Desktop Publishing of Hobby Journals


Hobby DTP journals in the AAPA bundles are produced with a wide variety of computer-based hardware and software. The Macintosh is often the computer of choice, but just about all makes of computers are now used by the membership. Members also use such ancillary hardware as scanners and digital cameras.

Software used include such high end programs as Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher in conjunction with Photoshop. Others publish their journals with programs that are simpler and perhaps even out of date, including Pagemaker and Ready Set Go!, while others make do with regular word processing programs such as Microsoft Word.

AAPA has prepared a tutorial about creating amateur journals with Scribus, an open-source desktop publishing program available for free. The tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to download and use the software. A template file for an amateur journal is included.

A few members still use old manual typewriters to type out their copy, and paste up their journals (sometimes with photographs), before heading for their local Kinkos or Kwik Kopy to do the actual production.

Some members enjoy controlling all facets of production, by running off the number of copies needed for the AAPA bundles themselves on color ink-jet printers or black and white laser printers. Others may have their own copiers, which they use after preparing masters on their computer and printer.

Some of our journals are rather simple in design. Others are designed with illustrations and careful attention to type selection, white space, and word spacing.

So our monthly bundles are a happy smorgasbord of personal journals, some with color and photographs, full of all sorts of prose (fiction and non-fiction), and poetry. And of course some are still published the old fashioned way with handset metal type and old hand and motorized presses. "Conversation in print" in the monthly bundles cause many of us to become better acquainted with fellow AAPA members than with our next door neighbors. Our hobby is unique, but we're just a friendly group having a good time writing, printing, and publishing — sharing our journals with other like-minded folks.

Internet Resources

Literally thousands of sites are available on the Internet with oodles of information about DTP. You can track many of these down yourself by using your browser to search for such categories as "desktop publishing", "personal journals", "personal publishing", etc. Specific sites which you'll want to check out include the following:

Desktop Publishing Forum
``Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing -- in print or on the web ''

Desktop Publishing Guide
Provided by Amsterdam Printing.

Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is the long-time premier company regarding many DTP software resources, with such products as Adobe Acrobat, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, and type fonts.

The Internet's "free encyclopedia" describes Desktop publishing.

AAPA: Graphic Arts
American Amateur Press Association's links to graphic arts resources.


Become A Member!

Join AAPA!Amateur journalism is a unique activity. Amateur journalists publish journals on paper & online & come from many perspectives: from deluxe letterpress printed journals, to Xeroxed newsletters, to artistically designed cards and ephemera. We embrace the spirit of being amateurs – loving what we do for pure joy and not financial gain – while creating top quality journals, zines, and homemade publications.

Members receive ...

  • The monthly bundle mailed via the postal service
  • Access to the website and e-journals
  • e-mailed updates
  • Ability to publish your stories on AAPA