Publishing on the internet means you have no trouble with borders and can reach out to people across the world – so why should a printed publication such as a magazine be limited by territory? Taking a regional or national magazine international will increase ad and subscription sales, grow your audience and widen your appeal. But how do you go about it?
The key is finding the right contacts and doing solid research so that you can establish the business relationships you need and limit any potential risks. It's going to take some time and investment to do it properly and, like any product being sold in another country, one of the most fundamental things you need to sort out is magazine distribution – what companies are best placed to handle it for you, and how much will it cost?
Before doing any of that however, you'll need to appraise your magazine's current content and see how it might suit foreign audiences. It may well be necessary to introduce elements that will be of broader interest, not just to your current readers (those in your home country).
In working out an increased print run that takes into account your new overseas distribution, you'll need to discuss with your chosen distribution partner the potential initial sales of your magazine and the possibility of people subscribing. Your marketing department will have to devise strategies to entice people to subscribe, whether by offering discounts or a gift or something else – subscribers generally expect something along these lines when they sign up for annual subscriptions.
A reliable distribution firm will also be able to offer subscription support services, such as magazine mailing and subscription fulfilment, which will be invaluable in bringing in additional revenue streams and lifting the burden on your publishing company.
Once you get your international content ideas down, your market research done and have forged the right contacts with a distribution firm, you can hopefully sit back and watch your magazine take on a whole new life as it spreads its wings abroad.