Launching a Digital Magazine? 10 Things You Need to Know First

Before launching a digital magazine, read through these ten resources.

When it comes to launching a digital magazine, there’s no one FAQ online that can answer all your questions. What edition should you build? How should you price it? Which software is best, and can you get away with a simple PDF edition? We tried to compile all our best answers to the questions we hear most from publishers who are launching a digital magazine.

1. How to Price Your Digital Magazine

Should your digital magazine cost less than your print magazine because it costs you less to produce? Or should it cost more because it includes more interactive features than the printed page? And how do you bundle print and digital packages online?

Read Magazine Pricing Even for the Best Digital Magazines Still an Improvement Opportunity to learn how other publishers are pricing their digital magazines with the best response rates.

2. The Costs of Publishing in the App Store

There’s no doubt that publishing your digital magazine on a tablet, so that it can be downloaded in some of the world’s largest newsstands, is a good idea. 20% of your subscriptions, depending on your market, may come directly from this huge marketplace.

Read Calculating Digital Magazine Costs to learn about all the costs that go into publishing a tablet edition of your digital magazine.

3. How to Create a Digital Magazine Business Plan

In planning to launch a digital magazine or a digital edition of your magazine, there are many factors to take into consideration. We’ve created a series of strategic planning frameworks as a tool in developing and communicating business plans within a multiplatform publishing organization.

Read A Simple Framework for Planning and Modeling Your Digital Magazine to discover a basic data set for your planning and modeling.

4. How to Sell Digital Magazine Subscriptions

Even as digital magazines have become part of the norm, everyone is still trying to figure out how to sell them in this brave new world. Sometimes the newest and hottest ideas are just that – ideas. We’re focused on strategies that have actually been executed and demonstrated to work.

Read 8 Ways to Sell Digital Magazine Subscriptions to find out how other publishers are improving their subscription sales.

5. How to Market Your Digital Magazine

Buying a list and mailing a big direct mail package, in hopes of getting a bunch of people to subscribe as we all did in the old print days, is rather like trying to sell 21st-century tablets themselves at an old-fashioned general store where hardware, ladies’ hats and pickles all shared the same space, and the proprietor fetched everything on your list, then wrapped up your purchases in brown paper and twine. If you’re making plans for your own digital publication, it behooves you to also plan how to make money from it.

Read 6 Ways to Promote your Digital Magazine to learn how missed opportunities can lead to slumping digital magazine circulation.

6. Why a Digital Replica Won’t Cut it

Think you can get away with launching a simple PDF version of your magazine? The general consensus from users is a resounding “no.” The one feature that users ask for is scrollable text, something you can’t provide in a static PDF edition that requires users to pinch and zoom in order to read articles.

Read Does a Digital Replica of Your Magazine Cut It to learn what other things digital magazine readers are looking for, and why a replica might be a waste of time and money.

7. The Types of Magazine Software You Should Use

What types of magazine software are other publishers using? What’s most expensive? What’s the least expensive? And what comes with the best features that readers actually want, without any unnecessary bells and whistles?

Read The Best Digital Magazine Publishing Software You Can Use to Launch Your Digital Magazine to find out the answers to all the above and more.

8. How to Sell Digital Magazine Advertising

When magazine publishers get together to talk about their advertising revenues, the common complaint is that even though they’re counting on online advertising to replace declining print ad pages, they’re “trading print dollars for digital dimes.” Worse, they say, they now have to trade those digital dimes for mobile pennies. But here’s the thing: Digital magazine advertising offers exactly the same enticing features. And these ads can leverage technology that allows greater interaction between advertisers and readers. So why should publishers settle for “mobile pennies?”

Read Digital Magazine Advertising Could Be a Goldmine for You to learn how to create happy advertisers out of your digital magazine.

9. The Difference Between Online and Tablet Magazines (and Why You Should Have Both)

Do you sell an online magazine or a digital magazine app? How about both? Many publishers do, and they don’t even realize that both have totally different business models. It’s not a question of whether you should have an online magazine or a tablet magazine. It’s why, for revenue purposes, you want to have both.

Read How Do Online Magazines Compare to Digital Magazine Apps to learn the differences between the two, and the benefits of each.

10. Why You Should Launch an Online Magazine Library

Creating an online magazine library through a magazine subscription website is one of our favorite multiplatform publishing platforms because it’s such a profitable resource. If you’re launching an online edition of your magazine, it’s in your best interest to launch with an archive of back issues that will add value to the subscription.

Read 8 Reasons You Should Launch an Online Magazine Library This Year to read a list of great reasons an online magazine library is good for your bottom line and worth the initial investment in the long run.

Are you launching a digital magazine? Are you looking for answers that you haven’t found here because you need an expert’s ear to bend? Let’s chat. 

    Paulina K.

    There are many reasons why content publishers decide to run an online magazine e.g.: creating an additional revenue stream to further monetize content on increasing transparency on the road to building a strong, recognizable brand.

    In my opinion, the most important thing is that an online magazine will be read across all devices: desktop, laptop, mobile, tablet. The first thing to remember is that it has to be built upon the Responsive Design idea without compromising on quality.

    I’ve just written an article on PressPad blog about creating and promoting online magazines and I hope it will be helpful for every publisher


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