Publisher Spotlight: Sell With Your Ears

President Obama once asserted “small businesses are part of the promise of America.” At MagCloud, we wholeheartedly believe this statement and strive to provide small business the opportunity to market their products with style and quality without demanding a hefty investment.

One such small business owner who relies on MagCloud is author and sales strategist Bill Zipp who published his publication, Sell With Your Ears, through MagCloud as a way to market his business and provide a valuable resource. Sell With Your Ears presents Zipp’s unique approach to the marketplace and resource and tips for uncommon ways to build a smarter, more profitable business. It represents Zipp’s thought-leadership in his industry among business owners and key stakeholders responsible for generating revenue for their business – large or small.

As a business owner himself, Zipp is responsible for promoting his brand at all times. His publication is a conversation generator in networking settings and helps spread his message to even wider audiences. “I give my publication to clients to give to their friends, essentially serving as a sophisticated, and powerful business card.”

One element we are proud of at MagCloud is the quality of the printed materials we produce every day for publishers and readers. Time and again, we hear from our customers that the quality of the printed magazine, brochure, flier, etc. exceeded their expectations and that of their readers.

Additionally, when customers like Bill who publish with MagCloud, they are take advantage of the print on demand feature which affords customers the ability to fulfill orders as they come in vs. having piles of magazines or books in their homes and offices waiting to sell and ship. (Or as Zipp explains, “I don’t have to store thousands of books in my garage.”) Bulk printing is no longer the standard in publishing thanks to print on demand.

We encourage you to learn more about Bill Zipp’s publication here, and hope that you are inspired to become an even savvier marketer with MagCloud.

Have you ever considered publishing a book through MagCloud? What marketing materials are you publishing using MagCloud? Let us know by posting below.

Publisher Spotlight: Overland Sourcebook

With more readers accessing their news, schedules and more on the go, having a publication available in print and digital is gaining importance and publishers are noticing.

As the Overland Expo team was developing their expo guide, they knew it was essential to use both print and digital formats when reaching out to their thousands of global attendees each year. They needed a service that provided online and print-on-demand resources for their readers.

That’s where MagCloud comes in.

Founded three years ago in Arizona by Roseann Hanson, the Overland Expo is held every spring and tailored to adventure travel enthusiasts. As part of this year’s Expo, their team published Overland Sourcebook, their first MagCloud magazine, because they saw that 34% of their email news subscribers access their news via iPhones with now iPads becoming another source. “We must be ready to provide material to this market,” she exclaimed. “We see the ‘writing on the wall’ to provide digital as well as print materials.”

As a 60-page listing for all things adventure – vehicles, motorcycles, accessories, camping equipment, services, information, trip planning, business consultants, fabricators, and much more – the Sourcebook became a convenient and well-received guide for the Expo’s attendees.

Hanson attributes their Sourcebook’s success to their marketing plan which combined traditional and social media efforts. “Word of mouth, in today’s high-paced, noisy world, just doesn’t work any more,” said Hanson.

Hanson noted how MagCloud “is so easy to use” for both their team and customers. Pointing out the speed and ease of uploading their digital files to MagCloud’s timely support, Hanson advised new MagCloud publishers to “test, test, test and give yourself plenty of time to get things right as well.” The Expo team also loved how easy it was to integrate the Sourcebook with iPad. “[Our readers] were very impressed and the quality is wonderful.”

If you love the outdoors and are always on the lookout for adventures that await in the unknown corners of the world, you can also own the inaugural issue of Overland Sourcebook for $13. Overland Expo donates a good portion of their proceeds from the event to support ConserVentures, a program in place to promote the exploration of the planet and conservation of its natural and cultural resources.

Publisher Spotlight: Plant Society Magazine

From 20/30-something hipsters with first-time plots in big city community gardens to lifelong rare plant collectors and members of the most esoteric of gardening societies, anyone with a desire to dig around in dirt will find Matt Mattus’ newest venture, Plant Society Magazine, not just educational, but inspirational.

Mattus, an author, designer, brand creative, adventurer, naturalist and plant expert, is well known among green thumb types. His popular gardening blog,growingwithplants.com, attracts plant enthusiasts from around the world who are fans of his near-daily diary entries and enjoy the stunning photographs from his many gardens.

