Gaming e-zine finds new life in print with HP

Publishing editor Dylan Burns said the three-year-old publication gave in to reader demand when it decided to make its latest issue available in both digital and print form.

"For every issue of Pixel Hunt that we’ve created, most of the feedback that we got… related to readers wanting it to be printed. Some even went to the effort of printing it out themselves and stapling it together," he told ProPrint.

Burns said younger readers were willing to pay for print.

"Generally, I’d say that younger people are used to getting a lot for free, but I do feel a sense of appreciation of worth for various apps or magazines. There’s a realisation out there that good content does cost money, it’s just up to them to decide whether it’s worth it," he said.

Readers can now order hard copies through MagCloud, an HP service aimed at grassroots magazine publishers. Pixel Hunt uploads its PDFs to MagCloud, and issues are then printed on-demand in the US, with customers required to allow more than a week to receive copies from overseas.

But despite the timeframe, Burns said MagCloud had made it feasible for Pixel Hunt to finally embrace print.

"The cost of production was always against us with our medium volume of readers, but thankfully MagCloud has opened up a way for us to make a product that gets us closer to a workable cost," he said.

"Technically, this is our most profitable issue yet. The decision to change Pixel Hunt to a paid-for product was not easy. However, we just went past 150 sales for [our latest issue] on MagCloud, a number we’re really happy about."

Print had also turned Pixel Hunt into a more attractive product, according to Burns.

"There’s still something about print – perhaps its legitimacy or some related aspect – that I love. The quality of the product from MagCloud is honestly far and above my expectations, easily as good if not better than what is available on newsstands.

"I think if MagCloud could integrate some way of distributing its magazines through various newsstands – with some quality assurances of course – that would also be a really exciting thing, for both makers and sellers," added Burns.

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