Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Motherhood Muse Blog Tour

The Motherhood Muse literary magazine is celebrating the publication of its second issue by going on a blog tour during the month of April. Bloggers who host The Motherhood Muse will receive a free subscription to the 2010 issues as well as one free subscription to give away to one random winner who comments on their blog the day of The Motherhood Muse post. We hope everyone will enjoy both the post and magazine! The Motherhood Muse blog tour schedule can be found at and . Please visit Earth Mama for tomorrow's post on Writing about Motherhood and Nature!

On Starting a Digital Magazine

Blogging is fantastic way to share stories online. After blogging for over a year at Zook Book Nook, I realized my biggest thrill as a blogger was reading blogs written by others who truly moved me with their voice, ideas, interpretations of the world around them and more. When my second daughter was only six weeks old, I found myself wanting to read what other mothers had to say about nature, because I spent most of my days indoors with a 22 month old and a newborn despite it being the month of June. Thus, I decided to create an online compilation of writings by women (and men) in the form of a digital magazine, called The Motherhood Muse!

Starting a magazine has been easier than I thought it would be. So easy, that I write this post for those interested in creating a digital magazine of their own! Here are the steps I have taken to get my magazine off the ground and running:

1. Find a niche. This is the most important step, because your magazine needs to do two things: fit your passion, knowledge, and experience as well as fill a hole in the literary world. I asked myself: What do I have the most expertise in and what is missing in today’s market of magazine? The answer to my question was creative writing on motherhood and nature.

2. Know the competition. Before I created The Motherhood Muse I already read and subscribed to a few magazines that publish creative writing on motherhood or nature. I studied these magazines for their layout designs, content, marketing tactics, readership, and more. So when I began to create the first issue of my magazine I wasn’t reinventing the wheel, yet I also strived to create something original.

3. Decide on a name. Before developing a website, blog, and magazine, it is crucial to choose the right name for it all. A name that summarizes exactly what your “stuff” is all about. For me, motherhood relates to Mother Nature and mothers and muse is all about writing and inspiration. But before you take the name you come up with and run with it, make sure it isn’t already in use!

4. Create a website. Before the magazine and blog, I first created the website using the host Fat Cow and a background design by The Cutest Blog on the Block. The design runs on Joomla, which I had to teach myself how to use. I am a novice in web design, but the Joomla tutorials have made it easy to learn the basics of setting up a website that includes a shop and more.

5. Next came the blog. Even if the blog is basic, it is best to get it established in the beginning, so readers can begin to follow it. I am still in the early stages of developing The Motherhood Muse blog as I don’t put much time into it yet, but it is there to give the community of reader s and writers a source of more information.

6. Scheduling the release of the first issue. I gave myself six months to create the first issue of the magazine. This gave me enough time to find column writers and begin the advertising/marketing side of things.

7. Finding writers. Fortunately I found writers online who I knew from blogging. I was familiar with their style of writing, and asked a variety of writers to write for The Motherhood Muse that matches their blog style. I also began seeking contributors by posting information in various places online: SCBWI, Verla Kay, Editor Unleashed, Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers, etc.

8. Advertising and Marketing. I designed a logo using Photoshop, created postcards with Overnight Prints and Vista Print, and created an advertising button to post on blogs and websites. The postcards were sent to women, authors, mothers, writing centers, nature centers, etc across the world in the hope that I’d gain subscribers and contributors.

9. Creating the first issue. Finally I was ready to begin designing the first issue of the magazine! The fun began with choosing a theme for the first issue that would resonate with many people (metamorphosis), designing the layout, asking different authors permission to reprint their essays in the first issue, and creating the artwork to accompany the writing. I found many images on iStockphoto and used Adobe Photoshop to alter and/or create images. I created the issue in Word and then converted it into a PDF.

10. Becoming digital. Once I had the final PDF file I submitted it to ePaperflip. This group then converted it into a digital magazine and gave me the URL link to view the digital magazine online. It’s amazing to have a magazine online where the pages actually flip, each page can be magnified to the highest degree, any text or images I choose can be clicked on to link the reader to another website, and it’s all green! No paper is wasted. No ink is utilized. And it never gets lost as it can be bookmarked on your computer.

The Motherhood Muse literary magazine is one of several new digital magazines, but it is the only digital magazine featuring creative essays, short stories, poetry, columns, artwork and more on the theme of motherhood and nature. But there are many more literary niches that need to be filled, especially digitally, so I hope you’ll consider giving it a shot and creating a magazine of your own one day. If you have any personal questions about the details of starting a digital magazine, please feel free to email me at editor(at)themotherhoodmuse(dot)com. Thank you! I look forward to reading your comments!

Thank you for reading this post today. Please leave a comment here and we will choose one person to receive a free subscription to the 2010 issues! Stop by for more information!

Please visit tomorrow for the next step in our blog tour!

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Oh, thank goodness I found you!!! I love this concept and will be here with you LOTS~

Happy Spring!