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To help you select the right digital publishing software or tools for your business, we have also built a straightforward list of must-ask questions that you can use in your own decision process.

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11 Most Effective Digital Publishing Platforms For Mobile & Web
By Bart De Pelsmaeker
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Must-Ask Questions
Read this guide to help you select the right digital publishing solution for your business. Decide for yourself which questions are important to you!
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As more and more consumers use their tablet and mobile devices to consume content, we have seen major growth in digital publishing software and tools available to brands and publishers. These solutions have begun to vary from each other quite a bit, as they serve vastly different purposes within digital publishing.

Bit first, let's make sure we are all on the same page with the definition of digital publishing.
Web Apps: Digital Publishing for Marketing
Native Apps: Digital Publishing for Publishers
IDEAL SCENARIOS:
  • Brand publishing / Content Marketing
  • Advertising-driven Media
The needs and wants of marketing and advertising departments tend to differ significantly from traditional paid content publishing needs. For brands and advertisers, content helps to realize a conversion and needs a bigger "instant rapport" factor.

Therefore, values such as a great user experience, easy & smooth access, fast loading speed, SEO and analytics to name a few features, are of primordial importance to help achieve business results. On the other hand, features such as easy monetization of the content are less relevant here.

Web apps or HTML/CSS-based content applications are stored on a remote server delivered over the Internet through a web browser. This means that readers never have to install anything. The applications can be reached on any web-connected device, whether that be desktop or mobile.

Readz helps marketers and media companies create beautiful digital experiences with an easy-to-use creation platform and integrated marketing stack - no coding or templates necessary. Readz offers a drag-and-drop visual editor, with pre-made modules and a wide variety of animations. Clients include IBM, Deloitte, Nurse.com, Mead Johnson and Nike.

Readz Review ⁕⁕⁕⁕
Readz is undoubtedly the most business-results focused solution in this group of marketing/advertising oriented digital publishing platforms. They offer a powerful visual editing environment and complement that with a powerful marketing stack so marketers and advertisers can drive their content goals: forms, CTA's, a strong focus on SEO, as well as integrated analytics about actual conversions on your content.

Starting at 100 USD monthly with unlimited publications, Readz is an obvious choice for companies looking for a solid ROI on content and/or advertising.
You can check the Readz website here.

WOOPIE
"It's your content. In beautiful, digital formats." Woopie helps businesses and organizations create documents and publications that look professional and beautiful on every device. Woopie's name stands for "Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere." Clients include Telefonica, Matter and Wayra.

Woopie Review ⁕⁕⁕
Woopie really lives up to its name. Content created on Woopie looks good on browsers, as well as on eReaders. It handles nicely on mobile and tablet. Woopie uses templates, and the Woopie editor is very reminiscent of the Wordpress editor. As a content creator, you will live in these templates, so you better like them or get started on creating new ones. However, Woopie's system fails significantly short in anything related to marketing. There seems to be no way to acquire leads or sales, page speed tests on Woopie's content reveal rather bad results, and technical SEO seems non-existent. A no-no for marketing, but a use case where Woopie would be suitable is internal communications, where you are talking to an existing audience and you're not concerned with leads or sales.

At 100 USD for a single publication, Woopie starts at the same attractive price level as Readz.

Zmags offers content creation software without the code. Zmags value proposition for its clients is that they will stand apart with rich digital experiences...powered by Zmags easy-to-use content creation software platforms. Zmags is used by Neiman Marcus, Marks & Spencers, Godiva and Vivienne Westwood.

Zmags Review ⁕⁕⁕
Zmags has concentrated its digital publishing efforts completely on the retail sector. Like Readz, Zmags offers integrations with eCommerce platforms that allow brands to create shoppable content. If you are not a retail company, you will not fall into Zmags' ideal customer profile. If you are in retail though, then Zmags can offer you embeddable, responsive (mobile + desktop) shoppable content, allowing you to drive sales directly from your content. On the min side, speedtests reveal that Zmags' content is rather slow (even when surfing the Zmags website a spinner regularly appears), and the quality of their technical SEO is doubtful at a minimum.

Zmags pricing model places them in the mid- to high range.
The Genwi mobile content engagement platform offers you the possibility to find & package the right content and engage prospects with an interactive, tailored experience, wherever they want it - mobile, tablet and desktop. Genwi works with IBM, Computer Associates, Tesla Motors and American Express.

Genwi Review ⁕⁕ In recent years, Genwi has evolved away from digital publishing to become a solution for sales enablement. They offer an SAP-like approach that covers all aspects of sales enablement.

On the very high end of solutions, Genwi is suited for large enterprises looking for sales enablement solutions.

A final word
It is never easy to compile a list of providers in an industry that’s so heavily populated. For every solution mentioned, there must be dozens, if not more, alternatives out there. If there's anything I might have missed that deserves to be on this list, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
IDEAL SCENARIOS:

  • Publishing with paid subscriptions
  • Field sales- and marketing-tools
The following publishing tools are for those looking to create native apps (applications downloaded and installed on smartphones or tablets). Mainly oriented towards a publishing audience, tools in this section will help you to create a native app that can be displayed in stores such as Apple’s Newsstand and GooglePlay. The benefits are typically:
  • Out-of-the-box monetization of the content, thanks to the presence on these stores
  • Content is downloaded so good for off-line content needs
  • Integration with InDesign
*Note - while native apps work superbly on mobile, they do not offer you a solution on desktop, so if delivering a desktop experience is important for you, look into other options..

