What is Digital Publishing? It Makes the Multiplatform World Go ‘Round

What is digital publishing to you? To us, it’s everything that keeps the publishing industry alive

Up until ten years ago, the majority of magazine publishers did not publish online. Newspaper publishers were first to the game in the late 1990’s but even as recently as 2006, weren’t making money from them. Still, they pushed on, as did the magazine publishing industry.

And the publishers who have prevailed in digital publishing didn’t see the web as just one platform to re-publish the same content as print – they saw it as a new platform for many different products and many different variations of those products.

What is digital publishing?

Well, the Internet is not a book, magazine or newspaper. Nor is it TV, a live event or a brick-and-mortar store. The web is a unique medium. A well-executed website offers the opportunity to do things that other media and physical venues cannot do, the execution of which is particular to the Web.

Digital publishing is the process of taking something physical, like a magazine, and making it digital, like a blog post. It’s taking this content, and webifying it with hyperlinks.

It’s taking a classified ad and bringing it to the masses, like eBay. Or turning back issues into a large, searchable archive, like ConsumersReports.org. It’s AmericanGreetings.com, who can now can deliver a gift card across town or around the world in a matter of seconds.

Publishers have been taking these same strides in digital publishing.

  • Print articles become blog posts and blog series.
  • Blog series turn into eBooks.
  • Blog series and eBooks become series of podcasts.
  • Case studies and interviews become webinars and webinars are recycled back into physical events.
  • Videos cease publishing on VHS tapes or DVDs and begin publishing on-demand online.

What is digital publishing? It’s taking something you can hold in your hand, or see in real life, and making it accessible to millions by bringing it online.

If you think about this concept in terms of revenue, you can turn a small amount of money into a grand amount of money simply by digitizing all of your content and products.


Your publishing company can go from this…


… to this (and much more), when you begin digitizing your products.


One major avenue of digital publishing, beyond your website portal and ancillary products, is digital magazine publishing. This is the process of taking a print magazine and creating a digital counterpart. Historically, or at least for about ten years, this has meant building a magazine subscription website. Now, we suggest also creating a digital magazine, like a digital replica, that is, a PDF version of your magazine, or even better, a replica-plus or a reflow-plus.

Historically, new technology empowers entrepreneurs to launch new types of products. Mag+ or Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, for example. Combine it with hundreds of millions of tablets, and a handful of highly competitive digital newsstands, and you have the recipe for a digital magazine and book explosion.

Ironically, many legacy publishers will miss the revolution

If you currently publish a gardening magazine, you should be thinking about publishing a series of articles and eBooks about individual types of flowers. If you currently publish on the topic of European travel, you should be thinking about individual eBooks, webinars or videos that serve people passionate about specific countries, regions, and cities. If you publish on the topic of history or art, consider new digital products that focus on periods, persons, and movements.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of topics currently generating more than 30 million English-language searches per year. Every one of those can be translated into a $1 million or more digital publishing business. Before digital publishing, this wasn’t the case. It took millions in capital to create that first million. If you’re an existing legacy publisher, all it takes is a reorganization and a better digital business strategy.

Want to talk about turning your print business into a hugely profitable digital business? Schedule a call with me!


Leave a Reply