So you think you want to start a publication? Perhaps
you were thinking fanzine, newspaper, magazine or
e-zine? It sounds very glamorous in the beginning, and
maybe you've had visions of getting chicks, press
passes and invitations to events, as well as letters
of congratulations and fruit baskets at Christmas.
The media of print publications is still alive and
kicking, but self-publishing, while anyone can do it,
is either a labor of love, or one very difficult way
to make a living. If you have backing, you'll get
through the bleak times, but if not, you'll soon be on
the couch. As one of my editors said recently to me:
"The shrinks call this masochism."
If you have plenty of time, however, it's well worth
the effort. Print is a way to express your points of
view about your interests, and if you're the one in
charge, i.e., the publisher, your niche is all your
own. No editors to please (like in the real world) no
one telling you how to write/shoot/art direct/sell
(like in the real world) and no one but yourself to
please. And that, coupled with the pure desire to
publish, per se, sums up a very important aspect of
your personality: You Have Printer's Ink In Your
Blood. For better or for worse, you're doomed, or
blessed, depending on how your look at it and your
luck in general.
In my humble, publishing opinion, you'll probably
never want to give it up unless the real world comes
knocking loud and hard: the utility companies, the
landlord, the desire to eat in general. Sometimes, you
have to give it up, but if you love this crazy
business as much as I'm in love with it, you'll always
go back eventually.