Newsstand, Publishing, Apps, and Developers

Craig Mod in, what I am sure will become a point of reference for a lot of tablet-only publishers, has this to say about publishing on the iPad (via Shawn Blanc):

I’d be shocked if there weren’t a dozen other publishers prepping to launch similar magazines. Or, even better: someone building a system by which anyone could launch a Newsstand app like The Magazine — for minimal cost with minimal complexity.

(If you are at all interested in the future of publishing, then Mod’s essay is a must read.)

When Marco Arment first told me about his idea for The Magazine it was pretty obvious that it would be amazing to have such a tool for publishing in the hands of individual writers.

And it appears I am not alone in that thinking. Here’s David Heinemeier Hansson on the matter:

Apple should save its customers from these cruddy experiences by either putting out something like iMagazine Creator (ala iBooks Creator) or find a better way to get existing HTML magazines on the iPad.

And Heinemeier Hansson’s fellow co-worker Ryan Singer on the matter:

Now is a great time for another Movable Type. Writers would love a way to push serialized content straight to tablets, and the experience would be a boon to readers.

This is a rare case where everyone is correct. Apple, readers, and writers would have a win if a simple, yet effective, tool were to come out that any writer could use to:

  • Publish a periodical to the iPad.
  • Allowed for paid subscriptions.
  • Control over design.
  • Downloads in the background.

Most of the hard parts are in place for Apple, now we just need the tool to put the content in the frameworks.

My personal vote, would be for a system where you design the “app” one time (setting all the outlines as you do with any blog) and from there you just push content to it via something like MarsEdit. I would not only love to use that, I’d pay a premium to use such a tool.

Originally posted for members on: November 27, 2012
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