In March 2020 I got my first published image in a magazine, and from there I have been submitting my images to magazines ever since. In August 2020 I started my own magazine, and shockingly it blew up! Now I run 3 magazines with my partner Courtney Wade and one magazine solo! The name of these magazines will be anonymous as we have made some enemies through this, so our names remain anonymous.
My top tips for starting your own magazine are:
1. Only Accept Submissions From the Copyright Holder.
- Doing this makes sure you aren't publishing someone else's images and profiting from them, I have had many instances where the model has submitted the image because they are in the photo, and later the photographer finds out and did NOT give permission for their image to be published. Accepting images from anyone that is not the copyright holder can get you in a lot of trouble, make sure before you publish you have a record of them stating they hold the copyright and give your magazine permission to publish the photos.
Doesn't the model have any rights to the photos?
- Unfortunately for the model, in most cases copyright is held by the photographer of the image, even if nothing has been signed. However, if the model has a signed copyright release form they can provide you with, you won't have to worry about contacting the photographer, however, in some cases if you are suspicious I'd reach out to the photographer just in case.
2. Don't Use Low Resolution Images!
You want to make sure images that are placed in your magazine have at least 300dpi (sometimes 240dpi is okay), 2550 x 3300 pixels (the more the better!) and preferably the image should be at LEAST 2mb.
Someone sent a 72dpi image, it looks fine on my computer can I not just use it?
- As tempting as it is just to try and get away with the 72dpi, it will NOT print well, it will come out looking either pixelated or blurry.
3. Use ONE Way To Accept Submissions.
- This tip will help you keep your submissions organised and in one place, when I first started I thought the more ways for people to submit, the better! I was wrong! I ended up with submissions in emails, Facebook comments and Instagram, DM's, I didn't know which issues/themes the submissions the email and Instagram DM's were for, in the end I stuck solely to Facebook comments, as they were neatly in one spot.
Email submissions were generally random submissions that didn't really fit the theme your current issue was.
4. Make A Decision On Tearsheets Early On.
- Make sure to decide on this before your first issue because if you offer tear sheets early on and then decide to stop, your followers will NOT be happy.
Pros: Super easy to make - either make them on the software you use or you can export the PDF as normal and go to a convert PDF to JPEG site and it will export each page as a jpeg for you.
Cons: People tend to only submit to get the free tear sheet and not actually purchase the issue.
5. Offer Badges!
- Offering badges is an easy alternative to tear sheets, people can place the badges on their images and make their own tear sheets.
- Its also FREE advertising! It helps a ton to get your magazine's name out there!
6. Offer Photo Credit Proofs
- Doing this avoids misprints with your issues!
- Saves you time in the long run!
What is a photo credit proof?
- Send a small screenshot showing the credits of the image, placed on the page the image is on or on the image, make sure to include enough of their image so that they can recognise it's theirs but not enough for them to use as a tear sheet! Give them a set time to respond to the proof and let them know if you don't hear back to them by... their image will not be published.
7. Make Use Of Google Forms
- Using google forms is an amazing FREE tool,it helps keep all the information in one place, and even makes a neat spreadsheet for you. People can use the form to upload high resolution images which means you don't have to worry about keeping track of emails because they will all be organised for you!
8. Let Your Followers Suggest Themes!
- That's the issue they're going to purchase! Your followers want to feel included in the process. They want to feel like their suggestions and ideas have value. And they do. So showcase that and spotlight them!
9. Separate Boudoir Issues From Regular Issues
There are many people that showcase your magazine on their coffee tables or in their photography studios for clients to see. Having a boudoir photo next to their photo of their sweet grandparents or newborn, usually leads to them not purchasing the issue.
10. Utilise Instagram!
Instagram is a great platform to find creatives that will want to submit to your magazine, use hashtags in your posts to help people find your account!