Tour de France: Ride along with Niche Publications

Yesterday marked the finale for the 100th Tour de France. Chris Froome raced by throngs of cheering fans along the Champs-Elysees to finish first. The race has gained a lot of attention and fans in its 100 year tenure, and every year it continues to gain more advocates. While the Tour drives dialogue and content on cycling in the media during the 23-day span, but what about the rest of the year?

With the advent of self-publishing services, niche publications have continued to grow as people discover publications that focus on their specialized interests. Self-publishing with MagCloud has made it easier for creators to kick it up a few gears and distribute in-depth content easily, and for readers to read it on any device, at any time. Specialized publications allow readers to access their favorite topics without having to filter through other content while also connecting with a community of like-minded enthusiasts.

Are you spinning for more cycling publications? Take a look at these magazines published with MagCloud.

  1. XXC Magazine has been publishing on MagCloud since 2009. The mountain biking magazine features race coverage, dynamic pictures and key interviews. Since MagCloud doesn’t have minimum print runs, XXC is able to publish content on their schedule and provide readers with print copies on demand.
  2. Ryan Hosler published his book, “Bay Area Bike Rides,” in 1990. Since then, Hosler has created some great biking content with MagCloud. One of his touring magazines, Mount Hamilton by Bike, provides a road history, memorable trails and other great content for tourists looking to cycle in the San Jose area.  He has also published calendars of photos from his rides and a collection of short stories for children.
  3. Last June, Photo Synthesis came out with a special edition of their magazine about the Metropolis, IL Superman Bicycle ride. The edition highlights some participants and activities associated with the ride through pictures.

The Tour de France is a great opportunity to watch a community celebrate a shared passion. Whatever your niche may be, hit the road to success by tapping into your target market and providing high-quality material. Great content will increase your brand recognition and grow your business, while allowing you to share what you love with others who love it too!

Now that you’re geared up to share your unique content, here are some suggestions to get you started on publishing for your niche:

Summer Wanderlust

summertimewanderlustWhether you’re planning a big family vacation, or a small weekend staycation during the summer break, wanderlust seems to be an epidemic during warm summer months. In the Travel and Vacation Category of the MagCloud storefront, you can find all sorts of great publications to help inspire your travel whims, help you plan your trip, or inspire you to document your family adventure when you come home. And if you don’t get to travel anywhere this summer, you can always enjoy a good read on your lunch break and take a mental vacation.

So in honor of our own summer wanderlust, today we’re featuring some of our favorite travel-inspired publications on MagCloud.


LittleIndianalittle Indiana Quarterly Magazine

little Indiana: Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Small Indiana Towns (population 15,000 and less). Just like littleIndiana.com, the magazine takes things to a whole new level! Find information about Indiana’s restaurants with outdoor seating, mom and pop ice cream shops, a young couple that renovated a building and restored a downtown, memories of summer from a town that no longer exists, a business on the brink of closure, and plenty more! Don’t miss regular features like “From the Hoosier bookshelf” and the Indiana trivia crossword puzzle.


toandfromTo & From: The Paris Issue

To & From Magazine merges travel and lifestyle.
The newest issue features Paris, “the City of lights.”


Tourism TattlerTourism Tattler: Kenya

The July edition of Africa’s premier Travel Trade Journal features Kenya, plus articles on Business, Conservation, Events, Hospitality, Legal and Marketing issues.


BVI NewbieBVI Newbie

A quirky and colourful guide to the BVI for residents and visitors. This books uses tongue-in-cheek commentary and bubbly design elements which keep the reader entertained and at ease when the time comes to move to Nature’s Little Secrets. This handy guide book also provides step by step instruction for several unfamilliar practices and/or procedures visitors often face while in the Virgin Islands.


Don’t just read about others’ adventures, publish your own.

Rather than let those sunny summer memories fade with your suntan at the end of the summer, start planning now to chronicle your summer adventures and photos into a cool summer recap magazine, or travel photo book printed through MagCloud. You can create a personal memento in magazine format to easily share your memories with family and friends in print and digitally.

