Quote: Uuh Magazine @ 15th September 2016, 9:06 AM
we'd love to print copies of the magazine but we're all recently graduated students so financing is a bit of a problem! We're thinking of applying to Creative Scotland for a bit of funding so will see how that goes, but at the moment our main focus is on building an online audience which, of course, is easier said than done.
Print is slowly dying, though Private Eye boats an astonishing circulation of 230,000 and Viz averages about 50,000.
I don't know about the UK, but in Asia it is rare to see the launch of a big new national newspaper or magazine. About 1 in 7 print magazines launched will survive beyond the first year. Plenty of niche stuff (permaculture, food, sport, fashion, health), but undergraduate (or fresh postgrad) humour? There's definitely a gap in the market for humorous content, but I'm not sure if yet-another-spoof/absurd-news-site is the way to go.
It won't hurt to brush up on grammar (getting tenses correct) and punctuation (putting commas in the right places) by imitating actual news reports.
The first thing that caught my eye on your website was "6 Phrases You'll Only Understand If You're From East Timor": http://www.uuhmagazine.com/6_things_east_timor.html
My thrill evaporated upon seeing it had nothing to do with Tetum or Portuguese or Indonesian, but was just an exercise in mock pidgin. There are actually homophones in Tetum/Indonesian/English that you could have had fun with -- though I guess hardly anyone in the UK speaks Tetum. It's smart to be clever, but it's more clever to be smart.
As for funding, take a leaf (or three) out of Chris Donald's autobio, where he recounts funding Viz himself and selling it at below cost in 1978. Of course the internet and social media give you instant access to vast numbers now, but you'll need quality content to hook them.
Rude Kids, always good reading:
Despite its flimsiness I managed to sell most of the Daily Pies in our local pub, The Brandling, by offering substantial discounts on the strategically high cover price of 90p. I printed twenty copies, at a cost of £1.13, and I sold sixteen of them for a total of £1.43, giving me a profit of 30p...
... The Tyneside Free Press described themselves as a 'non-profit-making community print co-operative', whatever one of those was, and Jim and I went to see them at their print works in Charlotte Square. I explained to the man on the front desk that we wanted to produce a magazine but had no idea how to put it together, technically speaking. He was most helpful and began by explaining a few of the basics. For important technical reasons we couldn't have ten pages as I'd suggested, we'd have to have eight or twelve. And if we had twelve pages they would be printed in pairs, page 12 alongside page 1, and page 2 alongside page 11, etc. This was called page fall. I was fascinated. Then he talked about the artwork, explaining how the ink is always black and how greys are made out of lots of little black dots. Finally, he produced an estimate for printing 100 twelve-page magazines. This came to a staggering £38.88, in other words almost 40p per copy. He must have noticed my face drop and quickly pointed out that the more we printed, the cheaper it would become per copy. He mentioned that a T Rex fanzine they'd printed recently had sold out of 100 copies in a week and had since been back for a reprint. Encouraged by this I asked him to price for 150 copies, and this came to £42.35. It was four quid more, but it brought the cost of each comic down to 28p each. It still seemed a lot of money so I shopped around for some other prices. The Co-operative Printers in Rutherford Street quoted me £153, and Prontaprint on Collingwood Street said they'd do the job for £156. I decided to stick with the Free Press...
... But it was on Monday 10 December at the Gosforth Hotel that Viz was officially launched. Myself, Jim and Simon all went along, although Simon was only fifteen and risked being fed to the landlord's dogs if he was caught on the premises. I decided to take thirty copies of the magazine as I couldn't imagine selling any more than that in one night. Early in the evening we positioned ourselves on the landing outside the function room door and started offering them to passers-by. None of us were natural salesmen and a typical pitch would be, 'Funny magazine. Very wacky. Twenty pence.' People weren't interested. 20p was a bit steep for a twelve-page black-and-white comic. The Beano was twice as thick, colour, and half the price in those days. There were no takers. One passing Gosforth High girl called Ruth snarled and called me a capitalist. That hurt. I'd paid the print bill out of my own pocket with no prospect of getting my money back. Even if I sold out I was losing 8 pence on every copy. It was hardly capitalism at that stage, love. Things weren't looking too good until a little man with a gingerish beard and a scarf, more of a social worker than a student or punk, came skipping up the stairs. He looked a bit right-on, the kind of guy who'd give some kids doing their own thing a break. 'What's this?' he said with exaggerated enthusiasm. He had a quick look, smiled, bought one and disappeared into the function room. Not long afterwards people started coming out and buying copies. Once they'd seen someone else reading it and laughing, suddenly they all wanted one. It was the first sales phenomenon I'd ever witnessed, and it was a phenomenal one. Soon we were running out of comics...
... the vast majority of the comics had to be sold in Newcastle by hand, and at nights I'd walk from pub to pub in Jesmond selling comics on my own. I didn't like going into pubs alone, and I hated cold selling. It was totally against my nature. But something drove me to do it. I did it obsessively, a bit like train-spotting, going from room to room asking every single person if they wanted to buy a comic. The aim wasn't to sell comics, it was simply to ask everyone. Once I'd asked everyone then I could go home happy, even if I'd sold none.