Real Time Publishing

 

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There are many ways to self-publish a book or magazine. Many of these ways are somewhat time consuming, a bit laborious but are also filled with enticing challenges that keep many of us coming back again and again. Self-publishing is a puzzle and it’s also addictive.

But there is another way to publish. Let’s call it “Real-Time,” where you create your publication while the event or story you are covering unfolds. This is fast, fluid publishing and if you haven’t done it then you have a surprise in store.

Self-publishing is a puzzle and it’s also addictive.

Real-Time publishing offers a fresh perspective by allowing the speed of working in real-time as a test of your organizational skills, design and even your photography. Several months ago I embarked on my own experiment with “Real-Time” publishing while on assignment for Blurb in Australia.

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Garry Trinh, Blurb’s staffer in Sydney, is a well known photographer and designer. We found ourselves with two free days and I suggested we do a Real-Time publication using Magcloud Digest. Two days. Total. Shoot, edit, make small prints, design, upload and hit print.

Our styles are very different. I’m more of a classic reportage style photographer who works mostly in black and white.  Garry normally works in color and is one of the most observant street photographers I’ve ever seen.

Real-Time publishing offers a fresh perspective by allowing the speed of working in real-time as a test of your organizational skills, design and even your photography.

We devised our plan then hit the beach for the first shoot. Later the same day we had the edits printed at a local lab then placed them on the floor of my hotel room where we made our final decisions regarding edit and sequence. Garry did the bulk of the design work while I wrote copy to round out the story. At the end of the 48-hours we uploaded the Digest and hit print.

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Several days later I flew home, unpacked, suffered through my normal jet lag then heard my doorbell ring. There it was. Our “Real-Time” book in physical form, delivered before I had even archived the images.

Publishing in Real_Time isn’t for every situation or assignment, but it is a wonderfully entertaining way of embracing the fluidity of what platforms like Magcloud offer.

MagCloud: More than just magazine

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I first heard about Magcloud in a hotel lobby in Atlanta during a photography conference. A young photographer created a serial portfolio of sorts using the Magcloud magazine, and when he placed the publication on the table in front of me my first thought was “That is a real magazine.” I was instantly hooked, flew home and built my own Magcloud series. For those of you who don’t know, or those who didn’t grow up thinking about photography, the magazine holds a special place in the heart of most image-makers. As young photographers we dreamt of seeing our images on the pages of the big magazines. A cover was beyond comprehension.

Over the years I’ve made many different Magcloud magazines. I’ve created issues to sell, others to promote and others for fun, but Magcloud is far more than magazine. The platform offers a diverse range of publication from the flyer and pamphlet size piece to a wire-bound, 11×14 tabloid style publication and even a poster if I find the need. They also make two of my all time favorite trim sizes. The digest, a 5.25×8.25 in portrait or landscape, as well as an 8×8 square. As a storyteller, retired journalist and residual photographer these two pieces, combined with magazine, keep me very, very happy.

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Digest is the perfect size for a mailer or promotional piece, but also plenty nice enough for a small run, art publication or something to sell as a compliment to a larger book or magazine. The one you see here details my website and the range of work you would find if you visited the site. I buy stacks of these then hand them out to people I find inspiring or those I want to collaborate with.

The 8×8 square is a perfect, modern format. I don’t know about you, but the vast majority of images I make with my mobile phone are in the square format. Plus, I’m still a diehard Hasselblad user, so all my portrait work is square format, which lends itself perfectly to the 8×8.

Both of these formats offer saddle stich or perfect bind, discounts for volume and both domestic and international shipping. And remember, with print-on-demand you only need to order one at a time, so experiment, test, tinker and see what format fits you best.

-Dan Milnor

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What happens after you order your MagCloud magazine?

Ever wonder how your beautiful magazine is printed and put together? In this post we’ll explore the printing, binding, and trimming steps that goes into each and every magazine made at MagCloud.

