Sunday, October 03, 2010

Magazine subs and "Zinio"

It seems fortunately that unlike with books, digital editions of magazines are priced very reasonably. I just found out that one of my old faves, Britain's biggest photography weekly magazine, Amateur Photographer, is sold via Zinio. One issue is a bit over 2 Pounds Sterling like the paper version, not very impressive. But then fifty issues, a full year, is only 25 pounds. That's more like it!

Zinio seems like a good service. Buying was quick and simple, like the best online shops I have tried. Second time I bought I didn't have to type in card data and such, only my password.
And delightfully, the digital magazines are not scans, not even very good scans, they are full PDF files (or PDF-like), meaning when you zoom in on the text, it's dead sharp. That's lovely for readability.

And it gets better, you can even click a little "text" button to see only the text in one wide column, a choice of two text sizes, so you don't have to scoot the page around on the iPad to follow the meanderings of the columns between the pictures and ads. This goes above and beyond the call of duty, I give them an A for this. 

... All right, perhaps A-minus. Sometimes it's tricky to coordinate where you are on the text pages compared to the graphic pages (the "text" button sometimes isn't there). And it would be nice with more choices for text size and fonts. And if they were to really perfect it, they might put in the pictures on lines by themselves in the text view, like Instapaper does it. Best of both worlds. 

Same page, different mode:


redworst said...

"Using InDesign and as-yet-unreleased digital magazine publishing software from Adobe, we have created a free sampler of InDesign Magazine content for the iPad."

eolake said...

Very interesting, thanks.

I was just considering making a magazine for iPad, and what software to use. I hope Adobe will make a user-friendly one. (Much more so than inDesign.)

Anonymous said...

I wish more magazines offered digital versions. I like Top Gear, but the magazine would cost £99.50 ($158). UK subscribers pay £35.90, which is still kind of a lot by U.S. standards. A digital version could be sent to subscribers around the world for the UK rate since they wouldn't be shipping anything. Since I wouldn't keep the magazine after reading it, that saves on paper and a lot of other things as well. They'd probably sell a lot more subscriptions too.

eolake said...

I agree. I can't find, say, British Journal of Photography either. But doubtlessly they will be forced to find one solution or another, or just go under.
And the savings in print, paper, and shipping are enormous. And like you hint, you could make a mag in your living room and have a global market.

Except of course making a real magazine with quality writing takes a ton of work.