Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Mag Publishers Branching Out

In order to save money, and also seek new revenue in non-traditional functions, magazine publishers are taking on related tasks usually contracted out to vendors. Actually they are strengthening their own vertical (business model) in-house capability.

These tasks include such things as launching all kinds of media products, from Web sites to custom publishing, virtual events, databases, books, supplements and spinoffs…Afterall, if you’re going to branch out you might as well stick to your core business and who knows what a publisher needs more than a publisher?

This magazine publishing branch-out (or in-house vertical strengthening, as I like to call it) kind of reminds me of what writers (novel writers as well as others) have had to do to break loose from traditional publishing “slush piles” and non-action by learning and taking on more of the tasks performed by publishing houses in the past…This all was made more possible and easier through the new digital technology. Let’s all drink a scotch on the rocks to that!

Tony Silber and Matt Kinsman, reporting for FOLIO magazine, analyze it this way:

When Publishers Become Vendors

Dave Schankweiler, CEO and publisher of Journal Publications Inc., a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania regional publisher, remembers the day he became not just a publisher, but a vendor to publishers too.

Back in 2004, the company, which publishes the Central Penn Business Journal, Central Penn Parent, and NJ Biz, launched a new survey, called Best Companies in Pennsylvania. It used an outside survey firm to do the first report. The night the winners were presented was a huge success. “That night,” Schankweiler remembers, “it was loud, and there was a countdown and a lot of excitement. And that’s exactly when we decided to change the company, because we were coming down from the high of the event. We said, ‘Why don’t we take this out into the market and do it as a service to other publishing companies?’ ”

Magazine publishers are by nature entrepreneurial types. They like to tinker with their businesses. They’re incessantly launching all kinds of media products, from Web sites to custom publishing, events, databases, books, supplements, spinoffs. But there aren’t a lot like Dave Schankweiler. Most media companies tend to stick to their knitting and limit their creative impulses to media products.

Some companies, though, are transforming themselves into a different kind of hybrid, media companies that have branched out into businesses traditionally occupied by publishing-industry vendors. Gulfstream Media, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based regional publisher is one. Gulfstream is the parent company of Magazine Manager, a popular ad-sales management software. UBM’s TechWeb is another. TechWeb created UBM Studios, which develops in-house virtual events for tech publisher UBM as well as for external clients.

Read and learn more


Digital Publishing 2.0 is Coming !

Back on 9 Dec 2009, I posted a piece “‘Kindle’ & ‘Nook’ eBook Readers Will Be Left In Dust By New ‘Blio’” ! Then I heard almost nothing about Blio again…Until now. The Blio re-surfaced at the digital conference in Manhattan AND, with it’s distribution platform, promises to be as big as I originally anticipated for writers to self-publish and get decent distribution (and across all mobile digital platforms).

Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly writes:

Software developer Quark was joined by K-NFB Reading Technology, developer of Blio, the much anticipated e-reading software, and distributor Baker & Taylor at the Untethered digital conference in Manhattan, to announce a partnership that will launch Digital Publishing 2.0, a comprehensive digital content creation and distribution platform.

Digital Publishing 2.0 will offer designers and content creators tools to produce “enhanced digital content, independent of any specific platform,” according to B&T executive v-p Bob Nelson. DP 2.0 offers the ability to create interactive digital content for tablets, smartphone and PCs; conversion from print to digital; new sources of advertising using digital content and global distribution capability.

Ray Schiavone, president and CEO of Quark, said “we are excited to work with K-NFB Reading Technology and Baker & Taylor to combine our expertise to help publishers and other content creators capitalize on this emerging market. Together we make it affordable and efficient to create compelling digital content that is ready for the Blio e-reader application and available through a world-class distribution network.” K-NFB said the Blio e-reader would likely be available for free download for PCs and the iPhone in August.

Tom Morgan, CEO of Baker & Taylor, said the new platform will “open the door for thousands of new content creators and providers to create digital, interactive content. We have teamed up to provide a simple way to transform static media content into rich digital media content that 21st century consumers demand.”

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