Producing the Contact magazine

Producing a contact magazine takes a lot of time, planning, coordination and hard work. It relies on a lot of people giving up their time to write articles and take pictures to go in each edition. And my job is to put it all together and work with the printers to get it all produced on time and through people’s letter boxes.

Contact Magazine May 2012

The first thing that has to be done is to decide what needs to go into the issue. It is always wonderful to receive so many articles, story ideas and news from people and will always mean that the magazine is full of content. Alongside all the regular contributions like news, from the BDA, for organisational members, NTC, LDAs, exhibitions, our projects and book reviews.

So already a lot to go in and still we get inundated with articles and news. And so that’s where I come in, deciding what should or shouldn’t go in, whether something is too long or too short and trying to find a good picture or two to go with it.

All this will start the day after the current edition is hot off the presses but the concerted effort will start about 6 weeks before publication. Deadlines for articles are 4 weeks before publication but plenty will have been submitted by this point.

The longest and most complex part of putting together the magazine is the layout and ensuring that everything fits. This is where the fine people at Information Press come in. In collaboration with their team, I send them an incomprehensible collection of pages, images and page order and they turn it into the magazine you know and love.

Contact Magazine May 2012

Once the guys at Information Press have worked their magic it’s back to me to check for spelling mistakes, grammar and to ensure that the magazine flows. This is done to varying degrees of success!

After I have cast my eye over the proofs, it is singed off and printed and distributed to our members. Then the work on the next issue can begin.

The BDA has always strived to produce it’s publications in as many formats as possible to ensure accessibility. Applause, many thanks and a debt that can never truly be repaid has to go to Jean Hutchins for all the hard work she has put in over the years to ensure that this has happened.

Contact Magazine May 2012

As we move forward we want to embrace new formats and distributions. The developments of e-readers, tablets and smartphones has meant that there are now many new ways to read and enjoy books and magazines, and we intend to be on all of those platforms. It may take us a little time to start releasing those widely but we want to make sure they work well for you.

So that’s how to make a Contact magazine. I’m off to start on the next one.

Dominic Llewellyn-Jones
Communications Officer