Online Literary Magazines: From Ideation to Creation

In this age when technology rules, online magazines are becoming the norm. Photo source.

In this technological age, online magazines are becoming the norm. Photo source.

This afternoon we had an interesting lecture about factors that affect the form and function of online magazines, particularly literary magazines.

Not only was this relevant to one of our assessment items in Writing and Publishing Industry, but it was also interesting to discover magazines that employ the use of mediums other than just the written word. For example some magazines get their contributors to record themselves reading their work and publish this on the magazine website.

First off, here are some important points to think about if you wish you start your own magazine, online or otherwise.


Is your magazine a not-for-profit organisation, or are you planning on growing an income?

If you are not-for-profit, what revenue streams will you employ to pay for the printing of a hard copy magazine, the design of your online magazine, or for content submissions?

Will you be able to negotiate around these expenses by not printing a hard copy magazine, skill-swapping with your creative peers, and not paying for submissions?

Will you be selling advertising, or asking artists to pay to submit their work or to have their work published?


Is there a viable market for the style and type of magazine you wish to create?

Will you be competing against larger, established magazines, or will you be filling a gap in the market?

How do you know people will be interested in your magazine, or that there is a market for your content at all?


Have you nutted-out some solid values for your magazine?

Working out what kind of magazine you wish to produce and what the values of the publication will be are crucial first steps that you can’t ignore.

Being able to write a succinct blurb describing your magazine’s values will give people a clear picture of the kinds of things you publish and this will make it easier for them to decide whether they would want to read your magazine.

Time and Sustainability

How often will you be creating this magazine?

Will you have enough time between issues to gather enough interesting, high quality content that will suit your magazine?

Will this magazine be a sustainable venture and can you foresee an endless supply of easily accessible material?


>> Next: Online Literary Magazines: People, Relationships, and Skills


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