We’re happy to announce today is the Launch of Turnstyle Custom Editions. The Turnstyle platform allows publishers to create rich, responsive digital editions that work in both apps and mobile web (desktop web coming soon). Unlike other products in the market, Turnstyle is incredibly efficient and does not require publishers to add staff to create gorgeous, monetizable digital editions.
How do Turnstyle Custom Editions Work?
Turnstyle Custom Editions extends the capabilities of our Turnstyle platform by allowing publishers to design and create custom article layouts (until now, Turnstyle article layouts were fully automated). With Custom Editions, publishers have full control over how their content looks, but with the same efficient publishing workflow. Here’s how it works:
- Create Templates – GTxcel will work with publishers to create responsive templates that make sense for each brand. GTxcel will also provide tools for publishers who want to create their own templates.
- Create New Issue – Turnstyle editions are made up of articles (not pages or a PDF). Publishers can upload articles through our Publisher Dashboard or use our PDF article extraction as a starting point. Once uploaded, articles can be reordered and publishers can place interstitial advertisements.
- Apply Templates – Once content is uploaded, publishers choose which template should be applied to each article.
- Publish – Once you’ve applied your templates and previewed how your articles look, publish the issue live.
Why Custom Editions?
The digital magazine industry has undergone drastic change over the last four years. It started with the introduction of the iPad, which was touted as the savior of the publishing industry. High-end publishers labored to craft amazing experiences for the iPad using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). At the same time, products like Flipboard, Zite, and Pulse, along with social networks, began to disrupt traditional publishing models through aggregation and curation.
This change caused us to rethink our approach to delivering value to publishers. While the early adopters focused on the flashiness of tablet-only publications, rich with bells and whistles, we saw an opportunity to help publishers succeed with a product that delivered:
- A great reading experience on every screen – We knew the zoom and pan experience of the replica wasn’t a long term answer. We also thought it short-sighted to focus a solution for a single device (tablet). Instead, we wanted to create a platform that delivered a great content experience wherever readers chose to consume it. This has become more important than ever with tablet sales flattening as phone screens have grown larger.
- An efficient workflow for publishers – It was obvious (to us at least) that adding staff to lay content out for each and every screen size with a product like DPS was going to make it very difficult for publishers to see ROI. We wanted our platform to be efficient so publishers could add staff as they saw ROI, not as a prerequisite for getting started.
- Opportunities for monetization – Since the print replica carries it’s ads along with it, there’s little room to up-sell advertisers. We wanted to build a platform that allowed publishers new opportunities to sell digital specific ads that provided real value to advertisers.
We launched Turnstyle a little more than a year ago (as an MVP) with those goals in mind. Today, we have 100 customers using Turnstyle and we’re seeing much higher reader engagement (up to 40%) compared to replica editions. It’s efficient, allowing Publishers to produce their Turnstyle editions in a fraction of the time it would take using products like DPS that mimic a print workflow for digital content. It also brings with it new advertising opportunities.
While we’ve been happy with the success so far, we know that we’re far from done. The biggest point of feedback from publishers has been that the fully automated layouts produced by Turnstyle err too far on the side of efficiency. It’s obviously important to be efficient, but to really create a brand experience more control over how the content lays out is needed. We created Custom Editions to allow publishers full creative control of their content.
Q: What platforms does Custom Editions support?
A: Custom Editions work in our native apps as well as the mobile web (desktop web support coming in 2015).
Q: How do Custom Edition templates work?
A: Absolutely not. We have all the expertise you need in house and we’ll work closely with you to create templates to that make sense for your brand and content.
Q: Am I limited to a certain number of templates?
A: No. We want publisher to create as many templates as they want. Normally, we advise publishers to start with a handful and build more as they find success to ensure ROI.
Q: How do I get my content into Turnstyle editions?
A: We will accept HTML directly if you have it in your CMS or we can extract content from your print-ready PDF as a starting point. We’re also looking into accepting XML from InDesign. We want to make it easy to push and pull content from anywhere so if you have a different setup, please reach out and let us know.