The market for digital content is in its infancy and is rapidly changing along with the technology that is driving it. Until recently digital publications and magazines in particular were not serious competitors to their print counterparts. The earliest examples were just print magazines scanned into .pdf documents, and they were completely static. No hyperlinks, no videos, no additional information, no nothing. Even the format was all wrong.
The first digital magazines were only available to be read on a computer screen, and were at odds with the traditional reading experience. Before, when you wanted to read a digital magazine you had to lean forward towards the computer. Ideally when you read a magazine you are reclining in a comfortable position. The introduction of the tablet computer has changed everything. Sure, the smell of a fresh, glossy paper is wonderful, but if you already have a digital device would you not want to read your favorite magazines on it?
Now that there is hardware available which enables us to enjoy the physical reading experience, it is time to use the latest software to catch up and make the intellectual experience wonderful as well. Publications must be formatted to work well with and take advantage of the available hardware. The original specifications for books were dependant on printing machine and papermaking capabilities. Those restrictions no longer apply.
Reading a digital publication is not the same as the linear experience of reading a printed work. People jump around and click all over the place, not necessarily reading things in chronological order. Digital publications can take advantage of this by strategically placing hyperlinks, photos and advertisements. Optimal placement can be ascertained by using another fantastic perk of the digital format; back-end statistical tracking!
No one wants to read a 100-200 page digital magazine. Readers need to be engaged in what they are reading, and you need to find creative ways to keep their interest. The time spent reading a digital publications is often far less than for printed versions, but the effect can be the same. Pertinent, interesting content is key. Less really is more.
Technology will always be changing, and so too will the ways we create and share our stories. It is important to understand that whatever you publish will have to be adjusted for where it will end up. Where it’s being featured, promoted, linked from and shared all must be taken into consideration.
To wrap up, you must make sure that your digital content is unique, original and interesting enough so your audience engagement can be sustained. Give them something they can’t get from a print product.
http://turn-page.com can help you do just that.