Many of us have been using digital magazines for several years now. A lot of people already subscribe to all sorts of content sources, and we can read the latest issues without ever leaving home, downloading them on our cell phones. And if you want to create such issues yourself, you probably already know that it’s not easy to reach your readers.
Whether you create simple digital magazines or want to use apps to sell them or distribute your content, it’s probably a good idea to have some good digital magazine publishing tools handy. We assume you already know the basic magazine publishing software like InDesign or Quark Xpress. These are the creation tools, but we focus on publishing. In this article, you’ll find a list of best digital online magazine publishing platforms and tools.
What is digital publishing?
Digital publishing means publishing journals, e-books, catalogs, or brochures in digital form – today mostly on the web or using electronic storage media. Digital magazines are usually formatted as a digital PDF (or ebook like MOBI and EPUB) or an interactive HTML file (like flipbook) and being sold online. Digital publishing is closer than ever to becoming the new standard in the third decade of the twenty-first century, due to changes in the job market and the added value it offers, like the multimedia or interactive capabilities. More and more people are reading digital magazines and books online.
If you are creating a digital magazine, with digital publishing you
- Lower the costs: going digital means getting rid of the costs postage, printing, distribution, warehousing, and often the cost of copyrights may be different for digital publishing. In the case of magazine publishing, the costs can easily accumulate from month to month! Therefore, switching to digital magazine publishing means that can reduce both your own expenses and those of your readers, which means better profit margins.
- Work quickly: Digital magazine publishing reducer the time needed to prepare your magazine content fo print. The layout designers most of the time prepare a PDF or an InDesign file anyway – then either present it as a Flipbook or send it to a printing house. However, printed media has more requirements: color scheme or printers’ bleed come to mind. The PDF you send to printers’ needs to fulfill more demands, and this might prove problematic, especially for smaller publisher or magazines. However, a digital publishing platform or HTML functionalities allow you to simplify the whole process of digital document creation. What’s more, digital publishing allows you to make corrections almost instantly – you can just re-upload a better version of the file. If you are a beginner and more concerned about content than layout, you can create your digital magazine using Word and then convert it to beautiful flipbook using Publuu!
- Create interactivity: You provide an interactive experience thanks to ability to create hyperlinks, hotspots, embed interactive content and multimedia in your digital magazine. You can instantly embed a link in your digital magazine to the official social media profile so the readers can easily get in touch with you, or make navigation easier for the reader. This is very important for magazine publishers – imagine being able to add a link to the previous issue!
- Analyze and track users. Most digital magazine publishing software offers you some form of analytics, whether using Google Analytics packages or their own links, like Publuu does. With robust analytics functionalities, you can find out how many people read or download your digital magazine, see what content do they read the most often, whether they share it with friends, and so on. That’s one thing you can definitely count on when switching to digital publishing – it’s easy to monitor purchases in app store or measure the number of sales per month.
- Reach more users. When you are using digital magazine publishing software, your target audience is not limited to one country. If you advertise in the right way, you can easily reach readers all over the world. Furthermore, while printed magazines are limited to the network of distribution, mobile devices and flipbooks now let you easily reach people living in the countryside or remote locations. And for many people it’s important that, the online magazine’s price does not increase, depending on the distance. With a couple of clicks, anyone in the world can read your digital magazine. Moreover, it is quite ecological – you don’t use paper and e-readers are less tiring to the eyes. If you’re selling it through the app store or flipbooks, you cut down on the fuel burned by the distributors. And you can fit hundreds or thousands of issues on a tablet, which means that the reader is more encouraged to rifle through your back issues.
What is Digital Publishing Software?
Digital Publishing Platform, or a digital magazine publishing software is a computer that enables the marketing professionals, publishers, and designers to create, edit, and publish content online or as apps in an app store like Google Play. You prepare the content in a layout program like Scribus, then upload it to the digital publishing platform that shares it online in a format viewable by the reader.
Thanks to digital magazine publishing software, you can turn ordinary PDFs into interactive online digital magazines. A good example of this magazine software is Publuu, which you use to easily turn a pdf of your issue into an interactive flipbook.
Digital publishing platforms generally allow you to create online content efficiently and easily. They can drive traffic to your website, as well as monetize your content. Some of the digital magazine publishing software described below let you create online documents, others allow you to convert your magazine into an app, sold in an app store with each issue subscribed per month. You can easily move away from the PDF format and present your content with responsive platforms that work perfectly on mobile devices or Smart TV screens.
What a good online publishing platform should have
While you can publish your digital magazine as a PDF on your website or in-store, more and more people are choosing to trust an external digital publishing platform. Such sites often have many useful features. We always want to choose the best digital platform, so here are some criteria we follow.
- Links and interactivity: Links make it easy to navigate your e-book or digital magazines, and they can redirect the readers to find more information, or allow you to link back to your store or website. A good digital magazine publishing software needs to offer the functionality to place links inside the magazine and edit them after they have been added.
- Branding: The digital publishing platform must provide the ability for you to showcase your brand and content. Look for a digital publishing platform that doesn’t use watermarks (or allow you to use your own) and lets you create your own online store. The more visible your logo is, the more effective you are in getting your digital magazines to the reader.
- Access: some platforms work poorly on mobile devices. Magazine publishers these days want to reach the smartphone users, tablets or chromebooks… but not only. These days, the Smart TV market is growing – maybe you want to encourage people who turn on their TV in the morning to start the day with your interactive digital magazines on the big screen? A good online magazine software offers some options to the reader – they can purchase a single issue, or subscribe with a small amount per month.
