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    • CommentAuthorphilnelson
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2008 edited
    Warren's (unholy, 'natch) affection for the 'zines is well published at this point, and I'm sure a good portion of the community here share it, so here's some new-ish shit.

    It's called MagCloud. Basically, it looks like they want to take all the boring numbers+fulfillment parts of out of creating and printing a meatspace magazine. You upload a PDF, they take care of shipping, subscription management, orders and printing. It's partially started by Derek Powazek from, amongst other things, Fray and JPG magazine.

    I know there's some publishing people on the board, here, and I'm interested in what they have to say especially.

    From what I can see, there's no scifi mags on the site yet. Anyone up to trying to change that with me? Quite a lot of talent kicking around the ol' WHITECHAPEL...
      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2008
    ah, just asked about this in another thread -- the email submission thingy seems to be broken and bouncing emails back. don't know if it was just me but i tried a couple of different email addresses.
    • CommentAuthorAnanzitusq
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2008
    this sounds very groovy, I need to let out my creative streak before it eats my brain alive.
  1.  (2624.4)
    MagCloud is still going. Recently made the news by banging out a photomag of the Sydney dust storm within 36 hours of the event.

    They're still, I personally think, a little too pricy to mainstream: 20 US cents per page, so a 20pp page is four US dollars cost before you add your own mark-up. Which probably means a 20pp mag will retail for five or six bucks plus postage. And I know some people find that a little expensive.

    I personally would buy any number of interesting POD magazines at that price, mind. I've got Mal Jones' MagCloud mag in my shopping cart there, waiting for another 2 or 3 mags to buy before I pull the trigger.

    I would LOVE it if more people started producing through MagCloud.
  2.  (2624.5)
    I'd still love to try and curate a kind of "Best Of" WHITECHAPEL zine, I think the diversity of talents here could give us a unique stack of paper.
  3.  (2624.6)
    I'm toying with the idea of a monthly serialised novel, put up for free on my currently under construction (ie non-existent while I speed-learn html and CSS and so on) website but also published monthly on MagCloud and then collected in a POD paperback edition at the end of the run. Essentially what Dickens did, but using the internet instead of relying on traditional publishing structures. Singles and trades, if you will.

    Currently thinking through the problems of giving a magazine a reason to exist if a text is already freely available on a website - there would clearly be a need for something extra to make it worth the outlay (aside from the obvious preference many people have for reading fiction on paper rather than a screen), although, returning to Dickens, the addition of a Phiz-type illustrator would help things along. How much extra content makes something like that worthwhile? Or, possibly, you could have three or four different writers each putting out a monthly serial and combining them in a magazine... sorry, thinking out loud about whether you could even return to a sort of monthlies-for-prose-fiction kind of model. It'd end up costing what, sixty to seventy-two bucks for the whole thing (assuming a twelve-month run) so it'd have to be a bit fucking special... or perhaps people don't think of that kind of purchasing in terms of the final total, I don't know.

    Also contemplating what kind of fiction works best in this kind of environment. Ulysses? Probably not so much, but something fast and pulpy with a decent cliffhanger at the end of each installment? Hell yeah. I'd buy that if it looked good enough on a free read of the first chapter. Especially if MagCloud gets to the point of offering some sort of subscription model with a reduced price.

    Of course, the main issue with stepping outside the mainstream is missing out on good editorial support, although going traditional is no guarantee of that...

    Sorry, I'll stop cluttering the place up and go do some more thinking in private.

  4.  (2624.7)
    If you're serialising it on the net, I'd miss out the MagCloud step and go straight to a POD paperback. The magazine step seems redundant for you.
  5.  (2624.8)

    Thanks for the response. On the whole, I think I probably agree with you, but I'm still intrigued by the MagCloud thing. I'm going to give it some more thought and see if there's a valid way of making something work.

