As the publishers of Study Breaks Magazine, we are more than aware of what it takes to publish and distribute a magazine.
However, distribution seems to be one of the most important, yet highly neglected, areas of publishing. To help others get over this important hurdle, we have decided to sit down and discuss what proper distribution takes and how to make it work for your publication.
Setting Goals for Distribution
Before you can establish a plan, you need goals. You must ask yourself where you want your magazine to get you, how many people you want to reach and where those people are. Naturally, you cannot decide where you will distribute if you do not know your niche and target market.
Furthermore, you need to dig deep and identify the facts, including:
- Target reader
- Where they shop
- Purchasing habits
- Hangout habits
- Benefits of your magazine
Now that you have dealt with these questions, the following step is to examine how you will get your publication to the people.
The Waste Factor: Distribution Matters
Publishing and printing are merely half of the game. If more is printed than distributed and picked up, companies are squandering money; not gaining.
The Main Types of Distribution
Every magazine or publication will have different outlets for distribution. However, you must identify the ones that suit your market.
- Street Teams: Street teams can travel around and distribute magazines to campuses, businesses, and the like. This is ideal if you have a free publication that you want to hand out.
- Direct Mail: Direct mail is immensely valuable. There are no limitations to the size of mail you can send with direct mail distribution. You can also target a particular audience and save money distributing directly to that audience.
- Newsstand Sales: To unlock newsstand sales, you will need a retail market company like Time, Inc., CMG, and Curtis Circulation. All three produce sales for newsstand publications.
- Local Businesses: Local businesses are crucial for distribution. You can ask permission to take your magazine and put it for sale in the business, but if it is a high-traffic area, you want to ensure it receives exposure – such as a rack by the coffee bar where people would see it while waiting for their espresso.
Readership and Circulation — Not the Same
Readership and circulation are frequently confused for one another, but these are two very separate components. Readership is who reads your publication while the circulation only refers to how it is distributed and where it is placed. You should know the readership numbers for your publication. If you circulate 10,000 but only have a readership of 2,500 that places you at 2.5 percent average.
It is vital you monitor readership to ensure your distribution is hitting your target market adequately.
One way to do this is bar codes. Distributors take pictures of the bar codes for verification that publications are distributed to the right zone; then you monitor purchases from there.
Publications and distributions are a complicated process. For your printing and distributing needs, talk to the team at Shweiki Media.