In an interesting article by Martin Warne of Transform, Warne compares the failure of The Daily with the relative Success of The Magazine.
Some key points:
1) The Daily started with a 2-year budget of $30 million and approximately 150 employees.
The Magazine started at grass-roots "no venture capital funding, no corporate backer, and very little starting capital," and a staff of one.
2) The Daily needed a massive audience to support its overhead costs.
The Magazine had minimal overhead, and was ready to close if it didn’t turn a profit in two months (4 issues).
3. Both The Daily and The Magazine are/were apps.
And while I don’t agree with Warne’s suggestion that successful design only takes some HTML5 and CSS, I do agree that one of the contributing factors of The Magazine’s success is that it didn’t come with any old-media publishing baggage. The resistance to adjust design and layout for screen reading, or the urge to pour money into big campaigns your readers may or may not see. Instead, The Magazine focused on bringing relevant content to its readers, kept costs sustainable, and found the medium that worked for the tech-based audience.
We get it. With rising postal rates, cost of printing customized cards, and annoying hand cramps from signing holiday greetings, it’s tempting to skip sending holiday cards to clients, vendors, or even employees.
Don’t be a scrooge: you have options. You can skip the hassle by creating a digital holiday greeting.
You can create a standard card, like you’d expect to receive in the mail, then add a touch of animation for that Christmas Magic feel.
Or dress it up even further by including video in the card. In this card employees were able to be a part of the holiday cheer by adding short videos of them sending season’s greetings.
Of course, you could abandon the "card" look altogether with digital. Take this example, where Nxtbook Media wanted to incorporate company culture with their holiday wishes, resulting in a corporate holiday video like none other. (Fun fact: the musician behind the song – Robbie the Elf – uses this video as his official video for this song.)
There’s no need to be a scrooge this holiday when it comes to sending out corporate cards. Have fun with it! Go digital. And start soon; the holidays are coming around fast!
It’s that time of year, when publishers and businesses alike turn their attentions to putting out holiday issues to attract new audiences. Though 2012 Holiday issue of the Horse Coupon Book is no exception to the season, though it’s the exception to the common holiday catalog.
Aside from the beautiful cover design, the heartwarming video to the left of the cover, and the holiday design carried throughout the pages, the Horse Coupon Book stands apart in their commitment to using this time to garner new members.
They started with the left of cover position. While the video plays, creating a heartwarming connection between the reader and the digital edition, just below is the call to action, inviting readers to join the membership. Above the book in a popular toolbar position, sits a holiday-themed button with the simple call to "Join HCB".
Even the tabs added to the coupon book add to the drive for new members. HCB makes it very easy for this niche audience to use their holiday catalog as a resource, establishing trust between the brand and the end user. The custom tabs on the book offer a picture icon to set apart each section. When the reader scrolls over the tabs, the section title appears. This enables readers to easily find the section they’re looking for, and in this busy holiday season, making things easy for readers is even more important than usual.
For a publication dependent on building memberships, the Horse Coupon Book goes a long way in turning this season into a holiday edition into a member generator.
The Daily is calling it quits. Now before someone at your office tells you that this means iPad editions don’t work, be sure to remind them that we predicted this particular one would fail even before it started. Simply put, no magazine has the revenue (advertising OR subscription) to justify a Super Bowl Ad, and that’s what the kind of mindset this particular operation had. It wasn’t a technology failure, but a business one. Nothing less, nothing more.
You’ve seen the posts about our sabbaticals, about the cubicle pranks, the water wars, the trike races, the creativity sessions and the volunteerism. Now is a post about what all these things taken together mean:
Nxtbook Media is rated as the #1 Best Place to Work in PA for the second year in a row, after enjoying being in the top 3 for the past 4 (now 5) years.
It’s no accident that we stick to the top of the list: We never rest on last year’s success. We’re always looking for ways to improve processes and communication internally, with our clients, and with our community.
Some of the ways we’ve looked to do this is by forming Innovation Committees which meet biweekly to discuss pointed topics such as client communication, employee on-boarding, reaching out to the local community, and making our products even better. Another way is by hosting events in our offices in which the community can gather, have a free lunch, and hear from local business owners about solving typical business issues. Still another is getting a little creative in raising money for any of the three charities we as a company are supporting this year.
To paraphrase our Chief Inspiration Officer Michael Biggerstaff, we’ll celebrate this year’s win now before thinking about next year, thought we’ll be looking to take home first ever recorded BPTW threepeat then.
