I've been a bit absent for most of this week because I've been preparing for the launch of my new project. A project that is way out of my comfort zone and one that required a pretty steep learning curve.
Today I launch a global children's magazine and in putting my 2017 word to use, I can safely say that today I am BE'ing the editor.
In the middle of last year I had a planning workshop with my Cheer Chick Charlie crew. We spent a weekend together down the coast and got all strategic about the direction of Cheer Chick Charlie and some of my spin-off projects.
As a complete side issue I chatted to them about an idea I'd had for a few years of a new children's magazine. Why? Well for a start I saw a gap in the marketplace for our particular genre and for another thing I was finding it too damned expensive to advertise my books in other people's mags. So I figured, why not create my own?
My crew loved the idea and together we came up with the concept of creating a magazine for kids, that was written by slightly older kids. A magazine FOR cheer kids, BY cheer kids. A magazine to help motivate, inspire and give children the chance to shine, while also giving teens the opportunity to research articles, interview people, create content and learn the skills of project management.
My crew were very enthusiastic about it, as were the handful of cheerleading businesses I approached about collaborating with me to get the magazine off the ground.
In the months since that meeting we've conducted interviews, researched ideas, sourced photos, created fun pages, established an international social media presence and set up a subscriber system. We even organised a Cover Kid shoot in another state with people we've never met.
The end result is Issue (1) of Cheer Kids Magazine which will be launched in e-Magazine format on ISSUU today, with a small print run scheduled for the next two weeks.
The Fresh Start Issue is only 36 pages and just a taste of what is to come for Cheer Kids Magazine with Issue (2) planned to be 50% bigger and with even more contributors.
It's all rather exciting, and completely nerve-racking, because it's not just a magazine but an interactive publication that includes a clickable contents page, links to our "how to" videos and downloadable activities to print.
Getting the links sorted, the website published and still keeping the magazine off line and our secret Cover Kid under wraps, has been a logistical challenge which had me up at 4.00am to send it all live and test it before releasing it to the world.
Did I say it was a steep learning curve? In the past month I've learned how to use InDesign, have worked my way around ISSUU and have had to also produce, direct and edit videos for the Cheer Kids You Tube Channel.
The kids involved have also had to hit the ground running with their foray into TV, research, writing, interviews and project management.
Less than six months ago this was merely a discussion between two adults and a bunch of kids with absolutely no magazine experience whatsoever; and today it's a finished product.
Creating social media buzz, which includes today's "virtual launch party" and seeing kids counting down the days to the launch has been heart-warming and encouraging.
All in all, I think it's safe to say that today is a pretty big deal. It may not look like much, but to us, it's pretty damn amazing.
If you're interested in downloading our free Cheer Kids Magazine then click here..
If you want to experience the full interactivity then make sure you download ISSUU for iOS or Android first and view it on your phone or tablet.
If you do manage to read it, let me know what I can do to improve the magazine and which bits were your favourite.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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