Monday, December 13, 2010

Magazine publishing on the iPad

I've been heavily involved in the upcoming Adobe Digital Publishing Suite as a beta tester. I'm working directly with a couple of clients to help them repurpose their magazine content for iPad versions. One of the best ways to learn what is possible and what works well (and not so well) in this exciting new content channel is to look at lots and lots of examples of what others are doing.

The following is a compilation of the titles that I've found to be particularly interesting examples of iPad magazines and rich-content books. As you preview these be sure to view them in both landscape and portrait mode, as different content and layouts are often displayed depending on the rotation of the iPad.

These titles were all created with prerelease versions of the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite:

Wander Magazine: German hiking magazine, free
Credit Suisse Bulletin: Customer magazine from Credit Suisse, free
Wired Magazine: from Conde Nast Digital, $3.99/issue
Sabado Bicentenario: Chilean Saturday Magazine, free
Future Magazine: Customer magazine from Semcon, free
The New Yorker Magazine: from Conde Nast Digital, $4.99/issue
InDesign Magazine: A sampler issue of InDesign Magazine, free
DI Magazine: A PS & LR mag., Issue 1 free, subsequent issues $5.99
The World Without Photoshop: an interactive Photoshop book, free
Early Jamestown: an interactive textbook example, free
JFK - 50 Days: An interactive companion to the book of the same name, $6.99
You can find a list of more publications created with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite here.

These titles were created with WoodWing's Digital Magazine Tools:

Time Magazine: from Time Inc., $4.99/issue
Sports Illustrated: from Time Inc., $4.99/issue
Project: from Virgin Digital Publishing, $2.99/issue
The Sunday Times: iPad version of the UK Sunday Times, free preview issue
You can find a list of more publications created with the WoodWing solution here.

These titles were created with other tools and systems:

Marines Magazine: The official US Marine Corps magazine, free
Audi Magazine: free
Design & Architecture: free
The Atlantic: created with RareWire, $4.99/issue
Design New England, created with Texterity, free
National Geographic Magazine, created with Zinio


Terri Stone said...

Thanks for including InDesign Magazine, Keith. Anyone interested in our free iPad sampler may also be interested in the video we made, which explores the issue's interactive features:

אלכסיי קלצל said...

Hi Keith. Thank you for the links. I have a question. Print publications pricing per page. But in digital publishing pages can appear in different sizes, on a page can be interactive and hidden content. What is your opinion how to price the digital publishing work?
Thank you.
Alexey Kletsel

astroboy said...

any news about the high price to publish with adobe publishing system?

Keith Gilbert said...

@Alexey: This is a good question. I don't have any advie for you yet. I've been thinking through this same thing. Obviously, interactive content takes more production time, and often more design time, than a static page, and needs to be charged accordingly. In my opinion, this is the "dirty little secret" of interactive does it get paid for?

Keith Gilbert said...

@Astroboy: What Astroboy is referring to is:

This Adobe pricing model isn't set up for small publishers who product a single periodical, or for publishers who want to publish free content. My hope is that Adobe will offer another tier for this market, or that resellers would figure out how to resell the Adobe service economically to small publishers.

As publishing becomes more and more democratized, leveling the playing field, an economic model for small publishers will have to be established. It's just a matter of time, in my opinion.

Victor Cardoso said...

Thanks for the mention of WoodWing's digital magazines, Keith. You can also see a gallery of all digital magazine products produced with WoodWing software at

Peter Villevoye said...

I also single-handedly produced the first issue of a digital magazine (converted from the paper version) with the Adobe DPS. I eventually used Drop5, just to be sure everything works. But I'm looking forward to move over to the new features of the recent Drop8 !

About the price tag for the production: I noticed it takes appr. 2 iPad screens/swipes to convert a A4-sized paper page. Because there's already a clear structure in content and a well-designed style in lay-out, (re)desiging the horizontal plus vertical version takes less time than twice the initial (paper) pages. The absence of a necessary page-fit is also a timesaver. If you need more space, just grab another page or enlarge the scrolling length ! So it takes about 1,5 times the amount of time to convert the whole lot into the digital version. This is mainly InDesign work. (Co-workers can even use older versions of InDesign to get it done.)

Then it takes quite some time to prepare and process all the extra and interactive media. This is where newer Drops of Adobe's DP Suite will greatly improve the speed ! It took me about a day to add lots of links and buttons, a few image-slides, and a couple of video's. Too much time, but too much went wrong. I guess it could take minutes in stead of hours, if the Suite (and Viewer) were behaving more decently. So don't worry too much, things will be much easier by now.

Of course, this is a conversion from print. I think it would be a different ball game if you can jumpstart a fresh magazine, without resourcing from a printed edition. The amount of available material to work with shpuld become the indication for a price quote. Which is (i.m.h.o.) also a more reasonable one.