On-demand magazine publishing.

I need to start this blog post by thanking RickHap for his comment on my blog post, “Marketing Madness.” My post whined a bit about the chore of putting together a 12-page package of information about Flying M Air‘s helicopter tours and day trips for Phoenix area concierges. Rick told me about MagCloud, an HP service that can turn a PDF into a slick, bound, full-color magazine.

The deal seemed too good to be true: only 20¢ per page for full color printouts with no minimum purchase. Just create the PDF, upload it to the site, and get a free proof. If it looks good, click the Publish button. Or, if you’re confident about your PDF production skills, simply publish it without waiting for the proof.

So I tried it. I threw together a quick PDF of the files I’d been printing at my local print shop for 80¢ per page and painstakingly slipping into special binders. I went away on a trip — have you noticed how much I’m traveling lately? — and when I got home, the proof was there.

And it was pretty damn good.

The print quality was better than I’d been getting from the local print shop’s fancy printer. It was smartly bound with staples, so it wouldn’t fall apart. And on the back page was an address area to make it easy to mail the materials out.

Not only was I hooked, but I began to see the possibilities in using this service to meet my own publishing needs.

Exploring Arizona by HelicopterFirst up (after the concierge package was properly done) was a newsletter for Flying M Air that I’m calling Exploring Arizona by Helicopter. I had to come up with a new design that utilized my company colors. The resulting PDF looks pretty good for a first effort, if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to see the printed version.

Although this first issue is a bit heavy on the marketing content, some comments from Miraz will help me focus on content with more universal appeal in the next issue. This issue does feature a few of my better photos, though, many of which can be found in my photo gallery. (Hey, a girl has to pay for this photo equipment, doesn’t she?)

I’ve ordered 20 copies to send out to former clients and hopefully entice some of them to submit photos and first-person accounts of their experiences flying with me. I’ll also be dropping off copies with some of the concierges I’ve been visiting to get them interested in what’s new.

If you have a newsletter or magazine you’d like to get printed on demand, I highly recommend MagCloud. And again, I’d like to thank Rick for sharing this info with me. I think it’ll really help me get the word out about all kinds of things in the future.

2 thoughts on “MagCloud

  1. Excellent! I’m very pleased that you had good success with MagCloud. The brochures read great and look terrific. You have some stand out marketing materials to put in the concierge’s hands.

    The girls and I are in Phoenix the last two weeks of the year. After reading the brochures, we need to book a flight to see the lights.

    A tip on the back page for magcloud: MagCloud uses only the bottom 1/2″ of the back page when you order in quantity. The 1/2″ is reserved for the magazine URL information. I’ve been putting graphics on the bottom of the back page so that there is no blank when I order a quantity. The graphic does not print when a single copy (or bulk mailed) is ordered since it is used for the mailing label. In short, you don’t have to leave the reserved area white.

    • RickHap: Thanks again for suggesting MagCloud. I’m very pleased so far. In fact, I’m putting the finishing touches on a 28-page calendar that’ll be published via MagCloud. (I’ll be punching a lot of holes.)

      I was thinking about putting something on the lower part of the last page, thinking that it might be overwritten for one-up orders but remain as I designed it for bulk orders. I’ll try that with the calendar — I’ll likely put some kind of order information or at least another photo. This will help out for the electronic version.

      You might have noticed that the electronic version is not printable and that I have a tiny markup on the printed version. I’m hoping to encourage people to spring for the printed version so I make a few cents on each one sold. In this economy, every little bit helps.

      Thanks again for your recommendation. I’m glad I checked it out.

What do you think?