Here are a few of the questions I’m frequently asked by new clients.

1. When launching a new title what is the best way to find potential readers?
First, define who your audience is likely to be and their demographic. Then develop a survey to find out what potential readers are likely to want in a new title, how frequently they would like it and the amount they would be prepared to pay for it.
If your idea is to develop a writing magazine, then you need to find writers’ groups to survey. Once you have survey data, you then need to get a focus group together and test out ideas such as potential covers, content and delivery.
The more audience research you do, the more likely your publication is to succeed.

2. Should I opt for print or digital?
Ideally both. Publishers should offer their audience flexibility in terms of how they can consume content.

3. How long does it take to launch a magazine?
About nine months – most distributors ask for a lead-time of six months to market the title to their wholesalers.

4. The best way to develop a viable business plan?
Research business plan content, then map out how you will start, where you want to go and how you plan to get there. You also need to include financial forecasts, such as start-up costs, income and expenditure together with a projection of your first year’s profit and loss.

5. How much should I charge for advertising space?
This depends on the size of your publication. Start by analysing your closest rival’s media pack – take into account their circulation, how long the title has been established and the quality of the product. When building your own media pack make sure it reflects your brand’s house-style and offers relevant incentives for potential advertisers.

6. What content needs to go into a media pack?
Remember this is a sales tool, so as well the basics such as the size and cost of your advertising space, do publicise your magazine’s circulation figures. Also include data on your audience classification, a readership profile and reader demographics. Don’t forget an overview of editorial coverage and mechanical data such as the exact sizes of your advertising space and how clients should supply their adverts.

7. How many staff will I need?
Again this depends on the size of your publication. But starting off keep the team small – an editor, deputy, a couple of assistants and a production editor, plus an advertising sales manager and an admin assistant should suffice in the early stages. Don’t forget you will also need outside services such as a bookkeeper, accountant and solicitor.


If you have a question about any aspect of magazine publishing, please get in touch via email – mary@themagazineexpert.com