- Ease of use: you don’t want to waste your time fiddling with technical issues, so you’ll want a good publishing solution that allows you to to upload the issues of your magazine. A simple drag and drop interface lets you quickly master the important functions.
- Access to free features or a free trial: You want to be able to try out the service and later on pay a fair price for it. It’s useful to know what features are worth paying for and which ones can be played with. The pro package should be available to everyone for decent price and also offer good quality technical support.
- Additional benefits: As we wrote above, reporting features are key, a good magazine publishing platform should offer multimedia integration or text search. You also want your digital publishing software to offer good security – password protection is a must!
- Link to social networks: The ability to add a link with one click will save your time and make your document much easier to use. If you place your app in app stores like Google Play, you also want the users to share and comment it.
The best Magazine Publishing Software
Publuu ( recommended)
One of the best digital publishing softwares available for magazine publishers is Publuu – online magazine maker.Publuu presents your interactive digital magazines in the beautiful flipbook format.
Flipbooks offer a beautiful style of flipping pages, complete with sound, as if you were reading a real-life bok. Moreover, you can customize the background, or add background music to create a unique mood. If you want to create a virtual newspaper newsstand in the Pro app store, you can do that and choose the styling yourself.
Publuu’s digital magazine example
Creating a flipbook with Publuu can take less than 30 seconds. Just upload your PDF using the intuitive drag and drop editor, and the website will take care of the rest. Once your flipbook is created, you can still edit it: change colors, add logos and watermark, insert links and much more. The Publuu system is easy to use and you can easily turn a new issue of your digital magazine into a spectacular flipbook.
Publuu flipbooks use HTML5, which allows both the magazine publishers and the readers to access and use the interactive digital content on all devices, from a small phone screen to a TV. Not every Smart TV or work device allows you to read PDFs, for example. Your reader can zoom in on the even the smallest image details and enjoy the content even on a device nominally lacking PDF access.
Publuu also offers great hotspot functionality with which you can easily add links to your PDF to provide additional information, make it easy for your reader to contact the author, or link to more information on an external site. This magazine publishing software lets you link to video or audio content – imagine integrating your magazine with audiobook functionalities!
Flipbooks made with Publuu are also easy to share. Using flipbooks for your interactive digital magazines greatly reduces your marketing and advertising costs. You don’t incur printing or distribution costs and you can easily make changes to the magazine issue. Anyone can instantly share your Publuu flipbook with a simple link on social media or in an email – and Facebook instantly has a beautiful preview of the cover page of the magazine.
Publuu is also very secure. You don’t have to password-protect the PDF, but you can specify who can view, share, and download the digital publication. You can share mockups with coworkers or just Kickstarter or Patreon subscribers releasing a new issue of your online magazine per month. Premium plans offer you access to mobile app stores which act as online kiosks for your interactive content.
Publuu allows you to monitor your content. This online magazine software has powerful statistics module, allowing you to create personalized links. Thanks to this publishing solution, you can see who is reading your magazine, how many people have opened it, how long they spent reading it, and so on. This is a valuable source of marketing information when trying to reach new readers with your magazine.
And finally, it’s easy to create interactive magazines with Publuu. This magazine publishing software allows you to upload a digital magazine pdf for the immediate use. Publuu has an intuitive web interface that makes it easy for you to use this publishing software. With the cloud service, you are also not tied to a single computer or location, but can work and improve your digital magazine and all of its issues anywhere at any time.
But Publuu is not be-all end all digital magazine publishing software. Truth be told, Publuu is a powerful tool that’s geared towards digital publications like e-books, catalogues or other content. Some of more specialized digital magazine publishing software can be found below!
With Lucidpress, you can create online documents and publish them in your browser. This electronic magazine creation software includes a variety of digital magazine templates with customizable elements such as fonts, colors and images or other interactive content. Lucidpress can be easily integrated with your favorite tools for creating your magazine. You can import text into it from Google Docs, a PDF created in InDesign or insert images from a Facebook gallery. If you are an amateur, don’t have professional software, and you work from many different computers, try Lucidpress. It offers a free tial and reasonable subscription per month.
This online magazine publishing software also offers access to magazine templates. Joomag allows you to upload a PDF, or start creating a magazine from scratch. Like Publuu, it can add galleries, but Joomag gives you slightly different options. Also, this software allows you to sell digital subscriptions to publications, paperback versions or single issues. If you live in the US and want to publish this magazine both in paper and in online form, maybe Joomag is for you.
MagLoft mostly deals in app creation. It can create an app for your magazine ordigital publication that you control through your own accounts on services like Google Books or Google Play. It also has a built-in Typeloft editor with many templates, and allows you to upload more advanced images. You can also combine MagLoft with the WooCommerce plug-in, which allows you to sell e-books and magazines on your WordPress site.
Blinkplan is an online tool designed to help you edit pages and share flat plans. This application is very useful for working remotely, allowing users to work together on a flat plan (a mock-up) of digital publication and receive updates and notes in real time.
The magazine software offers multi-page drag-and-drop functionality to change pagination, category differentiation through color, and a content counter that shows you how much of the magazine is devoted to advertising, editorials, etc. Blinkplan lets you export the mockup as a PDF (but not to InDesign format unfortunately), and easily debug and clone pages. You don’t have to set up the configuration and can start working right away.
These are only the most useful magazine publishing software – Publuu offers many useful finctionalities, but you should find the platform that works best for your digital magazines.
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