How to Publish the Magazine of Your Dreams (and Make 2,000 People Pre-Order It)

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Guy Hajaj is a writer, DJ, journalist, radio host and ideas ninja from Israel, trying to make people passionate about what they love—starting with himself—through culture and art.

OK, so I lied.

Wait, let me clarify. I really did publish the magazine of my dreams. It is called אתה נמצא כאן ("You are here"), and it was co-edited by former Ha'aretz design writer Yuval Sa'ar and myself.

We both love traveling, so we asked our favorite writers from Israel to write us a true travel story. Once we finished dancing with joy with how good the texts were, we asked our favorite illustrators to illustrate them.

I also really did make 2,000 people pre-order it before it was even printed. We decided this would be a single-issue magazine. A one-time thing. So instead of Kickstarting it we used Headstart.co.il as our only point of purchase. You could either pre-order it, or leave it.

Limitations are amazing. The whole concept of limited editions work because limitations make us crazy. So people ordered it like crazy. We planned on printing 500-1000 copies, and ended up printing 2,500. It got huge.

And with the hugeness of it came huge expenses. Israel Post raised its prices by a huge percent 4 days before we shipped, so even though we printed 100 full color pages on great paper at the best print shop in Tel Aviv, we still paid more on postage.

After hyperventilating for some time, the ROI Micro Grant gave us enough oxygen to breathe again. It made it possible for us to lose just enough money so we'd still want to do this again.

The part I lied about is the "How." I'm not gonna tell you how to publish YOUR magazine of your dreams. But I can tell you all the things I learned while publishing mine. Just email me and I'll be happy to share.