I said that my next blog entry would be on publishing an e-zine, or on-line magazine. Another freelance project has come up in the meantime, so I didn’t get to do my research on e-magazines. Here are a few points, though, some general observations.
How much time do you want to spend on illustrations? Layout and photos and graphics become key to a professional look and to helping readers understand a subject. The best e-magazines like Popular Science, are really a balance between graphics and text. If you are the lone person working on a complicated publication you will be spending a huge amount of time on producing images, charts, and photos. Is that what you want? Is that something you can do? The more technical or hard to explain your text is, the more you should rely on graphics. Why? How do you describe, using words only, how to tie your shoes? Illustrations help even the best writer explain complicated subjects. When I wrote at privateline.com, explaining electronics and telephony, I spent at least a third of my time on graphics.
On the other hand, really interested readers, people pursuing a specialty business or hobby, will tolerate your lack of illustrations if you get them quality information. A photocopied newsletter can often deliver more good content than the most costly, slicked up e-zine. It’s all about knowing your audience. Bob Brinker, a financial expert, produces a low tech newsletter that sells for $185 a year. He can get away with an elementary presentation because his subscribers trust his advice. One of my hobbies is prospecting. I will totally tolerate a photocopied zine if it has good, authoratative information. It all depends.
Oh, and one last thing, something I keep forgetting to research. There’s a market in overseas magazines. I’ve sold into Norway, Germany, and Japan. What’s needed is a good list of foreign periodicals that will accept English articles. Hmm. Maybe that could be a website as well.
Thanks to http://thestylishspot.blogspot.com