A growing trend in magazine publishing is “going green.” Green publishing means different things to different people and includes many facets. The most common and visible result of green publishing is digital editions. Digital editions are issues that are not printed on paper but read on a computer screen or reading device, such as Amazon’s Kindle.
For my magazines, we offer two options for digital reading. One is a PDF file of the complete issue, exactly as it will be printed. The other is a list of links to each article on our websites. This is a basic, first step that I have taken, while awaiting for the more advance digital publishing technologies to shake out and for a reader preference to emerge.
Our digital editions are available a week prior to the magazine being printed and mailed, so our on-line readers get a huge jump on everyone else. We’ve been doing this the longest with Connections Magazine and about 15% of our readers receive digital issues. AnswerStat magazine is at 3%. For both, the new subscribers tend to opt for digital over print. This is certainly a trend that we will see more and more of, which is being accelerated by the current recession.
Here are some stats, courtesy of Folio magazine, from PennWell Digital Reader Surveys, about why magazine subscribers go digital:
- 67% – easy to save
- 61% – environmentally friendly
- 52% – the ability to search issues
- 48% – easy to forward
- 45% – more timely than print
- 34% – prefer reading on a computer
As for me, there is something about holding the magazine in my hand and not being tied to my computer that I just can’t shake.