How nice it would be to have a professionally prepared, full color, glossy magazine published for your chapter's membership each and every month. Realistically it's simply not possible. The cost of publishing is high and continues to rise. Cost is the most inhibiting factor in publishing. It is not however crippling for there are several methods of reproduction available to you and one of them will fit your chapter's budget.
Line set is the most expensive method printing, save engraving. Using this method you function only as editor. You give the printer your hard copy and he "sets it in type." It will most likely be done on a computer these days. He may also design your art work and layout in all other areas of publishing. Cost, understandably, is high.
The photocopy or xerox method of reproduction is inexpensive IF you are publishing your newsletter in small quantities. Almost all printers insist upon a minimum press run. Usually, they will refuse to print fewer than 100 copies unless they make the unit price prohibitively high. Because of this, a small chapter will invariably find itself in a better financial position by dealing with photocopiers rather than - printers. If the chapter is fortunate, it will find one of its own compatriots willing to "print" the newsletter at his own office.
There are drawbacks to photocopying. Your typed copy must be absolutely clean, without error and camera ready. Cut and splice lines are sometimes difficult to conceal and photographic reproduction may be far from ideal. However, many photocopiers do an excellent job of reproduction. Many even have a photograph setting which produces better photos directly from colored prints. Somes costs may be as low as 5¢ per page at local sites such as Office Depot.
This method of reproduction is the most common for large numbers of copies. A paper plate is made from your copy and hundreds of copies can be run from it. The only drawbacks are not in the method itself but rather in the limited abilities of the person preparing the copy for the printer. Usually, offset printing is employed on "camera ready" material. These drawbacks are also true as mentioned above for photocopied material.
Camera ready means that the printer does not have to anything to your copy other than make the printing plates and print the newsletter. Given acceptable camera ready copy, drawings and photographs, a good printer can turn your editorial efforts into a work of art.
With the low price of computers, many compatriots use a computer and printer and copier to publish their newsletters. The computer makes it possible to make a template of your newsletter, then save it for future use. All you have to do is change the stories and the pictures. There are several word processing programs available to help lay out the newsletter with standard templates already made available in the software.