To publish digital magazine or newspaper editions on a tablet or App,  publishers have a huge variety of platforms to choose from. Last time we counted there were around 50 companies* offering simple page-turners to full scale interactive publications incorporating video and animation. So how do you make sense of it and which way do you go?

Our head of Digital Publishing, Abdul Kidwai compares a few of the different options, and shares his personal experience of some of the tools he’s found useful.

“I do remember my first assignment when one of our clients asked me to create an enjoyable reading experience which could embed multi-media elements. It was quite a challenge that required long hours of manual coding. I remember the trepidation in my mind for the success of the project, but I was excited to take it on as it was going to provide  readers with interactive content in a form they had never seen before.

When I look back now, I realize that I have come a long way and learnt new ways to work with different platforms, though the choice is never easy. In a situation when I have to make a best choice, I refer to my checklist:

•   Use the most suitable content format that is flexible enough to be ported on various devices.

•    Find out, if a robot could be deployed behind the scenes to convert content to the desired formats and save time and  money.

•    Check to confirm if the interactive elements are compatible to run on all digital devices and can work with user-friendly clicks.

There are a host of different digital publishing technologies, readers and formats out there – Standard E-pub, MOBI, APPLE E-pub, Adobe DPS and Express Edition Suites to name a few. While Apple has a simple and intuitive bundle of products to publish content to its devices, Adobe DPS scores on the level of interactivity it can provide and in providing leverage to its existing “print” user base to easily go digital. However, the pricing model is definitely a constraint as everything from the initial sign up to downloading is charged. On the other hand, Apple throws away virtually everything for free and charges you on what you sell.

Having used almost all of the digital publishing platforms in the past, I recently decided to go with Express Edition Suite for one of our clients. Unlike other solutions that can turn out to be costly for its clients, Express Edition works in a similar way but is capable of converting content to desktops, tablets, and mobile devices at the same time.

The contents processed through Express Edition can be posted to any digital device as it can be re-flowed several times and it all happens automatically to produce the best reading experience”.

Abdul Kidwai

Head of Digital Publishing at Express KCS

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