March 24, 2015 Last Updated 11:06 am

New Apple Newsstand apps from business magazines take opposite approaches to digital editions

From Australia, Bite dental magazine uses the Adobe DPS to produce a native digital edition, while Georgia’s SBI uses a PDF solution to launch a new magazine for sales pros

The B2B side of publishing has been slowly moving towards creating digital editions, though most publishers continue to decide to produce replica editions. With staff sizes reduced, this may be the most logical way to go.

Bite-cover-smBut there are publishers willing to invest in their digital editions, using the Adobe DPS or other native digital publishing solutions to create very readable, interactive digital magazines.

Engage Publishing from Australia has just released a new app into the Apple Newsstand, Bite dental magazine, which uses the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to produce a very nice, simple but readable, digital edition.

The magazine and its app are free to download, so those who are considering producing a digital edition using the platform may want to check out what Engage has produced. (I might add, I was also impressed with the nice, clean look of the magazine’s website, as well.)

Bite-iPad-380For the publisher, this is the fourth Newsstand app they have released. Vet Practice magazine was launched about a year ago, as was Restaurants & Catering Australia magazine. The fourth title, Rendez vouz en France, was released in 2013 and appears to be a replica.

Is it worth putting in the effort to produce a native digital edition for a business or trade magazine? I’m asked this frequently and I usually hedge my answer a bit by first saying that the most important thing the publisher can do is produce a readable digital edition. I then try to discuss the publisher’s attitude towards their print edition – if they are proud of the look of their print product they should also make sure they can be proud of their digital products, too.

One problem for trade magazines, of course, is that they are usually distributed free and so have less options for making back their investments. In these case, the cost of digital production may be made up with the cost savings of printing and distributing few print editions (assuming one can get enough downloads to make a difference).

But producing a PDF based digital edition doesn’t necessarily mean producing a replica of print.

SBIMag-coverThe SBI Magazine is a new digital magazine from Sales Benchmark Index which uses a very simple PDF-based solution to create a well-designed, readable digital magazine.

SBI is a sales and marketing consultancy targeting B2B companies headquartered in Cumming, Georgia.

“CEOs have their own magazine; so do chief financial officers,” states Greg Alexander, CEO of SBI, in the magazine’s lead column. “But two important members of the C-Suite have been left out in the cold for too long. The chief sales officers and chief marketing officers of America’s major companies need more than a superficial approach to best practices, served up on the Internet by self-professed gurus with glib superficial answers.”

The digital magazine looks like it very well could come directly from print, with page numbers flipping from left to right as in print – there are even two-page spreads that have headlines that cut across digital pages. Is it possible that this was meant for print, but ended up digital-only?

(There may, in fact, be a print edition, but I could not find a reference to it on the website, and the app description says “digital magazine” which I am interpreting as digital-only – but I could be wrong.)

The app is universal, as many of these PDF-based digital magazines are. I found the one issue to be found inside the app readable on both my larger iPad, as well as my iPad mini. The iPhone version, however, is really not readable.

What makes it work on both sizes of the iPad are the font choices, which are just large enough to work on the iPad mini, and not too large on the larger iPad to seem odd.

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