Season’s Greetings Printed by MagCloud

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‘Tis the season holiday cards and newsletters, and MagCloud is here to help! As we’ve discussed before, MagCloud’s print-on-demand capabilities offer a great way to produce personalized holiday communications on an affordable budget. With the premium 80# cover stock we use on all sizes of our Flyer and Pamphlet products, combined with the commercial quality of our full-color digital printing, you can rest assured that your message will look professional and polished whether you are keeping in touch with business clients or corresponding with family and friends.

Holiday Newsletters and Cards for Your Business

BizNewsWe have a number of businesses and organizations that use MagCloud for their newsletters year-round, and the holidays are no exception. As we near the end of the year, it’s a great time to connect with clients and members to update them on the prior year and get them thinking about the year to come. If you own a photography business, for example, you can use this as an opportunity to highlight some of your best work from the past year and remind previous customers about the other services you offer. Or if you are in charge of member communications for a nonprofit organization, now is a great time to highlight the work you’ve done in 2012, and encourage member participation in the new year.

No matter what business you are in, MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet product is the perfect format for your holiday newsletter with four pages for full color images and text, a clean half-fold binding, and a professional-weight paper stock, all for as low as $0.60 per piece when you order 20 or more. Simply create your PDF in the software of your choice, upload it to MagCloud, and order as few or as many copies as you’d like. We can even take care of the distribution of your newsletter for you, and drop-ship copies of your newsletter to an address list at no additional cost.

Business CardsIf you don’t feel like a long-form newsletter is the right fit for your business, you could also create and send a custom greeting card instead. MagCloud’s 5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet format fits perfectly into A9 envelopes, which can be found at any paper or office supply store, and the 80# cover stock that these products are printed on gives them a great professional feel. For only $0.48 per piece when you order 20 or more, this Pamphlet format offers an affordable way to incorporate your products, employees, or the work that you’ve done into your holiday greetings, along with your own branding and a more personalized message, rather than sending a generic card to your clients or organization members.

Holiday Newsletters and Cards for Your Family

NewslettersOf course, businesses aren’t the only ones that send cards and newsletters during the holiday season. Holiday newsletters from families have become the norm in recent years as a way to update friends and relatives on the family’s activities over the prior year. Combining these updates with family photos into a single printed piece is a great way to streamline your holiday communications, either as a double-sided Flyer or using one of MagCloud’s four-page Pamphlet products for additional space.

Cards FamilyIf a newsletter isn’t your style, how about a custom greeting card. MagCloud’s 5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet product makes great half-fold cards while the 5.5″ x 8.25″ or 8.25″ x 5.25″ Flyer works well as an oversized postcard. Both fit perfectly into A9 envelopes, and at only $0.24 per piece for 20 or more of the Flyers, or $0.48 per piece for 20 or more of the Pamphlets, both offer a blank slate to create affordable holiday greetings that are unique to you and your family. Whether you create a collage of family photos or scan some of your children’s artwork for the cover of your card, you can be sure that it will be met with a smile upon arriving at its destination.

Templates

TemplatesTo help you design your holiday newsletter or greeting card for printing through MagCloud, below are links to templates in a variety of formats and software programs. Each link below will take you to a preview of a publication created with that template on the MagCloud site, where you’ll find links in the description to download the corresponding template for a variety of software programs. You can also find a number of letter-sized newsletter templates in programs like Apple Pages, or online at office.microsoft.com for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher. These work well with MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet and Flyer products. After you’ve designed your file, be sure to follow the instructions on our Getting Started page to export your PDF.

4-page Business Newsletter (8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet)

4-page Holiday Newsletter (8.25″ x 10.75″ Pamphlet): Adobe InDesign (CS4 or newer) | Microsoft Word | Apple Pages

2-page Holiday Newsletter (8.25″ x 10.75″ Flyer): Red Design | Blue Design

Left-Folded Holiday Card with One Image (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Left-Folded Holiday Card with Three Images (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Top-Folded* Holiday Card with One Image (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Top-Folded* Holiday Card with Three Images (5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet)

Portrait Flat Holiday Card (5.25″ x 8.25″ Flyer)

Landscape Flat Holiday Card (8.25″ x 5.25″ Flyer)

*Keep in mind that if you are using the 5.25″ x 8.25″ Pamphlet for your greeting card and want a top-fold, you will need to upload a PDF with the design rotated, in the same way you would if you were creating a calendar.

Blurb Stories: A Journey into the World of Indie Publishing

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Independent (indəˈpendənt) adj: Not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself

As self-publishers, you are the definition of independent. You believe in what you do, and it shows in the beautiful work, magazines and books you create and produce everyday with MagCloud. We, too, support your independent creations and want you to remain inspired. Our friends at Blurb share this same mentality.

In fact, Blurb launched a blog completely devoted to navigating the world of indie publishing. From marketing tips to authorpreneur profiles, Blurb Stories is an ever-expanding collection of inspiring, informational, and instructional articles exploring the world of self-publishing – everything from ideation to publication to promotion. Each and every week they’ll bring you stories to help you create, publish, and promote your work—so be sure to subscribe!

