Two very different new tablet editions were released yesterday into the Apple Newsstand. While the two magazines not only take different approaches to the creation of their new tablet editions – one a simple PDF replica, the other a natively designed tablet magazine – the two magazines also take very different approaches to trying to attract readers.
Dark Beauty Magazine is a title that doesn't mind placing a high price on its cover. The title's website says that print editions cost $55 a piece. No wonder then that the just launched tablet edition would be so pricey: $12.99 per issue and $54.99 for a subscription.
I learned long ago, for a very good sales person, that asking for the order, and in particular, asking for the big order, is the only way to succeed wildly. So I am predisposed to applauding when a publisher asks for what they think is a fair price.
But the problem here is that the publisher has used a PDF solution through PressPad. The app contains no preview issue, or even a preview of an issue, so the reader better be very familiar with the magazine before ordering. The app description won't be much help, either, as there is only a single screenshot of the cover to be seen.
Daylight Digital takes a completely different approach. With this tablet magazine the potential reader opens up the app to a letter from publisher inviting them in.
"Daylight Digital is a new way to discover, enjoy, and share contemporary art. Start your free trial now." That last sentence contains a hyperlink to the subscription form where a reader will get a 7 day free trial for signing up. After the free trial the subscription will auto-renew at $2.99 per month. It's a good deal and allows the reader to test the digital magazine.
"Here's your invitation to join us, too. We'll publish a new edition every other week highlighting the work of today's leading contemporary artists – next up is Deutsche Borse Prize nominee Cristina de Middel," reads the introductory letter, which goes on with more details.
It's a very pleasant way to sell a digital magazine, in my opinion.
A very bizarre thing happened after viewing these two digital magazines: my iPad died. After looking at dozens for new apps – eBooks and digital magazines mostly – the iPad locked up and began failing to respond to taps and swipes. A complete restore was in order, and with all the apps I have on that tablet you can imagine the trouble a restore is.
It's hard to say if either of the two apps above were to blame, or if something else was going (probably), but I figured I'd better mention it.