In an age of high-tech machinery and robotics it’s easy to believe that everything is automated and is accomplished with the minimum of human touch. In actuality, modern printing is rooted in classic techniques. While the process has become incredibly streamlined and print on demand delivering higher quality and more consistent results, it still requires the talents and skills of an incredibly dedicated team to create your latest issue.

To begin, MagCloud transmits your print-ready PDF, along with publication metadata, to one of our finely tuned printers. At the printer your publication is queued up and scheduled according to the product’s dimensions, attributes and routed to the appropriate press for printing. When it’s your publication’s turn the printing begins with the “guts” or the inside pages of your magazine. The printers used for magazines are sheet fed. Every printed sheet will contain both pages of a spread with space in between for folding or cutting (depending on the binding) and additional space around the edges to be trimmed off later.

Our printers use HP Indigo brand printers. Image from HP

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Like your printer at home there are trays behind the printer for collecting the printed sheets. For smaller print jobs (less than 10 copies) and inspecting print proofs, there’s a special tray at the top for technicians to easily access and inspect a copy of the current print run.

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For larger orders, publications are collated in the trays at the bottom.
Cover sheets are likewise printed in the same way.

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However cover sheets use a higher stock paper and are treated with a protective satin UV coating.

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The UV coating is applied and passed under a drying light on a conveyor belt.

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After drying the coating the cover sheets are stacked and prepared for trimming. Special contact paper is kept on the machinery to keep the sheets clean.

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Wooden “joggers” are used to press the sheets together to align the edges before trimming.

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Light guides are used to align the trim cut precisely.

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Separately, the interior sheets are trimmed. Because perfect binding was chosen the interior sheets are cut in half. If it had been saddle stitch binding only the edges would be trimmed and the sheets folded.

The spine edge of the sheets are fed into a machine that grinds down the edge making it adhere better to the binding glue.

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Below the inner pages is the cover sheet. Again lasers are used to position the cover precisely before it’s joined with the inner pages.

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The cover needs to be pre-folded before attaching the inner pages.

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The cover sheet moves below the guts and the guts drop down in the binding machine.

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After the cover and guts are bound together there is a final trimming cutting the pages flush so that the guts and cover are precisely the same dimension. The finished magazine emerges!

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But we’re not done yet, we still need to wrap them up. The magazine is enclosed in a shrink wrap plastic and heat sealed.

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Then the sealed magazine is packaged according to its quantity and sent to its new home.

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As you can see there’s a lot of love and hard work put into every magazine sent to you and readers of your magazines!

 

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Why I like Magazine

Not that you were asking but I’m going to share my magazine thoughts with you…again. Why? First, I’m amazed at how many people don’t know we make a magazine. Second, this format is SO unique in how it looks, how it can be designed and what it means to those who receive it. And third, there are SO MANY people who have the drive and talent to be publishing their own. How do I know? Because I did it. On a small scale mind you. I shot, edited, sequenced and designed a short run magazine, back in like 2009, and sold my allotted number.(100) And I’m pretty sure I could have sold a lot more.

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Now, am I going to support myself on magazine sales? Probably not, but I will tell you within a week of “announcing” I was going to do this I was getting calls from people who wanted to advertise. I ended up not doing any advertising, didn’t really need it, but had I chosen to go down that route I think I could have managed it. The magazine has ALWAYS been one of the Holy Grails to documentary style photographers, going back to the days of Look and Life. HOWEVER, all of this died back in the mid 1990’s, and yet many of us are still pretending like these magazines are the keys to “getting work out.” Please. They aren’t, and they haven’t been for a long, long while, but the magazine is still very alluring because of what it means.

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First, it’s designed to be discarded, in most cases that is. We all have friends who have every copy of National Geographic or Rolling Stone or Off-Road Buckshot Mudder….come on people I grew up country. To some the magazine is SACRED ground. Most people get a magazine, read it, leave it around until they look at it and ask “Why am I keeping these?” then toss them out. But why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW ANOTHER ISSUE IS ON THE WAY. People this is so fantastic. Ever thought about a subscription list? A simple email database of those who want in? How easy is that to compile? Wait for it….I’m doing this precise thing. Stay tuned for a subsequent post.

