Friday, April 13, 2012

Wisconsin team launches their own personal magazine into the App Store: Overnight Buses Travel Magazine

In theory anyone can publish a tablet edition into the Apple App Store or into the Kindle store. All it takes is the desire to do it, a few dollars to buy a developer license (if necessary) or the desire to learn either Xcode or some an off the shelf (or should we say, online) publishing solution.

Hi-res for iPad image here.
I suppose it is surprising that more people have not decided to take the plunge.

Two that did are Jennifer Kuhn and Thomas Tegart from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They recently launched a strictly tablet-only magazine this week called Overnight Buses Travel Magazine. The magazine is a stand alone app, you won't find it in the Newsstand. It is as simply put together as you can image. Analyzed from the perspective of a digital publisher, it is simply a collection of pages created using the Baker Framework.

Because of this, the digital magazine only works in portrait and the app IS the magazine – for now there is no library where the reader downloads issues – and so the app weighs in at 42.8 MB.

The app you see today in the App Store originally appeared earlier this year as a paid app, but Tegart, a former NYC practicing lawyer, chose to go free about a month ago. But just this week the app was updated to include the new design and to make the app compliant with the newest version of iOS and the specs needed for the new iPad.
Tegart does the coding and operations work, while his partner Kuhn does the creative, as she currently works at Jigsaw, an advertising agency in Milwaukee where her and her cohorts have won a Clio for their work for St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center.

"Both of us really love traveling," Tegart told me yesterday afternoon, hence the magazine's theme.

As far as the app is concerning and using Baker Tegart says "you're basically building a website."

"It's all locally on the iPad, and then Baker you go to Xcode and it wraps it up into an app. Each page you see is a web page, so they're not images the text is selectable, as if you were looking at a web page."

Because of this, the text looks just fine on the new iPad, which is important since Tegart hasn't bought a new iPad yet and was concerned about the magazine's look on the new tablet. As for Kuhn's design work, it is as good as you'd expect, and far better than many other independently produced tablet magazine.

The plan is to publish Overnight Buses Travel Magazine quarterly and eventually to get it into Newsstand, assuming this gets supported soon by their publishing solution. Tegart wants the magazine to be ad supported rather than paid subscription based but knows it will take a while to build a loyal reader base.