It doesn’t matter what you want to publish, you’ll need a platform. If you are publishing electronically, then your platform should have a digital publishing component. Fiction writers, poets, and nonfiction writers of all types have the ability (tools, technology, and means) to publish their own content in a variety of formats.
Here is a list of the 10 most powerful digital publishing platforms that any type of writer, and writers from any type of background, can use to put their content into proper form.
Do you write serial fiction? You can publish it on a blog. Writing a memoir? You can post it to your blog. You can also publish poetry, a business book, and even recipes on a blog. Virtually anything you can publish in a print book can be published on a blog – and it can be monetized.
If your content is informational and has real value, there is no reason why you can’t sell subscriptions, but you must make damn sure your content is worth what your subscribers are paying for it. Otherwise, you will lose your subscribers.
Entertainment content is usually delivered via e-zine, short for “electronic magazine.” It’s another format delivered by e-mail and is flexible in that you can deliver a variety of content in one deliverable. Both fictional and nonfictional content can be delivered in this manner, but creators typically use the term “e-zine” for more creative content. The terms are really interchangeable.
Whether you opt to deliver your content through paid subscriptions or provide a free download in exchange for e-mail addresses, an electronic newsletter or e-zine can be a very powerful digital publishing platform.
One way that mobile apps are particularly powerful is in taking other content and repackaging it as interactive content. The movie industry is getting very good at this.
Membership sites also have advantages to other platforms in that your content can be as interactive as a mobile app and you can publish audio and video content alongside your textual content with much ease. It’s almost the perfect digital publishing platform.
I cannot vouch for its current value as a publishing platform because I have not used it in its current form. Its value to readers, however, is in the subscription model – readers can read unlimited books for a flat fee of $8.99 per month.
Publishers can publish their books for free and receive a commission based on number of downloads. While your commission per download is not as much as your commission would be if you sold a book on Amazon or one of the other book sellers, you could pick up additional fans that might later purchase your books directly and migrate from borrower of value to owner of value. In that regard, Scribd offers a unique opportunity for digital publishers, especially of textual formats.
Like a membership website, a Web magazine can publish multimedia content alongside textual content in the same issue. It is usually also available for enjoyment by users on a laptop or desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet. The device is immaterial. The content holds the value. Most publishers would benefit from publishing their magazine on multiple content platforms.
Like e-books, Web magazines can be published on a variety of systems. WordPress can be used to publish a magazine, and there are plenty of benefits to publishing a Web magazine on WordPress. For starters, you not only own the content you publish, but you also own the real estate on which your content is published. There is a lot of power in owning the content as well as the domain on which the content sits. You will never fear your platform will suddenly disappear or that the rules you live under will change overnight.
Another benefit to publishing with WordPress is the support community that is available to you. Finding a developer for your WordPress magazine website should be easy, and WordPress has a huge library of available magazine themes (both free and premium) to choose from.
Of course, WordPress (free to download) is not the only platform available to publishers who wish to distribute an online magazine. There are several Web magazine hosting websites, as well. The largest of these is ISSUU. Others include
ISSUU is perhaps the largest and most popular of these hosts, but like anything, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. I cannot stress, however, that using a free Web magazine host is less preferable to building your Web magazine on your own domain name with WordPress.
With these 10 powerful digital publishing platforms, you can create all kinds of content in a variety of formats and distribute it to your audience as you grow your publishing business. Wise publishers will seek to publish their content in a variety of formats across multiple platforms.