Save and scan ticket stubs, itineraries and after your trip, compile all of your pictures and memories into a Square photo book or scrapbook using Apple Aperture  or Photoshop to share with your friends and family! If you’re not a big designer or super savvy with software–not to worry–you can try out our partner Poyomi’s on-line tool for photo book design.

Need some inspiration? Check out some of these great examples published on MagCloud:


DisneylandDisney Vacation 2013

To & From Magazine merges travel and lifestyle.
The newest issue features Paris, “the City of lights.”


 Hawaii Trip 2012Hawaii Trip 2012

A 8″ x 8″ book of photos from the Splonskowski family 2012 trip to Hawaii

The Power of Brand Storytelling and 24 Other Lessons to Grow Your Business

Bizapalooza StageMagCloud is excited to be part of the first virtual small business “rock festival”, Bizapalooza!  It’s a free 3-day on-line conference July 16-18 where business experts share their strategies, secrets and power tools that will take your small business as high as you want to rock it.

On Tuesday July 16 at 5 p.m. EST, I’ll be representing the MagCloud team and discussing the power of tapping into your brand story.  MagCloud publications are all about telling great stories through words and images in print and digital, so it’s a subject near and dear to our hearts. We’ll dive into how small and medium businesses can take a lesson from leading media companies to build brand awareness and create deeper customer engagements . I’ll also share how to cost-effectively develop a multi-channel content strategy that takes your brand story across print, digital and social channels to drive more sales and leads.

To register for Bizapaloooza or find out more about the conference click here: http://bit.ly/18BpHgn.

Follow us at on Twitter (@MagCloud) and join the conversation during the webinar using hashtag #MagCloudSMB. Join us!

Until then, check out some of these teaser lessons from the rest of the presenters:

  • Jon Ferrara– CEO of Nimble – Transform your shallow social media connections into thriving business opportunities.
  • David Fishof – Founder of Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp- Don’t let your fears get in the way of your success.
  • Donna Cravotta – CEO of Social Sage PR– A great media list is worth thousands of dollars (she’s going to give you one)
  • Brenda Horton – Co-Creator of ActionPlanr – Take the time to focus, plan and eliminate overwhelm.
  • Susan Payton –  President, Egg Marketing –  Press releases have SEO super powers.
  • Steve Wilkinghoff – Author of Found Money – First decide your financial outcome, then design a business that delivers.
  • Adam Byrnes – International Director of Freelancer.com – Freelancers will grow your business.
  • Jim Kukral – Speaker and Award Winning blogger – You can make more money and leverage your brand by self-publishing.
  • Tim O’Connor – CEO of Marcademy.com – If your online marketing expert or agency doesn’t follow these rules — ditch them.
  • Chaitra Vedullapalli – CMO of Meylah – 63% of small businesses aren’t online!
  • Sabrina Parsons –  CEO of Palo Alto Software – Your financials tell a story –that you write.
  • Erik Koto – CEO of QuestionPro – Run a survey, do nothing, make more money.  Really, there’s a study that proves it.
  • Deborah Kagan – Sensual Lifestyle Specialist – Mo Mojo = Mo Money = Mo Fun. Mo Life.  You get the picture.
  • Melinda Emerson – Smallbizlady – Talk to people on Twitter, do it every day grow your followers and influence.
  • Share Ross – Bassist for Vixen and Founder of Video Rock Star University – Stop being scared of video – and start attracting more clients and customers.
  • Shawn Pfunder – Godaddy – There’s no good reason for a bad web site.
  • Mariano Andres Garcia – Design matters even though content is king.
  • Bridget Weston Pollack – Marketing Director, SCORE – You can get million dollar consulting and experience — for FREE – why aren’t you?
  • Anita Campbell – Small Business Trends – Blogging is easier than you think.
  • Tina Forsyth – There is more to automating your systems and process than using technology.
  • Matthew Goldfarb – Corporate Renegade –  Stand for something – get more clients and customers who will pay you more for who you are.
  • Aseem Badshah – Founder & CEO of Socedo – Social media can actually make you money.
  • Anum Hussain – Hubspot – Inbound marketing is the science of turning web site visitors into prospects and prospects into customers.  Hubspots power marketer, Anum Hussain takes you through the basics and gets you headed on the pathway to profitable customers.

