1. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    249

    Starting an online lit mag

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Alex R. Encomienda, Aug 3, 2020.

    Hello,

    I’ve been thinking a lot about making a good quality literary magazine that could actually make a little bit money. I started a volunteer lit mag years ago and it was just more work than what I got back so I would really like to know how to get things going. I’d like to charge a reading fee and I’d like to use submittable but I’m unsure whether or not that’s usually something that I can balance alone. Also, my plan would be to make a yearly anthology with work that is published throughout the year.

    I’m willing to invest in something I know I can balance with work and obligations. But, i’d appreciate it if any of you can give me some sources that might answer:

    How much is a domain? And where is the best place to buy one?

    I used Weebly to create my last one. Is there a better site to use?

    Does anyone have any experience with submittable and createspace?

    Thank you for your time!
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  2. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    971
    Location:
    UK
    I can tell you that domain names can be very cheap indeed, although I used to pay around £12 I think, nowadays it's free. What will cost you a great deal more is the space required to host your website. You might get a deal if it's your first site, you will have to fish around and see what there is online. I went with UK2.net but they are a bit more expensive, very reliable though.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    7,692
    Location:
    California, US
    Domains are cheap, as noted above. You’ll find Submittable and CreateSpace are both easy to use. The largest expense will likely be author payments.

    Weebly seems fine to me. Wix is also easy to use.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  4. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    971
    Location:
    UK
    I've heard of Wix, they advertise on youtube. Convertri is a cloud based one, don't know too many others.
     
    Cdn Writer and Steerpike like this.
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    7,692
    Location:
    California, US
    Wix is cloud-based as well. I haven’t heard of Convertri. I’ll take a look.
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    16,104
    Likes Received:
    19,060
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    create space has been dead fora couple of years... kdp print now... i'm not clear on why you'd need them for an online mag though.

    for a serious publication i'd suggest using a host - site ground are good-, and design software like wordpress rather than a tied service like wix
     
    Cdn Writer likes this.
  7. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,359
    Likes Received:
    3,768
    I use Wix for my author website and love it - very user friendly. Their free analytics dashboard is basic but still pretty decent.
     
    Krispee, Cdn Writer and Steerpike like this.
  8. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    599
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    Instead of starting a whole fresh approach, would it be possible to find something already existing and work with them to expand or re-boot? The example below is of a publishing company just because Laurin Kelly mentioned it in the "Success Stories" forum under the thread title, "Finally published my backlist."

    Laurin Kelly posted in success stories that their publisher had closed, Less Than 3 Press, so I would assume this property is available if you wanted to buy it or take it over? Granted, this does bring some baggage with it - they apparently published LGBTQ+ Romance and this does limit the market. You could expand the catalogue to offer more mainstream fare - while keeping the original fare - assuming you have the money to pay for it. Your big challenge will be finding writers who are willing to take some short term pain (less money) for long term gain (more money) in the future - IF YOU SUCCEED - then you need writers that the reading public will read so they buy the titles.

    There's nothing wrong with LGBTQ+ Romance but it isn't a genre I normally read in the first place and I'm straight so I'm not in the market that publisher was catering to. I would be willing to support such publishers but I would need them to sell genres/titles I'm interested in. This will be the same for any publisher that focuses on one genre only. Kind of difficult to make a living selling only horror or only science fiction, etc.


    With regards to this particular site, I have always wondered if they could take the flash fiction, short story, and poetry contest winners and self-publish a book of each per year with the profits going to the authors on some pro-rated basis, or perhaps no money going to authors but it is free advertising for such writers and possibly helps to build their resumes?

    Yes....I know there are challenges around payment, copyright, who covers the cost of editing, printing and marketing these books. While these are significant challenges, they are not impossible to overcome. Anyone want to run with that idea and see where it goes? I'm able to support such an effort but leading it is not one of my abilities and while I would be willing to try, I am not a big fan of group projects.

    I do have one starting suggestion - there are lots of books that were published by German, Spanish, English (hmm, maybe not this one), Australian, French, ___________ writers that have never been sold or read by the North American reading public. If someone was to buy an existing publishing company and wanted a large number of titles available immediately, would it be possible to acquire the North American rights to these titles and sell them in N. America? I don't see any downside for the authors if their work becomes more widely known and they start collecting more money from a new market.

    Oh dear.....I've gone completely off topic. Sorry, OP, I have a tendency to get carried away......I hope it at least sparks some discussion.
     
  9. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    2,359
    Likes Received:
    3,768
    Possibly at the time it was going under, but not at this point. It's been over a year and every facet of the company has been dissolved for months and months. They kept a bank account open to pay out 3rd quarter royalties at the end of September, then blinked out of existence entirely.
     
  10. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    249
    What I wanted to do was publish work weekly on the site and then include the year’s worth of work in a printed anthology every December.

    And I’m not familiar with host site grounds. I do have a Wordpress page but I never bought a domain with it. Would Weebly work with something like this?
     
  11. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    249
    I already have a vision of the kind of work I want to publish and the overall theme of the magazine.

    Also, in order to have a good quality cover art for print anthologies, what format does the art need to be in?

    Edit: I’m posting my old literary journal here just in case you’d like to see what I’m familiar with and what I can improve on with this new one. It’s an ambitious project but I really would like it to work. My old one was a Christian journal. This new one will be more open to other works.

    https://labyrinthinepassages.weebly.com/
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    16,104
    Likes Received:
    19,060
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    the problem with wix and i think weebly is that you are tied to their server, you can't run it anywhere else.. so if they go bust, or dramatically alter their T&C, or jack up their prices or whatever you are stuffed.

    with your site on a host if the host does something you don't like you can take the site to a different host.
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    7,692
    Location:
    California, US
    NVM: re-read the original post about the old journal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  14. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    249
    Maybe I’m just not familiar with hosts. Can you give me some names and I’ll do some research? Because when I used Weebly, they gave me the option to buy a domain but I skipped it. It’s nice to know I have that option now but once I’m familiar with a host as you were saying, I can do that instead. The only reason I was going with Weebly is because I know more or less what I’m doing there.
     
  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    16,104
    Likes Received:
    19,060
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    As i say I use Siteground, Bluehost are another big name... google will find lots of others.

    If you are looking at investing some money in this operation you might also want to talk to a local tech company about there setting up the site and running the technical side for you, allowing you to focus on the writing and business element
     
    Krispee likes this.
  16. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    971
    Location:
    UK
    I have heard it takes more time than you think, running the back end of things.
    (Sorry, that sounds rude).
     
  17. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,287
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    London
    Convertri is my day job, believe it or not.

    You could totally do this kind of thing using us, but it's not really what we're aimed at. Our target audience is businesses collecting leads or agencies building sites out for other people, so if you're after setting up some pages to get leads for your magazine or build a waitlist for your novel or something, totally give us a look. If you're just after building out a personal website, you'll find plenty of cheaper options.
     
    Krispee likes this.
  18. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    249
    I did give Convertri a look but compared to Wix, it doesn’t look too user friendly. Also, I did say that I’m going to put money in this but I’m wondering, at which point would you know if the money you get will somewhat balance the money you put in?

    I was considering setting up the site and buying the domain after I send out submission calls just to see how it goes.
     
  19. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,287
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    London
    You'll probably get something up and running faster with Wix. You'll have a lot more flexibility over what that something is with us. Though I'd reiterate that I think we're significant overkill for what you're after, here. A basic Wix or Wordpress site is probably the better place to start.
     
    Alex R. Encomienda likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice