With Lady Gaga playing editor and Diddy offering a MYMAG for fans, creating editorial content is becoming another part of superstars' skill sets. But DIY'ers don't have to be left behind or forced to pay upfront printing costs to make a magazine for their fans with services like HP's MagCloud.
Diddy's recent publication of a Diddy Dirty Money MYMAG is a smart example of creating content rich merchandise for fans. Though MYMAG is focused on celebrities, DIY'ers can get into the publication game with HP's MagCloud, which is definitely interested in serving musicians though they aren't focused on musicians per se. Possibilities include a general fan mag or a publication to go along with an album release.
Basic setup is free, people order individual copies at whatever price you set above and beyond the basic productions costs and PDF versions can be offered for free, for a price or bundled with the hard copy edition. A lot of music publications are now using this service and you can check out the free digital versions for examples of what people are doing.
Publishing on MagCloud seems pretty straightforward. Basically you use design software to create a PDF file and then upload that for creation of a print publication or emag. MagCloud handles sales via PayPal or credit card and offers worldwide shipping so fulfillment is taken care of which is one of the great benefits of publish-on-demand services.
Keep in mind that MagCloud is not the only publish-on-demand option available for such projects. Services that have been marketed primarily to book publishers often include options that are essentially magazines, i.e. saddle stitch paperbacks, and many offer ebook publishing for free with a variety of distribution options. Services worth considering include Lulu.com and Amazon's CreateSpace.
And if a fan mag or publication isn't your thing, you could always put out a calendar!