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Also, magazines are informal in comparison to books. They are treated differently, taken poolside, used to mop up the puke of sick kids and probably still read, but I would need independent verification from you parents out there. Magazines travel. They are given away. My wife gives her’s away on airplanes. “Hey, wanna read this?” she asks and they are ALWAYS taken. Try giving a book away on a plane. It might work but people might think you are creepy too. And for all I know you ARE creepy. You’re here aren’t you?

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These last two spreads are from a new project, Whistleblower, which is a look at the modern surveillance culture and the changing terminology of modern warfare. The images were made in various places around the world.

In a way this was a trial run. Just another test in a long, long line of tests. I made mistakes, even after proofing so many times I almost threw up. It happens. To everyone. Don’t sweat it. Correct and move on. Live and learn. Enjoy. When I see this magazine I think to myself, “What are the limits here, the possibilities?” and what comes back at me is…..there aren’t any. What are we waiting for? Permission? An editor to assign something then embargo the work after running ONE image? If you are a wedding photographer why not run a quarterly run of your best images which then goes out to your top vendors, planners and former clients, via print or “E?” If you are a editorial photographer why not run an issue on what didn’t run via mainstream channels? If you are an amateur who shoots for fun why not do a run for your family to keep them up on what is turning you on in the visual world?

We all need to get hip and get hip NOW. This isn’t 1975, or 1985 or 1995 or even 2005. This is a blank slate. A playing field where everyone gets in the game.

MagCloud iPad App

We’ve refreshed the MagCloud iPad app with support for iOS9 and iPad Pro devices. More great features will be coming soon!

2013_04_hyperlinks-ipad2The MagCloud iPad app is a great way to sell your magazines and other content on mobile using iTunes In-App Purchase. Readers have the option to purchase new publications as a guest or sign-in with their MagCloud account for additional access to their existing on-line digital library.

2013-04-multipledevicesPublications purchased while signed-in to the app will also be saved to a user’s Digital Library on the MagCloud website, allowing them to be read on all their other devices as well, either via the MagCloud Web Viewer or as a PDF download.

The new version of the the MagCloud iPad app also boasts faster performance when browsing, reading, downloading and switching orientations; on-device account management and sign-up; and various user interface improvements to make the app more intuitive.

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For publishers this means another way to monetize and build awareness for your content.  If you have already opted-in to digital distribution as a paid digital publication, your publications will automatically be available for sale in the new version of the iPad app.  To accommodate Apple’s iPad-pricing model we will automatically adjust pricing on the iPad to match the nearest pricing tier (most often the nearest $X.99 increment).

Publishers can use our digital pricing calculator to see in real-time how your pricing and earnings will compare for publications you distribute on the MagCloud website and via the iPad app. Free digital publications remain the same. To learn more about MagCloud digital distribution see our FAQ.

Download the new MagCloud iPad app and let us know what you think in the comments below.

On Time for the Holidays

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Thinking about ordering something for the holidays? Make sure you check our shipping cutoff deadlines.

For delivery by December 24*, order by the below dates.

DESTINATION SLOW MEDIUM FAST
UNITED STATES
December 11
December 16
December 17
CANADA + EUROPE
December 11
December 15
UNITED KINGDOM

December 11

December 16

AUSTRALIA
 December 9
December 11
PO BOX
AND ALL OTHER REGIONS
November 25
December 9
 December 15

*Please note: Some regions do not have delivery on December 24, and shipping dates are based on gift destination.

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30% off Surprise on Social

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Save 30% off this week* with coupon codes on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Following us on these sites is a great way to keep in touch, promote your magazines and find inspiring ideas from other people using Magcloud.

*Offer valid through December 11, 2015 (11:59 p.m. PST). A 30% discount is applied toward the production costs of print-only publications made by you on MagCloud.com. This offer cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

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