“How do I choose the best digital magazine publishing software for the flipbook format?”
We discussed how there are three viable methods for online magazine publication in one of our previous blog posts. One of the methods was to publish it using a flipbook software or service, but if you go this route, you’ll find that there are many different solutions and that it can be difficult to discern which is the best for you.
How do you choose? Are they all the same? What’s important? Choosing the right one from the start will help save a lot of money, time, and energy and can help you grow, so there’s a lot riding making the right choice.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to choose the right one by comparing the following parameters: readability, speed, device capability, features, and infrastructure. I’ll explain each of those in detail below.
Digital Edition Readability
Studies show that readability is the #1 factor requested by readers and will largely determine if readers will love your magazine. Simply put, it doesn’t matter how good your content is if nobody can read it.
How do you check if the software will deliver good, enjoyable, and readable copy? Check the examples with the font size that’s most similar to your magazine with the most popular screen resolution and see if you enjoy reading it. If the text is blurry at that resolution, it’s not the right solution for you.
Most flipbooks convert your magazine to images and then simply add in a “flip” effect as readers browse the magazine. A good flipbook, however, keeps your magazine content as text and maintains a sharp appearance.
Digital Edition Speed
A speed test will give you great theoretical data that can be used to compare different flipbooks, but it’s also a must-do to check “how it feels” by simply browsing through some demo magazines.
Pro tip: We should be trying here to create a super efficient flipbook that is fast in a theoretical way, but, much more importantly, is seamlessly fast from the reader’s perspective. Our flipbook preloads each page that can be accessed with one flick from the current page they’re on, so the reader sees the content instantly.
Digital Edition Device Capability
Make sure the flipbook brings the best experience for every device and for any screen. Just to have a responsive design that adapts to every device is not enough; the application needs to
Bring an intuitive experience to each respective device format. Have no doubt, people will visit your magazine on mobile devices, perhaps upwards of 50% according to the latest statistics of internet users by device type.
Guess what? If someone opens your magazine from an email blast you send when the new issue is out and the magazine won’t load, or is unreadable, or gives them a terrible experience, they won’t give you a second chance on a different device. This is branding 101. First impressions matter. Consumers aren’t stringent content testers.
Pro tip: You can check your magazine’s responsive design using the Chrome browser: just hit F12 and CTRL + Shift + M. This will open a mobile device emulator inside your Chrome browser.
Important Features That Digital Editions Provide
Not all features are important, but here’s a list of must-haves:
Preload – The next pages need to be preloaded as you read, so getting to the next pages will appear to be instant to a reader. Ideally, all the pages from the TOC need to be preloaded and three next pages from the current page the reader is on.
Deep linking – This means that you can link to any page of the magazine directly.
Sharing – Your magazine readers need to be able to share the page that they are on. That’s to say, not the link to the magazine itself (cover page), but the specific page where the share button was clicked.
Subscribe button – This is a magic button and it needs to be available all the time on your digital edition, website, and all across your publishing network. It’s the most important feature for converting your visitors to subscribers. The subscribe action needs to be done with a popup that doesn’t lead the reader offsite.
Download – Allows your readers to download a PDF of your magazine for offline reading (if possible with your publishing model).
Infrastructure That Comes with Digital Edition Software or Service
Own the traffic – Make sure you can host the magazine under your domain or subdomain.
Choose scalable solutions – Store all the content to a database and be able to recycle it to different mediums. Always look for a multiplatform publishing approach.
Create more advertising methods – Make sure you have flexible advertising options on your digital edition. More than that, look for a digital edition service that helps you show your advertisers what ads can be created on your digital edition. Choose the service that helps you look good and generates more advertising revenue.
If your digital edition meets all these criteria – lucky you! Otherwise, happy searching or simply check out our Classic Digital Edition service. It provides all of the aforementioned services and features, plus much more.