When Mattus learned about MagCloud’s print on demand service last year, he began thinking a print magazine would be a perfect extension of his blog — a way to provide yet more in-depth knowledge and greater detail about connoisseur and collectable plants, with a bit of food, travel, design and home and garden décor mixed in for good measure.

“These days, mainstream gardening magazines are too commercial and ordinary,” Mattus says. “Plant collectors and rare plant enthusiasts want something unique and original. They’re curious about discovering new things.”

And Mattus is just the one to uncover anything exciting and unusual. As a creative director at Hasbro, it’s Mattus’ job to discover new trends in the making — and to keep the company a few steps ahead. He has even written a book on the subject: Beyond Trend – How to Innovate in an Over Designed World.

It’s a mission that has become his personal passion, especially when it comes to gardening. A self-described “hortigeek,” Mattus lives on his family’s 100-year-old farm in Worcester, Mass., where for the past 40 years he has collected and grown rare plants and actively participated in obscure plant societies — Androsace Society, anyone? He planted his first seeds on the farm at the age of 5 and remembers when the zinnias were taller than he was.

His own experiences are a sharp contrast to the modern science efficiencies so common in the gardening world today.

“With the rise of mass-produced micro-propagated plants that are all the same at every home center around the world, I can see dumbing-down happening everywhere,” Mattus says. “They’re selling ‘supertunias’ and sheep-sized Chrysanthemums. Gardening has morphed into a pastime that feels more like disposable decorating. But I know there’s still a huge population of gardeners out there who still honor the art and science of it all.”

It’s this population that Mattus reaches with his blog and now with Plant Society Magazine. He writes all the content, focusing only on plants that he, himself, has grown. And he pulls images from his vast collection of more than 10,000 photographs he has taken of plants from his greenhouses and gardens. He organizes his photographs by species and time of year.

“I have so much content, it’s a little overwhelming,” Mattus says. “I’m obsessive when it comes to plants. I photograph every step of the growing process, from planting the seeds to tending to them — even how I display them in pots and vases. With MagCloud, I don’t have to design something six months in advance. I can shoot my cover the same day that I upload my files to the MagCloud website.”

Mattus published his first issue, High Summer, in 2009, featuring 75 pages of in-depth information about, and photographs of, exhibition chrysanthemums, dahlias, pelargonium, nerines and crocosmia.

His Autumn issue focuses on cultivating miniature species Narcissus for cold greenhouses and alpine beds, odd and rare winter blooming bulbs, Cyclamen species in pots and winter shrubs for color.

Mattus promotes the magazine, which also will include Spring, featuring the genus Primula, seed growing, Corydalis and rare Japanese orchids, and mid-Winter editions, on his blog and through his Twitter account.

“I love being my own editor and art director,” he says. “I also appreciate being in charge of my own advertising. You’ll never see me writing about organic gardening and then running an ad for fertilizer on the next page.”

Mattus still recalls the day his first issue arrived in his mailbox. “It came in a plastic bag, and it looked like a real magazine,” he says. “I work with printers all the time. The quality I get from MagCloud is as good as anything out there. I would recommend MagCloud to even the pickiest of designers.” Mattus also appreciates the ease with which MagCloud handles all the order processing and distribution. “Anyone in the US, Canada or UK can order issues direct from the MagCloud website, and can even pay directly with a credit card or Paypal,” he notes. “MagCloud prints to order, and in five days or fewer, the magazine is printed, bound and mailed directly to the reader.”

Without MagCloud’s self-publishing service, Mattus says a magazine like his, with its relatively smaller run and niche market and lack of a traditional distribution channel, wouldn’t be possible.

“I understand the need for big publishers to remain profitable,” Mattus says. “But the publishing business is changing so fast. Self-publishing is now much more accepted in our new digital world of blogs, Twitter and Facebook. For me and for the readers I want to reach, MagCloud is the perfect solution.

“Frankly, I had no idea how the magazine would be received,” he adds. “I expected both positive and critical comments, just as I get on my blog. And that’s terrific. My favorite comments are from readers who tell me that Plant Society Magazine is better than the fancy British gardening magazines. One reader said, ‘Finally, a well-designed and informative magazine that not only shows me step-by-step tasks, but that actually teaches me how to grow something out of the ordinary.’

“That’s exactly what I’m striving for.”

Check out the latest issue!