MagCloud – what it is, why you should care and 5 great magazines


A print on demand service for magazines, MagCloud lets anyone with a pdf make a paper magazine, for free. But it’s more than just printing, it’s also an online shop too and distribution network.

The big advantage? There are no upfront costs to the publisher – they just send a pdf off and then get a cut of the profits everytime someone downloads it.

MagCloud is an off-shoot of Hewlett Packard, the printing company so there is some serious printing know-how behind there.

For readers: it’s a way to discover new stuff that just looks good, or more likely a way to get paper content from someone you’re interested in – a photographer, a band or a website. It gives a wider choice of content than you get commercially.

It’s the reader who pays for it – the minimum cost will be 20 cents a page – that’s what MagCloud charges, but publishers are free to add however much they wish on top of that. So the basic price for a 40 page magazine would be $8 or £4.98.

MagCloud say:

“Whether you order 1 or 100 copies there are no up-front costs, no minimum orders and only $.20 a page. Think of MagCloud as a web-based marketplace where a new breed of magazine publishers can affordably turn their targeted content into a beautiful printed magazine and promote and sell their product to a broad range of readers.”

There’s a catalogue of thousands of magazines split into different categories: here are five that tickled our fancy..

1) Outernational • 2010 – billed as “a presentation of compelling photo documentary work by members of Metro Collective, an international coalition of award-winning photographers.” this has some stunning images from all around the world. 52 pages, $20

2) Cats with Tomatoes – sorry I’m not saying this any good, but how could I not include a magazine based solely around pictures cats with tomatoes. The premise was too good to ignore… 16 pages, $5.20.


3) INK magazine – I only partly understand what this is about, but the cover design is pretty cool. I think it’s fashion. 22 pages, $6

4) Comic Con Special Editions – the comics section is small right now, but has the potential to be really cool. This tale about some crazy mutant Scottish gamekeeper looks like a romp. $5.60, 28 pages.


5) Coffee – This simply amused me – it’s a 12 page $3.40 mag which consists solely of (very nice) photographs of coffee cups.

See the Magcloud website

Anna Leach