Congratulations to everyone at Nxtbook Media!
Last chance to register! Nxtbook Media has partnered with University Business to bring you a final webinar on responsive design, with a particular focus on what it means in the education industry.
Tune in tomorrow, November 29, at 2:00 pm ET to learn how this new generation of technologies is poised to give your students, alumni and donors a reason to read your content – be it brochures, annual reports, textbooks or newsletters – again and again on any device. If your audience of
mobile, tablet and laptop readers are annoyed by endless zooming,
scrolling and squinting to read your material, this is the event you
won’t want to miss.
As a bonus, after the event we will send you a white paper explaining responsive design technologies further.
Click here to register for the webinar now.
It’s the same story for so many fields of art: someone comes along, sees your work and thinks, "Well I could do that." Of course in the publishing industry, where so many are wearing multiple hats, the temptation to tackle something as "easy" as design might be even stronger.
Don’t do it! Designing is best left to the professionals, whether you’re considering a magazine layout, video storyboard, an animation or even a typeface choice. No need to take my word for it: here is just one infographic showing the state of graphic design today. As you can see, a lot of knowledge, software and skill goes into the process:
Because we know some publishers are stretched thin, our Creative Services team is at the ready to help our clients with any aspect of design. Whether you need simple custom animations, to an entire ad campaign to a new layout for your magazine, our team of graphic designers are available to help. Leave the graphic design to the experts: we’re here to help.
If you saw this article in AdWeek today, you will have read that magazines boast a boost in readership, owing in part to an increase in digital magazine readership. The article sites GfK MRI survey in its report that "Readership of magazines’ digital editions jumped 47%, or 4.4 million people, to more than 13.5 million."
As more tablets and large-screened devices enter the fray, and as more publishers bank on the value of designing their digital magazines for screen reading, those numbers will most likely climb. But the jump from the last survey’s results to this is still impressive!
There’s a conversation going on regarding the best way to navigate digital editions, such as ebooks or digital magazines, on mobile devices. It seems to break down into two groups: those who favor the defined edges provided by keeping the page feel, and those who favor a long, continuous scroll for the digital version in a digital medium. (For your reference, click here to read an article on the subject.)
With our new mobile product, Ubiquity, we’ve opted to keep a page-like feel in so far as readers can swipe from screen to screen for more content. The concept of defined, static-layout pages goes away as the content reflows according to screen size, but it still reads like a page on the mobile device.
But what do you think? Should developers be more concerned about developing a continuous scroll of content when creating content specifically for screen reading? Or do readers prefer the "old" feel of consuming content page by page, keeping a sense of progression through the magazine? We’d love to hear what you have to say! Comment here, or click here to document your thoughts in our 2 question survey.
If you haven’t skipped over to our friend Folio’s site to check out this year’s Eddie and Ozzie winners, you should. Each year Folio gathers some of the best in the magazine industry and evaluates each edition for their content and design merit. The cream of the editorial crop wins an Eddie, and those with quality design chops can win an Ozzie. Both awards are highly sought after by those in the magazine community, and winners have reason to be proud.
Among those winners were several Nxtbook Media clients, and we’d like to take a moment to give them a shout out. Click on the links to see their award-winning issues, as recognized by the 2012 Eddie and Ozzies. Congratulations to all of the winners this year!
Scholastic Administrator, Scholastic Corporation, April 2012: Best Cover: Bronze
Food Quality, Wiley-Blackwell, October 2011: Best Cover: Bronze
Food Quality, Wiley-Blackwell, August 2011: Best Feature Design: Silver
American Cinematographer, June 2012: B2B Full Issue and Single Article, Gold (2)
American Cinematographer, December 2011: B2B Full Issue, Silver
American Cinematographer, August 2011: B2B Single Article, Silver
EnergyBiz, Energy Central, November/December 2011: B2B Full Issue: Gold
EnergyBiz, Energy Central, May 2012: B2B Single Article: Bronze
EnergyBiz, Energy Central, January 2012: B2B Single Article: Silver
Thriving Family, Focus on the Family, January/February 2012: Consumer Full Issue: Gold
California Lawyer, Daily Journal Corporation, January 2012: Single Article: Gold
California Lawyer, Daily Journal Corporation, April 2012: B2B Single Article: Bronze
Retail Merchandiser, Phoenix Media Corp, January 2012: B2B Series of Articles: Silver