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What does your digital magazine do for you?

There are many digital magazine providers in the market, so how do you choose one that is right for you? First, you should assess what your goals are for a digital reproduction of your printed publication. Are you looking to replace your printed product at some point in the future? Maybe you are wanting to supplement your printed product…for example, some readers and advertisers are demanding it, but you don’t see the printed publication going away? Or maybe it’s to eliminate your foreign mailing? We all know how expensive that is!  Are you just giving it a try to see what all the hype is about, or attract a new market segment? So you asked yourself these questions, and you have your goals in mind, now you are ready to move forward!

What now? You research digital magazine providers on Google, up comes 20 different digital magazine providers and you have no idea where to start. No, I am not going to mention any digital magazine providers in this blog, because this is about picking the right one for you, not me endorsing what I think is best.

 Let us say you are looking at replacing your printed product with a digital reproduction at some point in the future. Are you thinking you want to pick a digital magazine that is what I call a “page flipper” ?(example:… the reader clicks on the corner of the page and it flips, that’s it…which by the way are the most abundant type of digital magazine out there) Probably not, why? Because if you are planning on transitioning to a digital magazine only, wouldn’t you want your brand to transition from your printed piece to your digital piece? How are you planning on doing that with a regular page flipper? The simple answer is that you can’t, and if you believe you can you are probably going out of business. Instead, my suggestion would be to pick a provider that offers rich media (videos) that you can add into the digital reproduction, offers Google Analytics (so you can track your readership and clicks on the URL’s within the digitial magazine), embedded links (so readers can be taken right to your advertisers websites), archivability (so that readers can still read past issues), and audio (maybe an advertiser wants to speak right to the reader), these are only some of the many qualities that you would want to look for. Sure, it’s going to cost you more than a page flipper, but if this is now becoming your brand, I suggest you invest in yourself!

Now let’s say you are only looking to supplement your printed publication with a digital magazine. If you see the value in a more interactive version of the digital product, by all means go for it! However, if you think the value isn’t behind the increase in cost, a page flipper might just be what the doctor ordered! These days, many page flipper providers offer embedded links, my advice is to at least make sure you have this. If you are looking at cutting your foreign mail with a digital magazine, make sure your provider offers translation tools, your foreign readership just might grow!

What I look for in a digital provider is someone that can offer both options. A company that has the best of both worlds, is able to help with your ipad app needs (if this is a direction you are looking at), someone that can help you grow and consult you. These are the type of providers I look for.

I am a true believer that digital magazines are here to stay, but I also don’t see them taking over the printed industry like so many are forecasting. Should you be supplementing your printed publication with a digital magazine? I believe so. However, if you are worried about giving away your content for free, rest assured that many providers offer a “teaser” option where the reader can only read the first few pages, if they want to read more they have to subscribe. Should your goal be to stop printing? My answer is no, this would be a big mistake. Print still has value, from being beautiful (a work of art), having credibility, and still offering advertisers the highest amount of action per ad.

So from a printer’s stand point, jump into a digital magazine if you think it will help you with your goals. I certainly think it will help, but my suggestion is to supplement not evict a printed piece. Call me crazy but I actually think more readers will subscribe to your printed piece if you do!

 So,Chicken Little, the sky isn’t falling, it’s just a digital magazine.

PS….If your printer is offering you the opposite advice, you may want to ask whose interest they have in mind.

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October 6, 2010 - Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Thank you for the post with the great reminder to have GOALS before you take action. Everyone wants a digital edition, let’s talk about “why” first, so I can research options intelligently. We are just starting to look at options, so your post is well-timed!

    Comment by Jeanne Marie Tokunaga | October 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you for finding value in my post Jeanne! Like many things in life, and especially business, it is first essential to map out your goals before jumping in the deep end. You should never do something because “so and so said to do it”or because everyone else is. Hope you find the right one for you, let me know what one you choose! Best of luck to you.

      Comment by noahknoble | October 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. I would be interested in your list of best platforms because quite serioiusly it is doing my head in. Just trying to source any kind of leading advice on digital magazine publication, especially with multi-media insertion, is so unclear. You’d think that people who publish information for a business would have a clear pathway that can be followed.

    I have purchased into Uniflip as an intergrated magazine flipper/multi-media option but the comments i am getting from subscribers is that it is slow reading and clunky. I’d be very pleased to be directed to any resources that shortcut the research pathway because it is worse than a rabbits warren trying to find information. Especially how to get your digital version onto places like Amazon and what other sites there are as options for selling.

    Perhaps the person that puts out the book on how to do this will have a best seller on their hands, he he he

    Comment by Hayley Solich | March 14, 2012 | Reply


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