Lots of great speakers on tap so I hope you’ll join the conversation.

For the full agenda and to register visit the Bizapaloooza website.

If you do attend we would love to hear about your experience and favorite sessions in the comments section below.

Q&A with Erika Pitera and Lynne Webb of ZEST Magazine

Q-and-A-Series-header-ZESTBack in 2008, when mother-daughter duo Lynne Webb and Erika Pitera launched their recipe and food blog MyGourmetConnection.com, becoming magazine publishers was not on their radar.   The blog offered a wide variety of recipes with a particular focus on creating simple and delicious everyday meals – the kind you can easily make on a weeknight after coming home from work. As the website grew in size and popularity, and as the digital magazine trend gained momentum, they began looking for a way to highlight their special holiday and celebration recipes and menus. A seasonal magazine with a focus on entertaining would be the perfect companion to MyGourmetConnection.   Both Erika and Lynne have graphic design backgrounds, and it seemed like a terrific way to bring specialized content to their audience in a new, accessible and aesthetic format. And so ZEST was born in the early part of 2011.   We asked Erika and Lynne to share their insights and lessons learned in the world of print and digital publishing.

Zest Past Issues

What got you started publishing through MagCloud?

Erika & Lynne When we started ZEST in summer of 2011, we were publishing in digital format only. The service we were using worked well enough, but we’re always looking to improve and expand our options. When we found the MagCloud platform, we were attracted by the high-resolution capabilities it offered. Erika’s husband Tom is a professional photographer, and he works with us on all the shoots for ZEST. Between the amount of work we put into styling the food and table decor, and the professional quality of Tom’s photos, we want our work to be displayed at its absolute best, and we love the way ZEST looks on MagCloud.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when you made the transition from bloggers to magazine publishers?

E&L First, finding a platform with an interface that worked smoothly and easily for our readers required some trial and error, and we ended up experimenting with a few before settling on MagCloud. The bigger challenge, however, was determining how to present this new format to our existing audience in a way that was simple and appealing. We’ve found that showcasing snippets of content from each new issue on both the magazine website and MyGourmetConnection is an effective way of introducing people to the format and attracting new readers.

Why print and not just digital?zest-and-ipad

E&L We were thrilled to be able to order printed copies of ZEST through MagCloud. Printing wasn’t on our minds when we first started ZEST, but now that we’ve gotten a few issues printed, we plan to utilize the service more in order to help our audience on MyGourmetConnection discover the magazine. It’s amazing how with just a few tweaks you can create a single publication that looks great in both digital and print formats.

What’s your favorite feature on MagCloud?

E&L From the publisher standpoint, we really like the upload tool on MagCloud. It works flawlessly and makes it easy for you to spot any errors in your layout that could result in a less-than-satisfactory printed copy. Armed with this information you can correct the problem, upload again and be certain that your publication will print the way you want it to. From the consumer standpoint, we like the shop. It’s well organized, the search works well and it gives us an opportunity to discover some great reading from other small, independent publishers like ourselves.

What tips do you have for someone new to self-publishing?

E&L It’s important to have a plan laid out for your publication – whatever type it is. You should have a good idea how many photos you’ll need, a logical order in mind for the various features and a relatively uniform look throughout the publication. Keep your goals within reason and if you’re working within a time frame, allow yourself enough time to complete the job without rushing.

If you could invite anyone (living or dead) over for a casual dinner who would it be and what would you serve them?

Zest-open

E&L Julia Child, of course! She was and always will be a wonderful inspiration – not just from a culinary standpoint, but as a symbol of what women are capable of achieving. We share her love of good food and the process of creating it, and that approach makes what we do seem a lot less like work. As far as what we’d serve for dinner – it would have to be a few of the Hungarian recipes that have been handed down in our family for several generations. Family recipes are part of who you are and probably some of the best in any home cook’s repertoire.

