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Let the publishing questions begin!

Example MagCast Digital Magazine Covers

Is MagCast any good?

Let's put it this way, the partners liked MagCast enough as magazine publishers, that they bought the platform back in 2017 and have continued to improve it since.

The fact the owners use the platform as publishers says a lot about why MagCast puts publishers and readers first.

Oh, and there are over 3 million readers a month reading magazines published with MagCast. (That's one person every second opening a MagCast-based magazine... all day, every day.)

What are the requirements for publishing an app on the iOS App Store and Android Play Store?

For you to own the app and be the publisher of record requires you pay Google a one-time developer fee of $25, and pay Apple $99 annually.

This does two things. It establishes you as the owner of your app, and it enables Apple and Google to pay you directly for issue and subscription sales.

How much does it cost to publish a magazine app with MagCast?

That depends if you want to spread payments out, or pay up front for the best deal. Up front, it's $2997 per year.

That covers both Android and iOS apps, unlimited issues, unlimited readers, unlimited downloads, unlimited storage, you get the point. The price is the price.

Here's our pricing page.

What are the best practices for designing a digital magazine app?

There are two choices:

  1. Do it yourself / in-house
  2. Outsource it

Whether you're doing it yourself / in-house or outsourcing it, the requirements are simple: all pages must be exactly 768 x 1024 pixels and output as standard PDFs.

Links, videos, and other code are inserted within the MagCast platform itself, so there's no need to bother with those within the design.

What you use to create the PDFs is up to you. MagCast is agnostic about what tool you use to create the PDFs themselves.

The two most commonly used by our publishers are Adobe InDesign and Canva.

Wildlife Photographic Magazine

How do I create or source content for my digital magazine app?

This is covered in depth (as in in DEPTH) in the MagCast Academy.

The short version: you're a publisher now not a writer / designer / photographer.

Yes, you CAN contribute pieces, but you no longer have to wear all the hats.

The Academy will show you how to get top-quality content for free, and save thousands of dollars over paying for content.

How do I monetize my digital magazine app?

The short version: it depends.

In the Academy and the one-on-one sessions with the instructors, you'll put together the monetization plan that's right for you and your magazine.

Typically, it includes things like:

  • Issue and subscription sales
  • Paid-placement / brand stories
  • Ad sales.
  • Cover sponsorships.
  • CPA ads
  • Lead generation to sell back-end products, services, courses, etc.

And, honestly, that's just scratching the surface.

The beauty is: there's really no "one-size fits all" thing in how you structure your revenue as a publisher.

How do I market my digital magazine app?

This is yet another thing covered in tremendous detail in the Academy.

You'll learn everything from how to launch your first issue the easy way to how to create a "rolling thunder" approach to your growth.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when publishing a digital magazine app?

After choosing the wrong platform, the big three are:

  1. Thinking you have to know everything to be a successful publisher
  2. Thinking you have to do everything to be a successful publisher
  3. Thinking you have to be a subject matter expert to be a successful publisher

How long does it take to publish an app?

Round numbers, about a month.

We find most people who come to MagCast (keep in mind that most are brand new to publishing a magazine) are able to go from blank slate to live inaugural issue in about a month or so.

Some go faster, some go slower, but it's generally about a month.

What are some good examples of successful digital magazine apps on MagCast?

There are a truckload. You can check out a few on our Featured Magazines / Publishers page.

How can I get started with publishing a digital magazine app?

At the risk of sounding self-serving, the best way is to book a platform tour with us.

In the platform tour, a couple of things happen:

  1. You get to see behind the scenes of MagCast.
  2. You have a conversation with someone DEEP in magazine publishing who will give you honest, expert insight. Maybe your niche isn't right for magazine publishing.
  3. You'll start to be able to put together your Big Picture of where you're going with your magazine

What are some good resources to learn more about publishing apps?

The best resource we know of is The MagCast Academy.

Hint: All new publishers get six months free with membership.

How can I make sure my app is successful?

Like everything in life, there are no guarantees.

As obvious as it sounds, starting with the right plan plays a big part.

The mistake non-MagCast publishers make is thinking content is king and great content is kinglier.

This isn't SEO. It's magazine publishing. Google gets no votes on the relative strength of your content.

Yes, you've got to have good content, but just as important are how you structure your launch and follow-up issues and how you roll out your marketing.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when designing a digital magazine app?

If you're doing the design yourself, the biggest mistakes are:

  1. Feeling like you've got to cover every. single. pixel with content. You don't.

    Magazines are supposed to be light, entertaining reading, not an organic chemistry textbook.
  2. Not creating a sense of continuity in design. Not every page is supposed to be matchy-match, but there is supposed to be a general feel to a magazine from front to back.

    Fonts should be consistent.

    Content should start at the same horizontal plane across all pages. It should feel like it's cut from the same cloth.
  3. Not enough variety of types of content, i.e. not every article should be a "How To" or "Top 10 List".
  4. Writing all the content yourself.

Do I have to pay separately for both Android and iOS apps?

Nope. Not with MagCast. Your annual membership includes both Android and iOS magazine apps.

Should I allow advertisers to request design changes?

Uh. No? Whose name is on your magazine's masthead?

How do I plan a magazine?

In the MagCast Academy there's a full play-by-play game plan of how you put together everything from content idea generation to sourcing your copy, images, artwork, videos, etc.

It's understandable that you'd want to know ahead of time how to do it, but to be fair there's a whole training series about it, and there's more to it than we can do service to in an FAQ answer.

What comes first: photographs or copy?

Your content dictates what comes first.

Think of it this way:

In songwriting, sometimes the melody or guitar riff or drum beat come first.

The songwriter hears something and later fits lyrics to go with the music.

Sometimes they get inspired to write lyrics and later write and orchestrate the music to fit.

Same with a magazine. Sometime you've got a GREAT piece of artwork, a magnificent photo, or tremendous video that you've just GOT to showcase in your magazine's pages.

In other cases, the copy comes first and you source artwork, photos, and videos to match.

What the heck is a Hed/Dek?

Think headline/deck, essentially the headline of the piece, along with a blurb – "Landing the 900 / An Unabashed Interview with Skateboarding Legend, Tony Hawk."

If you're interested in learning more about the parts of a magazines, we've got a whole glossary of magazine-related terms.

What's a magazine's masthead?

There are two answers to this question.

A masthead in one sense is the literal graphic name of your magazine, like this:

In another sense a magazine masthead is the page inside a magazine where the publisher announces the who's who and so forth of a given magazine issue, like this.
Psst! This is in our publisher's glossary, too.

So it's really a question of context when it comes down to talking about a magazine's masthead.

Got other questions?

We're always happy to talk with publishers at all points on their publishing journey.

Feel free to drop us a line here or give us a call at: 888.876.8586 (PST).