Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Destination: Florida Keys uses MAZ Digital to launch digital-only magazine into the Apple Newsstand

There are not one, but several kinds of publishers who use DIY replica editions services: those publisher with print magazine who are eager to make their brands available on tablets, and those newbie publishers who see this solution as the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to produce a digital magazine.

The problem, though, is with the end result. Are all these magazines really 'digital magazines'? Or are they something else? If I scanned this month's copy of Wired, made a PDF, loaded it on my iPad, have I made a digital magazine?

Travel Savvy has launched a new app into the Apple Newsstand called Destination: Florida Keys. The publisher used MAZ Digital to makes its magazine, and those there is only minimal branding for the vendor here – a logo smartly placed on the Editor's Letter and staff box page – the app itself is sold in the App Store under the vendor's name, not publisher's.

The publisher's corporate name is 495 Communications and it is clear that the company has been searching for digital publishing vendor because in its own press release back in February of 2010 (just after the iPad introduction event, but two months before its actual launch) it said it had chose Nxtbook Media as its technology partner. Nxtbook is known for its flipbook products, so that gives you an idea of what they were thinking.

I personally wouldn't call a flipbook a 'digital magazine', it is a digital reproduction of a magazine, and that is what you will get here. It is an understandable solution, just not one that I find attractive, or what I see the future of magazines on tablets as.

Here is a brief walk-through the new app. Pay attention to how the actual issue opens up. It is strange that it would open up so small, requiring the reader to tap the issue. It might confuse a few readers, thinking that it is actually designed to be read at that size.