Celebrate Camera Day

iStock_000018371321SmallerHappy Camera Day! There’s no better time than the present to get inspired to publish your own photography creation or cruise over to the MagCloud Shop and check out some amazing photography magazines.

In honor of National Camera Day, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite photography-centric blog posts and some great publications on MagCloud dedicated to photography in all of its forms. Whether you’re a mommy-tog, a professional wedding or portrait photographer, a hobbyist or just a fan of beautiful imagery, you’re sure to find cool ways to use MagCloud or a publication in the Photography category that fits your interest.

Turn your photos into something amazing

Don’t let those photos just sit on your hard drive–they deserve to be in print. To help get you inspired check out some of our past blog posts about using your photographs for unique MagCloud projects:

Still needing some inspiration? Check out our Q&A with photographer Holli True.

Discover Photography Publications on MagCloud

Denim+GraceDenim + Grace

Denim+Grace is a Photography Magazine created for Photographers. The encore issue contains 94 pages of marketing, branding, posing and inspiration. With artists working in genres ranging from weddings to boudoir, children to seniors, and even iPhoneography- there’s sure to be something inspiring and enlightening for even the seasoned artist. Beyond our featured photographer articles and artist pictorials, the June 2013 issue includes an inside look at a new studio, a first-hand experience from an NYC Workshop with Sue Bryce, the highs & lows of being a business owner and so much more!


Lemonade and LensesLemonade & Lenses

Lemonade and Lenses’ second annual senior issue. Featuring Articles by Angela Richardson, Meg Borders, Brittney Zambrowicz, Amanda Holloway, Kalyn Yeager and Leslie Kerrigan.


moziMozi Magazine

Now available, Mozi Magazine’s Wedding Issue! This beautiful new issue is loaded with astounding imagery and inspirational content from some of the industry’s most admired artists, including Simply Bloom, Ben Sasso, Bobbi+Mike, Julie Paisley, Zach and Jody Gray, Totally Rad Actions, Design Aglow, Fotofafa, and more.


seniors style guideSenior Style Guide

Senior Style Guide Magazine Issue 5 features educational articles from Lindsay Horn, Brittni Shroeder, Kody Hadja, Andi Artze, Stephanie Newbold, Kristen Weigel, Feuza Reis, Lexi Vornberg and Addie Gibbons.


dcist exposedDCist Exposed

DCist Exposed is the Exhibition Program for the 2013 DCist Exposed Photography Show.


Lost FreedomLost Freedom

Lost Freedom is an inspirational magazine featuring young and inspiring photographers, writers, and artists.


What’s your favorite photography publication on MagCloud? Share it with us in the comments!

5 Ways to Boost Your Small Business this Summer

Business growth red graphic relaunched with a trampolineIt’s National Small Business week! While summer can be seen as a time to unwind, take vacation and spend more time with family, it’s also prime time for businesses to re-focus and refresh their company’s strategy and/or marketing plan. Here are 5 ways you can give your small business a little boost this summer.

Refresh your marketing collateral

Need marketing collateral but don’t have budget to hire a designer? With the wealth of free templates for flyers and brochures today, small business owners can create marketing material without having to enlist the help of agencies and freelancers.

Get creative with your summer sales

As many businesses hold sales throughout the summer, stand out by trying new things with your sales promotions. Get creative and think of how you can take giveaways and discounts to the next level (without breaking the bank). Instead of holding a typical giveaway or discount, you can surprise potential customers on social media with freebies or discounts. You never know, they may turn into loyal customers and big brand advocates!

Monitor trends

When was the last time you monitored current trends? With a smaller bandwidth, small businesses often focus more on day-to-day operations during the year, that typically makes following trends and issues that impact overall business strategies a second priority. Take advantage of longer summer days to catch up on current events and industry trends that may impact your business. It may transform or inform your business goals and strategy.

Network, network, network

With a high number of conferences, webinars, speaking and network events, summer is prime time to take advantage of networking opportunities. Meet with potential business partners and people who can provide new information to help you improve your business. Keep your company at the forefront of peoples’ minds by giving them engaging company brochures or eye-catching one-pagers.

