Printing a Paper Copy
You've created a gorgeous literary magazine. You really love it! Now you want to print out actual paper copies of it to distribute. Just how much is this going to cost?
Online Literary Magazine
A recent issue of our literary magazine was 56 pages. Note that if you want to print something in booklet style it MUST have a page count divisible by four. That is because you're going to staple the pieces of paper down the center. You'll end up with a left and right page on the left side of the staples, and a left and right page on the right side of the staples. That means four "pages" for every piece of paper. If this doesn't make sense to you, take three pieces of paper in your hand right now. Put them one on top of each other. Fold all three in half, so it makes a "booklet". Now count how many actual pages that booklet would have.
So we were going for a 56 page literary magazine, with color images, with the finished size being 8 1/2 x 11 inches. This means the original pieces of paper would be 11 x 17 in size, then folded in half and stapled down the middle. That is called "Saddle stapled". For a 56 page magazine that means only 14 actual physical pieces of paper to be used per issue.
We called Staples and asked them how much they'd charge to make us 20 copies of this magazine. They quoted $53 PER BOOKLET. They said it was because it was in color and the large size. That's a bit much for an issue of a magazine!!
Next I called a local print shop - i.e. a company that actually focused on printing things. Their quote was $272 total, or $13.60 an issue. Certainly that's cheaper than $53 an issue, but that is still a LOT of money for a single issue of a magazine.
Finally I checked online with Lulu.com. They came in at $12.93 apiece, plus shipping. So about in the same ballpark.
So really, unless you're doing black and white and a small number of pages, it can get pricey to do physical printouts of your magazine. You see why magazines often have trouble staying in business!
Online Literary Magazines
Publishing Your Own Online Literary Magazine
Getting an ISSN
Focusing on a Genre
Choosing a Schedule
Online Design Ideas
Print and PDF Considerations
Printing a Paper Copy
Charging for Access
Running Ads in your Review
Paying your Writers
Types of Submissions to Accept
Enjoy your Creation