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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Hats Off to Dads and Grads

It goes without saying that June is an exciting time for most. Midway through the year, it signals the start of summer and encompasses both freedom for grads and family fun for dads. If you’re in the market for a unique way to celebrate either one, you can use MagCloud to do last-minute shopping for Dad or commemorate your grad’s past as they look toward the future.

Ideas to Brighten Dad’s Day:

Print and Digital Indie Magazines

If your dad happens to be a jack of all trades, chances are we have the mags to match. Whether he likes cars, technology, sports, or travel, we carry print and digital publications that make reading a more pleasant pastime.

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Custom Recipe Book

You don’t get between a guy and his grill, unless you have a cookbook. Put together his go-to recipes in a custom recipe book. We have the perfect recipe for a successful cookbook, should you need it!

 

Great Gifts for Eager Grads:

photobook1Photobooks for Friends

Since the change that accompanies graduation can be bittersweet, you can create a photobook to commemorate the past years before your grad takes a step in their new direction. The MagCloud Digest product is perfect for displaying full color photographs in a compact layout.

 

Custom Thank You Notes

If you found yourself in a pile of celebratory send-off gifts, you can give thanks with custom thank you cards. Our single sheet Flyers in the smaller Digest size are printed on a cover stock that that fits  perfectly into A9 envelopes and makes them ideal for using as flat notecards. Get started with our Software-Specific Instruction Packages.

Print and Digital Portfolio

Much to our delight, some grads will be on the hunt for careers as artists, designers, writers and publishers. For those of you, MagCloud’s print-on-demand features include quality printed portfolios at an affordable price, with a variety of sizes and binding options and an optional number of copies. With our Ship to Group feature, you can even send copies of your portfolio directly to an address list of potential employers.

 

No matter what or whom you’re celebrating this summer, MagCloud wants to help you wish them a warm congratulations and a happy Father’s Day!

 

Recommended reading:

MagCloud for Graduation Memories

Let’s Give It Up For Our Dads

A Father’s Day photo book just for him

Celebrate their achievement with a graduation photo book

A Recipe for a Successful Cookbook

In the United States, the arrival of June brings with it National Barbeque Month. Primarily, it means three things: warm weather, fun festivals, and great grilling.

As the days get longer and you begin gathering around the outdoor barbeque, you also get a chance to show off your best recipes. If you’re a cook yourself, you know that presentation is as important as the flavor itself. So why not present your culinary chops in the best way possible?

You can put your favorite recipes to work for you and your guests, or collaborate with your friends and family for a cookbook worth keeping – and, despite the temperature, you don’t even have to break a sweat.

With our Microsoft Word Templates, you can customize colors, fonts and more just by following our Word template tips. If you select “US Letter Borderless” as the paper type in your page set-up, your cookbook will be ready to print via MagCloud.

If Word isn’t included in your summer style, you can also try your hand at our cookbook templates for Adobe InDesign and Apple Pages for designing your own barbecue cookbook.

zestIn the rare event that you haven’t already found yourself surrounded by appetizing inspiration, we might suggest browsing our selections from other grill-savvy MagCloud publishers, like ZEST: Food, Drinks & Entertaining.

 

Recommended reading:

Create a Beautiful Recipe Book with iWork Pages

Easy Custom Cookbooks with Microsoft Word

Cooking-up a Recipe Book with MagCloud

Free the Cookbook

How to make a cookbook—a delicious gift for everyone

Spring Snapshots: Making Your Photography Bloom

Image Courtesy American Meadows
Image Courtesy of American Meadows

For many, spring is the light at the end of the winter tunnel. Yet for photographers, it is the light at the end of the lens that makes spring most welcome. We find ourselves drawn to the season’s bright colors and warming up to the wanderlust that takes over the coming months.

Whether publishing a photography book or a travel magazine, spring deserves its own place on the page. Especially in an increasingly digital space, we know that outstanding content is best accompanied by outstanding imagery.

In order to do your wanderings justice, it’s important to strengthen the foundation of your photography beforehand. Pack your rucksack full of handy tips and tricks, like those included below, and then go on. Indulge your senses in all that the new seasons have to offer. When you return, share some of it with your readers.

If you’re already out the door, you’ll find a few tips to get you started below. We hope you enjoy these handy tips and links.

  • Get close to the scenery. It was Robert Capa who said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
  • Leverage the light. Use golden hours like early morning, late afternoon or early evening for the most dramatic effects.
  • Speaking of lighting, watch your white balance. Compliment the natural beauty by turning off your camera’s white balance for the truest, clearest color.
  • Dress for the occasion. Pack on the layers for changing temps, but don’t pack so much you can’t enjoy your journey.
  • Get back to the basics. The Rule of Thirds never goes out of style, so align your subject along the intersections of nine equal squares within the frame for more drama.

For further inspiration:

OneLight Field Guide: A field guide to complement the accessories in your camera bag and make the most of whatever light you may find yourself in.

Composition Rules: A short review of composition rules to help you make better photos.

Fine Art Photography: Eye on Fine Art Photography’s Spring Issue features inspiring photography of places like Wakulla Springs, Yosemite, flower fields of Carlsbad and beyond.

Denim+Grace: Denim+Grace is a Photography Magazine created for Photographers and filled with content from leading artists in the industry.

Digital Compact Photography: A must have magazine, if you are using a compact digital camera and not an SLR. Full of hints and tips, for learning to take the perfect photo using a compact digital camera.

The Canon Spectrum: This magazine gives DSLR camera users a little bit of information on the different lenses that one should use for each kind of photography subject as well as recommendation of a wide price range of recommended lenses.

 

Recommended Reading:

Summer Wanderlust

Travel Photo Tips and Tricks

Q+A with Professional Photographer James Worrell

Celebrate Camera Day

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:

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?

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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!