Yes, resources to actually layout and publish your own magazine, mostly for free.
My blushing bride pointed out recently that I mostly haven’t posted anything original in years. Just links to other resources and some brief copy around it to explain what I’m posting and why.
This week isn’t going to be any different.
I love magazines.
They are, perhaps, my most annoying secret vice. They’re hard to store and, since I have so little time to really read these days, I tend to hold on to them far too long. I love them so much that I lose sight of the fact that they are “periodicals”, meant to inexpensively deliver timely information that has a relatively short shelf-life. I love the written word and few things pull me like a well-designed magazine with articles that promise knowledge or “hip-ness” that I can get from no other source.
In fact, I have always, secretly, wanted to establish an underground magazine, but I’ve never had the time or resources.
I still don’t have the time, but, well, here are some resources.
First of all, these are a bit old, although I verified them all myself very recently. Mostly, these resources center around the technical aspects of design, layout and production of magazines, and rely on an Adobe program called InDesign. It’s a little dated, but it’s still a good layout program. So, the first link I’m sharing with you is to the Alternative.to suggestions for an InDesign replacement, all of which are free. (Incidentally, I’ve used Scribus, which is the first they list and it’s actually surprisingly easy to get used to using.) The next three links are all tutorials on layout specifically for magazines; InDesignMag.com, DesignM.ag’s InDesign tutorials, and a “professional” magazine layout tutorial at TutsPlus.com. If you’re willing to pay a little bit, you can pick up one of the hundreds of magazine templates available at Magazine Forest for relatively little money. (And, no, I don’t get any money from them or anyone else I link to in this post. In case you were wondering.) If I ever get any of this fabled “free time” I keep hearing people talk about, and had any inspiration to write on a regular basis, I would probably take that short-cut myself. It’s hard to beat if you have $60 you can spend on this kind of project.
Finally, if you want to distribute your work, I have two ways to do it. First is the digital magazine publisher, Issuu. You can upload your digital magazine for free and readers can get to it for free, too. If you want more control over your publication and access to stats on how many people are reading your work, they have paid plans. And, finally, if you want to physically print your magazine, you can try MagCloud, which has a rate calculator posted so you can figure out how much it would cost to print your work in quantity. It’s not as expensive as you might thing, considering.
So, there you go. A magazine link-dump with everything you need from start o finish, except the actual content.
Good luck with that part.
Anyway, have a great weekend and go produce something!