    • CommentAuthorHenchbot
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2009
    I have all the blueprints done up via sticky pads all over my battlestation @ home for my mag however it will likely draw little interest here in terms of content since it focuses on a local Seattle scene involving narccissists and their high country, snowbound, motorhome living ways. Essentially Im exploiting my position as popular vote Mayor of a local ski hill motorhome lot, looking to scratch out a few bucks. Drinks cost alot up there and I need all of them I can get so why not sell the shitheads a magazing that has them in it.
    Its not that the crowd up there is a forgiving sort, its that for my first mag ever: they wont know better. My very own test tube.
    Ive been building this for months since I stumbled over it somewhere in here.
    i am very very excited.
    If it goes well then the next one I build will be featuring my beehives.
    oh fuckit, goes well or not, im doing the bees next.
  6.  (2624.10)
    Seriously, no-one else sees the potential in banging out a magazine at no cost to you and five Yanqui bucks retail?

    In the UK, Newspaper Club is going live in January. This is an emergent space.
  7.  (2624.11)
    I see it as quite a bit of potential, but I never considered running a mag and can't waste the energy now. I do see GREAT potential in using this or similar service for disseminating short collections of stories or poems, without any cost to me... that's pretty fantastic. Although it would still seem pretty expensive to Joe Blow, most likely.
  8.  (2624.12)
    Have any webcomics people considered using this to get some money coming in before they have enough material for a collection?
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2009
    I must say, having just received my copy of Strange Light, the print quality is fantastic and minus the delay from some DHL delivery shenanigans (dear DHL, strange but true, I work between the hours of 9 & 5...) it took about a week from my order to the printed copy's first attempt at being delivered.

    I'm already pondering some ideas to try it out myself, I could def. see it being useful for knitting pattern collections because you don't have to make a minimum order and then live with it all while you sell/ship it and people can always order it as and when they come across your patterns. Plus, you can edit it when errors need correcting, so future purchases will have the most up-to-date version without having to stick errata sheets in.
  9.  (2624.14)
    the potential to create a music magazine that isn't pandering to any particular fads or listener trends amuses me greatly. A guide to the greatest music library on earth that is the interweb and seeing as blogs and forums are updated every other minute, or so my feed reader tells me, the potential for a "what's available to steal this week" weekly , fortnightly or monthly looks viable. And it will annoy the BPI, Feargal Sharkey and Lilly Allen, which is always a good thing.

    Mind you my tastes for the infeasibly hard to find, rare odd gems that nobody bought at the time or things you just can't buy any more far outstrips the new releases and currently available material at least 20 - 1
  10.  (2624.15)
    So what are the advantages of this compared to the interent?

    Permanence, transportability and image quality, I guess.

    I tend to doubt a lot of people will be paying for primarily text material via Magcloud.

    The Sydney dust storm had immediacy and interesting visuals.

    Maybe there's scope for a mag about a band based around a specific live performance.

    Hoping I'm making sense here. Haven't slept a lot lately.
    • CommentAuthorJRadley
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2009
    I think this is full of potential, but then I am an old fart who grew up with print magazines and xeroxed zines.

    The pricing is a little high, I agree, but five or six USD? I used to pay the equivalent back in the day for mail order issues of mags like Back Brain Recluse or Aboriginal SF, and that was more of a shot in the dark as there were no interwebs to see previews on.

    I'm a little surprised there hasn't been a stampede of the younger, cooler Whitechapelites announcing their own Coilhouse type projects...
  11.  (2624.17)
    My major problem with magcloud is... I live outside of us/uk/canada.

    So until they reach the EU, I am unable to buy or make anything.
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2009
    I'm not keen on their licensing. It's in conflict with my contract with contributors, otherwise I'd have tried them out a while ago - although it kinda goes against my ability to control the quality of Murky Depths.
  12.  (2624.19)
    What's the issue with their licensing?

    (Yes, I deleted a couple of posts.)
    • CommentAuthorTwist
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2009
    @stevencudahy: Illustrations?? Just a thought

    I'm looking at magcloud as an option for something that's still in the top secret planning stage (mainly so if I get bored I don't have other people pestering me about it). My concerns are only about quality, I plan on hunting through and ordering a few things off there to see what it's like.