbies. Then, check with mailing list brokers to get some numbers on the size of your potential audience. Commercial list rental companies offer mailing lists of people who subscribe to certain magazines or who have joined related associations. These lists can help you assess your market, and you may use the mailing lists to sell subscriptions, too.

It also makes sense to check the circulation size of other publications similar to yours. Get numbers from their websites under 'how to advertise' or the media kit.

Publishers commonly spend $10 to $20 per subscriber to acquire new subscriptions through marketing efforts like direct mail. Email promotions may cost less.

A website set up to sell subscriptions will be an essential resource for any startup print magazine. There's a chapter about websites in our publishing how-to book, Starting and Running A Successful Newsletter or Magazine. Our book also has a whole chapter devoted to finding readers.

You can also read about selling subscriptions and getting distribution at


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