Here are the best publishing tools and platforms for creating native apps:
Previously known as the Digital Publishing Suite/Solution, Adobe's product is now the 'Mobile Content' component of a solution group called the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) which in turn is part of the enterprise content solutions. The Mobile Content solution allows you to produce digital, interactive magazines as apps.

Adobe Mobile Content - Experience Manager Review ⁕⁕⁕

Adobe has a very complete product, and since they are also the makers of InDesign, the integration seems a no-brainer. The offering is quite complete, and you can make a highly customized app. By placing the product in the enterprise solution group, Adobe has clearly given a signal as to the future direction of the product: use cases like information distribution for field sales reps and even retailers.

The only downside seems to be the price point. The solution is now part of the enterprise portfolio, and sources have told me that pricing starts at 50,000 USD yearly.

MAG+
Mag+ offers tow products: Designd and Semble. Designd allows you to create digital magazines on tablets and phones starting from InDesign. Semble offers you a visual creation environment to create your content apps from scratch.

Mag+ Review ⁕⁕⁕⁕
Mag+ positions itself as a 'creative and efficient Adobe DPS alternative. They will even convert your DPS layers as part of the contract. So if you are tired of Adobe's product for some reason, then maybe Mag+ could be the solution for you.
With a price point between 999$ to 2999$ monthly, the price point is not low, but should be within reach for many publishers.

MOBILE ROADIE
Mobile Roadie combines app creation and marketing options. On top of a very complete set of options to design and manage your apps, Mobile Roadie offers you some cool features to engage your audience, like badges, golden tickets, etc. Noteworthy clients include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Swift, The Mavericks and so on.

Mobile Roadie Review ⁕⁕⁕⁕
If your goal is to interact with your fan club or a very loyal audience then Mobile Roadie is definitely a solution you should investigate. The company started out making fanbase apps for music bands, and offers a lot of nifty features to keep those fans raving.

Aquafadas allows publishers to convert their existing print layout from InDesign. Aquafadas offers content 'enrichment' tools like video, animation, etc. Aquafadas is used by Elle, Paris Match and Men's Fitness.

Aquafadas Review ⁕⁕⁕
Just like Adobe, Aquafadas has strongly oriented itself to the corporate market, and is focussing a lot on solutions like sales enablement. A cool feature of the Aquafadas solution is ConversionFlow, which allows you to upload your (old) PDF's to a server and you will be able to retrieve them as an app. design apps, eBooks, and digital magazines for mobile devices with no cost-per-download or revenue sharing. The publisher pricing starts at $720 for a single issue, and $4,200 for multiple issues.
PAPERLIT
Paperlit has kept its focus on 'pure' digital publishing for magazines and brands. It offers you the possibility to export your app from Indesign.

Paperlit Review ⁕⁕⁕
Paperlit also offers a web-reader with integrations into subscription management solutions such as Dovetail, CDS and Cambey & West.
iMirus integrates printed content with multimedia interactivity to create branded apps accessible on smartphones and tablets. Clients include Allstate and Porsche.

iMirus ⁕⁕
I have seen iMirus in action at conventions in the past, so I still keep them on the list. But it seems hard to find new examples of their work. MAGLOFT
Magloft allows you to create 'responsive' content that will be easily readable on smartphones and tablets. Magloft offers their own visual drag-and-drop editor allowing you to create and design your content. Clients are magazines like Mocha Kid, ReAfrica and Homeopathy first.

Magloft Review ⁕⁕
Magloft's pricing starts at about 100 USD monthly, bringing it in reach for beginning magazines.
digital-publishing-interactive
Digital Publishing: 10 Reasons to Create an Interactive Experience
bart_LOW
Bart De Pelsmaeker
Bart is a digital marketing and sales veteran and the founder of Readz, a platform used by brands of all sizes to create superior content experiences. His writing has been featured in Sparksheet, Business2Community, Skyword and other martech publications. Connect with Bart on Twitter @BartDP or LinkedIn
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Digital Publishing Suite Solutions
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What is digital publishing?
Digital publishing (which is also referred to as online publishing or e-publishing), is the publication on the web or on electronic carriers of magazines, e-books, white papers, reports, or any form of content that is typically long form.

Some digital publications are sold as subscriptions for monthly magazines while others are created specifically as free content and are monetized through advertising or used for (content) marketing purposes as digital magazines, ebooks or catalogues.

Some platforms work best for the paid content model, while others are more suited for content marketing and organic search.

We have divided up these different digital publishing solutions into two categories:
  • Web apps or 'digital first' content experiences on HTML/CSS
  • Native apps (and thus available on Apple Newsstand and GooglePlay)
Digital Publishing: Definition
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