Plan ahead, re-evaluate, set forth

Take advantage of summer business lulls to work on long-term business planning including re-evaluating your company’s strategy, goals and objectives. Are they still in-line with current trends and customer needs? Identify what’s working and what’s not to re-focus your business strategy so that you can gain an edge in your industry. After you have an idea of what your small business needs to stay ahead, set forth! Summer is the best time to make sure your company is on track to meet its goals for the rest of the year.

What else can SMB’s do to boost business this summer? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below!

Celebrating Dads and Grads

With Father’s Day this Sunday and the school year coming to a close, today we’re going to highlight some ways to use MagCloud to do some last minute shopping for Dad, and also how recent graduates can use MagCloud as they commemorate the past and look toward their future.

MagCloud Gifts for Dad

18 Month Photo Calendar

DadCalendarThe mid-year timing of Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to create a custom photo calendar that your dad can enjoy through the end of 2014. We’ve modified our 2013 calendar templates to go from July 2013 to December 2014 in our Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) and Small Square (8″ x 8″) formats for InDesign CS4 and newer, and Apple Pages. Just download the template for the size of calendar you want to create in your software of choice, add your photos and use the included instructions to export a PDF for uploading to the MagCloud website. With MagCloud you can order just a single print copy for your dad, or order additional copies for other family members.

InDesign CS4 and newer: Standard template  |  Small Square template

Apple Pages: Standard template  |  Small Square template

If creating your own calendar file in InDesign or Pages isn’t for you, check out our partner PoyomiPoyomi lets you create a calendar just by uploading your photos from your computer, SmugMug, Picasa, or Facebook, and then you can have it uploaded automatically to your MagCloud account.

Custom BBQ Recipe Book

If your dad loves to grill, pull together his go-to recipes into a custom recipe book. Click here to check out our recent post on National Barbecue Month for templates and tips.

Print and Digital MagCloud Publications

No matter what your dad is into, from cars or technology, to sports, cooking, or travel, chances are good you can find a MagCloud publication about it. Print copies always make a great gift for reading on the beach this summer, or if he has an iPad, get Dad an iTunes gift card that he can use to purchase digital versions of the publications he likes.

CarHeader

MagCloud Uses for Grads

Photobooks for Friends

PhotobookBefore you and your friends head off in various directions after graduation, commemorate the fun times you had together in a photobook. MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 5.25″ Digest product is a great size for displaying full color photographs in a nice compact format, and only costs $0.16 per page to print. Check out our blog posts about creating photobooks with Adobe Photoshop or Apple Aperture, or see our Getting Started page for instructions in a variety of other programs. You can also use our partner Poyomi to quickly turn your photos from Facebook or Instagram into a photobook without having to lay them out yourself.

Custom Thank You Notes

ThankYouNow that you’ve received all those generous graduation gifts, show your appreciation with customized thank you notes. MagCloud’s single sheet Flyers in our smaller Digest size are printed on a heavier cover stock that make them ideal for using as flat notecards, and the size fits perfectly into A9 envelopes. All you have to do is use the program of your choice to create a PDF that is either 8.5″ x 5.5″ for portrait notecards or 5.5″ x 8.5″ for landscape notecards, and upload that PDF to MagCloud. Then you can order as few or as many thank you cards as you need, for just $0.32 each (or $0.24 each if you order 20 or more). For instructions to create your PDF, check out the Software-Specific Instruction Packages on our Getting Started page.

Print and Digital Portfolio

Children's Sports Photography PortfolioFor those of you heading into the work world as artists, photographers, designers, architects, or writers, MagCloud is a great option for publishing your portfolio. MagCloud’s print-on-demand features allow you to order commercial-quality printed portfolios at an affordable price, across a range of sizes and binding options, in as few or as many copies as you need. You can even have copies of your portfolio shipped directly to an address list of potential employers using our Ship to Group feature. In addition to having high quality print versions of your portfolio available on demand, you can also make your portfolio available digitally for viewing in the MagCloud Web Viewer, and as a downloadable PDF, using the same PDF you upload for printing.

MagCloud wishes a hearty congratulations to all the graduates out there, and a happy Father’s Day to all the dads!