Here’s a quick peek at some of our recent favorites:

  • Food photography, elevated: An interview with Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul magazine and photographer Colin Cooke: Sweet Paulis a gorgeous magazine full of inspiration, creativity, and, very importantly, incredible food photography. Read on to get the inside scoop from Paul and his friend, professional food photographer Colin Cooke on how to create beautiful food photos…READ MORE
  • Why you need to think about marketing now: While you will certainly spend a lot of time marketing your book after it’s released, if you haven’t done the initial groundwork, it will be harder than it needs to be. If you’ve just started a project, or better yet, have a seed of a book idea, now’s the time to start thinking about your marketing. Here are five ways you can get started… READ MORE
  • Taking ebooks to town (or the country): An interview with Jeff Front: Celebrating the digital book in all its most wonderful forms, we bring you our one-on-one with artist Jeff Frost. A few things to know about Jeff: His camera bag contains as many motors as it does lenses, he has an impish sense of humor, and his mohawk looks like it could inflict some serious harm… READ MORE
  • Singing the Magazine Eclectic: An interview with Anniina Mäkelä: Eclectic Magazine caught our eye for exactly the reasons its creators undoubtedly wanted it to—sharp imagery, incredible styling, and diversity of look. We were lucky enough to have a chance to speak with Digital Content Editor Anniina Mäkelä about the magazine, what it’s like working with a truly international fashion team, and what’s next for print magazines, fashion, and art… READ MORE

Enjoy and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!

Say ‘I Do’ in DIY Style

Most couples will tell you the secret to a perfect wedding day lies in the details. Those personalized moments that make the occasion truly unique—especially DIY touches—are sure to create an intimate experience. Whether you’re planning a traditional soirée, or an affair that will color outside the lines of convention, consider these approaches to create lasting memories:

Wedding Guest Book

The wedding guest book is a perfect time capsule. Showcase your favorite photos and memories from over the years, capture guests’ well-wishes and preserve the occasion forever. It’s not only something you’ll cherish forever, it also makes for a beautiful addition to your ceremony and reception. MagCloud’s photo book format is perfect for the occasion. We also recommend checking out Blurb’s photo book options!

DIY Guest Gift

Share your love story with friends and loved ones in a beautifully unique, one-of-a-kind scrapbook using Flickr, and distribute it as part of the wedding gift. Simply gather your photos into an online photo album (take a peek at this post for tips!), then choose the photo set. Your photos will automatically be organized into a beautiful magazine format.

Unique Photo Album

Make your wedding photo album as unique as your wedding. A beautiful album will last a lifetime and ensure those endearing moments documented on film (or Instagram!) are around for generations to see. Regardless of whether you’re on a budget, or merely prefer a more hands-on approach, you have easy-to-use options at your fingertips. From MagCloud’s photo book format to Blurb’s BookSmart tool, you’ll get high quality prints that will last a lifetime.

As the wedding season heats up, we’d love to hear your creative planning ideas and how you’ve used MagCloud in aspects of your special day. Share in the comments below, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Recommended Reading

How to make a DIY Wedding Photo Guest Book

DIY Wedding Ideas using MagCloud

Adding MagCloud Touches to Your Wedding

Beyond the format—making a wedding book for them (and one just for you)

Embrace Your Summer Wanderlust

Whether you’re planning a scenic vacation, a wild outdoor expedition or a weekend staycation this summer, the travel bug seems to always bite us during the warmer months of the year. If you’re at a loss for inspiration, look no further. You can find plenty of great magazines to awaken your travel desires, plan your itinerary, or inspire you to create a lasting remembrance of that epic adventure once returning home. If you aren’t embarking on a trek across different countries throughout the world, or if you’re just new to camping and the outdoor lifestyle, you can always kick back and appreciate these destinations from afar.

In an homage to our own summer travel desires, enjoy a few of our favorite camping and nature-inspired publications:

  • Overland Sourcebook (2013) – Created by the Overland Expo team as a 60-page listing for all things adventure – vehicles, motorcycles, accessories, camping equipment, services, information, trip planning, business consultants, fabricators, and much more.
  • A Camp on Plum Lake – Early to middle 20th century photography, this book is a history of one of the nation’s oldest summer camps in North Wisconsin, curated by Tim Bachmann.
  • Outdoor Solitude – Adventures into the mountains of British Columbia, Canada chronicles trips from the trailhead to the tranquility of relatively untouched areas of nature.

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Image via Fab and Frugal

Instagram Inspiration

As the old adage goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Today, these words have never been truer. Digital technology has long made an impression on our imagery, and while the tools are changing, the rules for aesthetics remain.

With the rise of micro-publishing platforms like Instagram, there has been an increase in the widespread sharing of traditionally outstanding photos in an innovative space. Photographers, individuals and brands everywhere have become publishers in their own right and have given new life to visual storytelling.

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Since publishers are known for their storytelling, Instagram enables them to extend the reach of their already compelling work. It offers a new perspective, and, if done right, can increase audience loyalty and readership. How, you ask? Read on!

Continue your Content

For starters, you can leverage Instagram for posting between publishing. It’s a quick, easy way to give your readers a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the next edition, or to solicit feedback on what they might like to see more, or less, of.

Keep it Simple

Your posts should be unique to you, so don’t overanalyze it. Share images that are easy and fun, and that speak to you specifically. Fill your frame with photos that matter to you and focus on the framing. The right crop can make all the difference.

Share your Story

Take advantage of Instagram’s hashtag feature. Beyond using common themes to create a steady stream of conversation about your channel or publication, you can also include popular hashtags to insert yourself into broader discussions about #travel, #photography or even #throwbackthursday.

Every time you post, you become more readily visible to audiences all over the world, exposing your publication to viewers with similar interests, and ultimately attracting new readers.

 

Recommended reading:

How MagCloud Publishers Leverage Instagram

How to create a big Instagram following

Creating Conversions: How to Maximize Instagram for SMBs & Publishers

MagCloud’s Favorite Instagram Users and Hashtags

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

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