Focus Publishing launches its 20th photography iPad app
Publisher is launching magazine apps for photographers and specialty subjects, but the effort to produce regular issues for subscribers will be challenging
The publishing efforts of Focus Publishing continue to ramp up as its publisher, David Spivak, told TNM they would a year ago. It’s 20th app for the iPad has been released this week, Long Exposures, featuring the work of photographer Hakan Strand.
Many publishers might consider producing eBooks of a photographer’s work, but Focus Publishing looks to be more comfortable with the digital magazine format. Of its iPad apps, 15 of the apps are inside the Newsstand.
A year ago Spivak told TNM that he would begin producing digital magazine apps for individual photographers and galleries and recently there has been a flood of apps released. In addition to Long Exposures, Windell Magazine, Photoscape Magazine and Bodyscape are all featuring the work of individual photographers. Published earlier this month were JS Magazine for photographer Johnny Stevens, and Throckmorton Fine Art Magazine for the gallery.
Each new digital magazine says that the reader can buy individual issues or a 6 or 12 month subscription for the magazines which say they will appear six times a year.
This is where I get a little leery. With 20 apps in the store, many saying there will be regularly appearing issues, can the reader rely on the publisher to actually produce the issues if they buy an annual subscription? We will find out. It may be as much the job of the partners in these projects to produce the issues as the publisher, but whatever the arrangement, there will be a lot of work to be done to meet the commitment.
On the other hand, while this publisher continues to launch new apps and produce new issues, there are others that are not. One digital magazine which was very impressive when launched was Nomad Magazine. The inaugural issue features the actor Benicio Del Toro on its animated cover and was first released at the end of last year (see original post here), promising monthly issues to readers who sign up for an annual subscription.
I raised concerns about the magazine from the beginning because the supporting website gave very little information about the people behind the app, and other information on the web also raised flags. I mentioned this in the original post and the publisher immediately responded with a comment that talked about some of the issues they faced with the app. Then he concluded “And finally – though we are by no means a well-funded start-up from a major publisher – we do have enough resources on hand to publish at least 6 more of the same quality even if none buys it. Worth it for the art alone.”
The publisher then called me several times hoping I would revise my post. I said what I always say in these situations: “I’ll write about the magazine again when the second issue comes out.” That second issue remains missing.