In science, there always has to be a process. Science occurs in the sequence of questioning, researching, experimenting, documenting, and concluding. Like in any scientific process that uses the scientific method, magazine publishing also has its own simplified version — production and distribution. I wouldn’t call it a vicious cycle because of the way the magazine’s content reinvents itself, but it is still a cycle in itself. This is proven by the continuous racks of magazine stands that fill up every week and every month.
Production: The Perfect Bind
The models, editors and photographers have done their job. Now the pages are laid out and completed. Without the right finish to the product, they will be nothing but tattered pages of words and pictures. It is time to turn these pages into a magazine.
The different sections of the magazine are printed out separately. Some are in black and white, others in full color. It all depends on the editor’s preference.
After this, there are two ways by which a magazine’s sections can be bound together. It could be done through saddle-stitching or perfect binding. Saddle-stitching does not use thread or any weak material. It is done by stapling the center fold within the magazine’s cover page. This is often used for magazines that don’t have a lot of pages and don’t need heavy duty material to bind the pages together. If staple wire is too weak to put the sections together, then a spine is made by gluing one end of the pages together. This is called perfect binding and is used for thick magazines such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
Distribution: Tapping into Globalization and the World Wide Web
As times have changed, the magazine industry has naturally evolved to adopt the paper-free system. Indeed, magazine publishing has already infiltrated cyberspace and beyond. There are no pages to print and no papers to bind. These are called online magazines and are usually either copies of the paper-based ones or are independent magazines themselves. All they need are their publishing schedules, pictures and articles, and they’re good to go once they have a solid reader base. The profit they generate will most probably be from pay-per-read articles or from the profit generated from high traffic to the website.
When before, magazines were only distributed in the country of its origin, now it is being distributed worldwide and franchised by different countries. Today, magazine publishing has overdone itself in that it has allowed its publications to sprout up in countries such as China and Australia, allowing them to work under the name of the magazine but produce their own content.
Of course, the content must still be parallel with the topics that the main franchise of the magazine is known for. The irony here is that the different countries can localize their content but are participating in a worldwide company, allowing diversity in the process of globalization.
As you can see, the magazine publishing industry is in its booming stage, and many people are cashing in on the potential of the magazine business to grow. As it involves a complicated process in production and distribution, it allows creative minds to venture in and participate. It takes brains and willpower to get an edge in the magazine industry.