Publishing an online magazine? Free checklist

Magazines. I don’t know a woman who doesn’t like to kick back on the weekend with a cuppa or a vino depending on the time with their fave mag.

While there has been a decline in the circulation of the traditional printed mediums, I know one woman who’s successfully launched tangible magazines all over the world in a time where she was probably told not to bother, only now to be shaking up the industry and smashing goals.

Check out Lisa Messenger’s Renegade Collective mag for a dose of motivation and inspiration when it comes business.

Meanwhile, there are many small businesses launching online magazines as part of their content strategy.

And why not? It’s easy enough to become the editor of your own magazine especially if you know it’s what your business besties (ideal customers) want.

So if you are one of the people launching an online mag this year, I’d like to offer you a tool that’s helped me immensely in my time as an editor.

I’ve evolved it over the years and still use it to this day when I’m editing, especially Get it magazine.

Here’s my final page checklist.

 

Final page check – Editorial Magazine (emag/ezine)

PAGE/CONTENT

  •  Dropcap sizes (main story is 3 deck, secondary stories are 2 decks (lines), or see the feature style of previous copies).
  • Check for widows (lines with only one word on them).
  • En-hyphens (make sure word breaks are correct. EG cor-rect).
  • Check colours/straps/folios are consistent.
  • Contact details at bottom of each story – if needed.
  • Check for ‘Advertising Promotion’ on pages – if required.
  • Check for same pictures in edit and ad – this should be done at the end of the feature. If you can’t do it, ask designer if they have done it. Ads and editorial should have different images for credibility.

SPACING

  • Check spacing between captions, headers, pictures, kickers, stories – ask designer to do this.
  • Keep an eye on spacing in stories (leading) – does it look too spacey between each line and between each letter (this is called kerning)?

HEADINGS

  • Heading styles and kicker alignments.
  • Headings – make sure no two words are the same. (Eg: retire and retiree are too similar).
  • Pad out headers if needed to fill across the page.
  • Re-read headings – they are very important and must be correct – no spelling mistakes.
  • Read kickers and big quotes.

PICTURES

  • Keylines are on pictures (if required).
  • Captions are correct and make sense.
  • Check the person’s or business name in caption is the same spelling as name in story.
  • Photographers’ names are visible and correct on pictures throughout feature (where required. Only put on main + outstanding pics).
  • Check for artist’s impressions and mark on picture or caption.
  • No writing/text/graphics are to be on pics – ask designer to delete.

COVER

  • Date, issue number and publication logo are on cover.
  • Pointers to inside pages are correct.
  • NB: Does there need to be a date for the event being featured on the front cover?

CONTENTS

  • Check there is an inside box with contact details (if needed).
  • Inside box should include editor, advertising and writer’s contact information and a blurb of cover and photographer’s details (if required).
  • Contents has correct information (check business names and headers).
  • If contents has pictures, check page numbers on pictures to pages in feature to make sure they are correct.
  • Check contents page numbers to actual story pages.

FINAL CHECKS (after all changes have been made)

  • Re-check any changes made and emailed through.
  • Re-check contents again, especially if changes have occurred at the last minute.

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