Digital magazine distribution has been a key topic of conversation at milk magazine HQ in anticipation of the release of our new mini-issue: mini-milk. My idea for the mini-issue was for it to act as a marketing tool for our website and almost act like a newsletter to peak interest and link back to our website milkonline.org.uk. I wanted it to be interactive and exciting and therefore needed to find a digital publishing platform that allowed me to embed video and share on social networking sites.
We are currently using Issuu which was a great way to embed our print issue onto our website in order to showcase it but unfortunately they are still working on allowing embedding video. This was a shame as Issuu is very slick and easy to use, you simply load a PDF and Issuu creates a slick looking flip book of your magazine that you can embed into social media sites and simply flick through either in the post or enlarge it for a closer look.
Because we wanted video, we settled on using Joomag which not only lets you upload your PDF it then lets you embed video in their online editor. This was a great feature although still felt rather clunky and the finish was nowhere near as slick as Issuu but the interactivity more than made up for this. The biggest problem with Joomag was that we had to pay a subscription in order for people to view it on mobile devices which includes iPad as well as phones etc. This was a great shame and actually prompted us to send out an Issuu version without the video just so that more people were able to view it as a great deal of people use social media on the move.
This exercise has highlighted the lack of easy to use, affordable digital publishing platforms that provide interactive features and also a slick finish. One platform I was particularly impressed by was the Adobe digital publishing software which creates high quality magazines with a great deal of interactivity, as seen in the video below. Adobe gives designers lots of flexibility in adding interactive features when moving content from print to digital. But this, as you can imagine, is very expensive and smaller publications are unable to meet these kind of prices. Digital publishing gives us the chance to create exciting new multi-media publications therefore, software like this is invaluable to any publication but there is yet to be a piece of software that is as impressive as the Adobe software but also affordable for smaller publications.