Would pay three grand to have a PDF of your magazine available in the App Store? It appears that some would
While many publishers are still taking a wait and see approach to tablet publishing, and others are still searching for that elusive good-but-inexpensive digital publishing solution, there are apparently publishers out there desperate to get their publications into Apple’s App Store.
At least one company is more than willing to do the work for you: MagAppZine says that for $2,994 they will take a PDF of your magazine and create an app for it.
MagAppZine charges the publisher the one-time setup fee ($2,994) then charges per issue upload, between $24 and $39 per issue depending on the number of issues per year. Then MagAppZine charges publisher a 25 percent commission on all sales, minus the 30 percent commission Apple gets.
Let’s do the numbers: say you do 12 issues a year, and charge $1.99 an issue. Your cost that first year for the app would be $2,994 plus $408 to upload the issues. If you want your own splash screen on your app, that’s another $394. That’s $3,796. To break even you would need to sell 3,634 issues. (Divide the total cost by $1.04475, the amount you would get minus the Apple and MagAppZine commission.)
So far five apps have appeared under the MagAppZine name in the App Store including one for The New Criterion. The arts and culture journal is charging $4.99 per issue, but is offering the January issue as a free sample. The journal reveals that it is all text, no photos, no video, just text – so maybe this is the right solution for them.
For me, this shows that there is a desperate need for a more native publishing solution from Apple. I know they aren’t fond of these kinds of apps, yet more and more of them are appearing in the App Store. If they want more interactive publishing apps that offer iOS features then I think Apple will have to develop that digital publishing solution themselves – a GarageBand for publishers.