Incoherent notes now, will try to tie them up sometime later, but I don’t want to forget this chain of thought, so:
Magcloud (POD magazine system) now ships to UK and Canada, which is good. But their cost is still 20 cents per page. So a swanky glossy colour 20pp Magcloud magazine is four Yanqui dollars — before you put your own mark-up on top. So a 40pp magazine and, say, a $3 mark-up is $11, which I think is about what the Fortean Times sells for in the US. Magcloud is a brilliant thing, but I think it’s still too costly.
(Note to self: get Kat to talk about CONSTELLATION, a PODmag done through Magcloud)
However. If you went to Lulu, and selected a black-and-white saddle-stitched format — let’s say 6×9, randomly — the base cost for 40pp of that is a hair over five dollars. Go mad, set your mark-up so the sales price is $8 — same cost as an issue of The Believer. Interzone’s $7.
And then you sell it on your website, children. Or through your Twitter account or whatever the new psychic telephone thing du jour is tomorrow. It costs you nothing but time, and you have brought an interesting physical object into the world. Without having to find someone to push it out of a womb.
It is, really, the new desktop publishing, evolved to remove those annoying things like printers, shippers, distributors and having to leave the house.