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FAQ for New and Would-Be Publishers


1. I have a great idea for a magazine. How can I find a publisher?

Once you have a concept, you have two options: sell your idea or you can publish the magazine yourself. Nearly all small magazines in Canada are published by the same people who dream them up…at least until the reins can be handed over once the business is up and running. You will only be able to sell your idea to a publishing company if you can guarantee that it will make money, that it fits with the rest of the company’s titles, and that it will thrive by garnering steady and appropriate advertising over the long term. In short, it has to nearly publish itself, and it needs to be unique and saleable. Very few magazine concepts begin this way.

Publishing your own magazine allows you to keep control of the vision of your publication. You will also be its main spokesperson and financier. Devoting oneself to the start-up of a new magazine can be a daunting prospect. As with any new business, it will involve a great deal of effort and risk. Work, learn and persevere, and you will join the ranks of a collegial, ingenious and diverse cultural industry.

» 2. What’s a business plan? Why do I need one?

» 3. As a magazine publisher, do I need to register my business in any special way?

» 4. Where can I find someone to invest in my magazine?

» 5. How can I find out if anyone else is publishing the same type of magazine?

» 6. How many staff should I have? How much should I be paying personnel?

» 7. How do I get an ISSN? How do I get a barcode?

» 8. How can I get grants?

» 9. How can I get start-up money for my magazine? How long does it take for a magazine to make money?

» 10. Are there courses I can take in magazine publishing?

» 11. How long does it take before most magazines make money?

» 12. Do I have to join a magazine association?

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