Introducing Turnstyle Custom Editions

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Apply Templates – Once content is uploaded, publishers choose which template should be applied to each article.
  4. 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.

    FAQ

    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: Custom Edition templates are built on web technologies including HTML, CSS and Javascript. We leverage the handlebars templating framework and backbone javascript framework to make working with templates easy.

    Q: Do I have to understand javascript and css to create templates for my brand?
    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.

    Introducing the Custom Storefront

    GTxcel Custom Storefront - Tablet and Mobile

    GTxcel Custom Storefront – Tablet and Mobile

    Every publisher has needs that are unique to their brand. We’ve put a lot of focus on evolving our publishing platform over the last 6 months to provide more custom solutions for publishers through the release of Turnstyle Custom Editions and GTxcel for WordPress. The Custom Storefront is another step in that direction and one we hope will provide publishers with more opportunities to monetize and promote their content.

    A Custom Storefront in our apps has been on our radar for a long time – this is the #1 most viewed screen of every app and it needs to satisfy each publisher’s unique goals. Additionally, customers coming from Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) have seen an increase in engagement by customizing the main screen of the app. To provide more opportunity, publishers can now replace the default home screen with a responsive HTML5 version that can be customized to each publishers needs.

    GTxcel Apps before and after the Custom Storefront

    The default Storefront is a simple grid of issues. With the Custom Storefront, there are many more places to market, monetize and drive audience.

    The customized storefront shown here is divided into 3 sections – the top carousel, the issue grid and the right rail. On smaller screens, the sections will stack so it’s going to look great everywhere. We’ve made it easy to use this screen as a starting point so publishers who want to simply use the carousel and right rail to promote issues, featured articles, upcoming events or advertise can do so without having to customize the entire screen.

    Elements of GTxcel's Custom Storefront for Turnstyle

    GTxcel Custom Storefront Carousel

    The storefront shown here has a carousel that provides an easy way for publishers to market events, featured content and drive subscribership.

    For now, the storefront can be customized by our professional services team. Over time, we’ll be providing the documentation and tools for publishers with a technical staff to build and edit their own storefronts as well as adding support for the storefront on the web.

    GTxcel for WordPress Gives Customers an Enhanced Publishing Platform

    GTxcel for WordPress Gives Customers an Enhanced Publishing Platform

    Powerful CMS Addition to GTxcel’s Unified Publishing Platform (UPP)

    BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The future of Content Management Systems (CMS) is here! Rivista is an award winning CMS platform for publishers and has proven to be an innovative leader in the digital publishing world. Rivista’s market-leading features, pioneered by GTxcel, are now available on WordPress, with publishing-specific tools that run natively, and access to GTxcel’s unparalleled CMS and publishing experience.

    “The bottom line is that we watch market trends and listen to our customers. They asked us to add the power of our platform to WordPress, and we listened. The result marries our publishing expertise with the flexibility and reach of the WordPress ecosystem,” says Matthew McGinty, VP of Sales and Marketing at GTxcel.

    GTxcel for WordPress is the newest addition to the company’s Unified Publishing Platform (UPP), which enables a one-stop shop for Digital Publishing, Apps, CMS, Video, Search, and Monetization. This new addition simply adds value to a solution that is already leading the publishing community. “Our SaaS platform allows GTxcel to be flexible, to continually innovate, and to respond to market demands quickly,” adds McGinty.

    Offering the additional option of GTxcel for WordPress to an already potent arsenal of publishing tools allows publishers the flexibility to customize a CMS without the extensive costs, timeline, or difficulty in implementing a new CMS. Add in the ability to boost monetization, seamlessly integrate video, deliver digital editions and apps, and you have the perfect content management partner for years to come.

    Learn more at http://www.gtxcel.com/wordpress

    About GTxcel

    GTxcel (http://www.gtxcel.com) is a leader of high quality digital, mobile and content management solutions. Our service takes content and creates a digital and dynamic interactive experience for readers that can be viewed on any desktop/laptop, tablet or web-enabled smartphone. The GTxcel technology centers around a Unified Publishing Platform (UPP) where content is created once and published on multiple platforms. GTxcel also offers consultative services that include monetization strategies and marketing services. A privately held company, GTxcel is headquartered in Berkeley, California with corporate offices in the Boston area. In 2012, GTxcel was named by eContent Magazine as a “Top 100 Company that Matters Most in the Digital Content Industry.” In 2013, GTxcel became a Xerox® Business Innovation Partner. Learn more at www.gtxcel.com

    Contacts
    GTxcel
    Erica Pelosi, 508-804-3054
    Director of Marketing
    epelosi@gtxcel.com [Read more…]

    How Print Publishers Can Get Their Advertisers Ready For Digital

    Perhaps the biggest challenge for publishers in moving beyond the print replica to a responsive reader experience is how to help their advertisers move with them. The advertisers pay the bills, and efforts by publishers attempting to move beyond the replica often stall trying to get their advertisers on board.

    The Challenge

    It’s been well documented that the utility of the “digital replica” is in rapid decline; users expect a great reading experience on every screen size, and the pinch and zoom experience of the replica isn’t cutting it. There are two big problems from the perspective of most advertisers:

    1. Many traditional print advertisers aren’t able to provide responsive, digitally-compelling advertisements to match the content. While the industry figures out the right combination of interactive, banner, native, video, programmatic, etc. that will result in brand success, advertisers that have traditionally dealt in print are stuck in limbo. Staffing up to tackle the latest fad isn’t something many advertisers have the opportunity to do; most will sit back and watch the early adopters figure out the right formula before they dive in.
    2. Shoehorning print ads into a modern content experience may make advertisers feel like their brand is getting second rate treatment. This varies from brand to brand, but we’ve seen some publishers repurpose full page ads from their print editions only to say “boy, the content looks great, but the now the ads don’t match and we’re worried about how our advertisers will react.”

    Bridging the Gap

    As the industry figures out how to make the leap, we’ve been working closely with some partner publishers to find a way to ease the transition to digital for traditional print advertisers and agencies. Here’s what we’ve found to work well:

    #1 – Multiple Static Assets (that act responsive)

    The biggest obstacle for many advertisers is simply that they don’t have the skillset to produce rich digital creative. The single most effective way to help these advertisers has been to ask for multiple static assets which get swapped out at different screen sizes. This gives advertisers a way to show readers a solid result on every device size using their existing staff and processes.

    AdPost-static

    See (and download) our Responsive Image Swap Turnstyle template here

    #2 – Leverage Video

    Video is all the rage and is the one thing that seems like a sure bet for advertisers in whatever shell it comes in (native, banners, interstitial, etc). We’ve seen very good results with overlaying video on simple static backgrounds to provide a solid experience on every screen. For publishers leveraging video in their editorial content, pre-roll advertising can be a big win.

    AdPost-video

    See (and download) our Responsive Image Swap with Video Turnstyle template here

    #3 – Publishers as agencies

    We’ve seen several publishers provide creative services to build rich advertisements on behalf of advertisers (and make money doing it). Success here heavily depends on an advertiser’s willingness to trust others to produce creative for their brand; minimally, publishers should expect advertisers to demand several review cycles and a signoff process.

    #4 – Bundles

    In the long term, separate buys for print and digital advertisements is going to be the most profitable venture for publishers and provide the most value for readers and advertisers alike. The problem for publishers who produce a digital replica today is that it’s set the expectation with print advertisers that they’ll “just be included” in the digital version. A great way to start to divorce print from digital in the mind of the advertiser is to offer bundles which include both a print and digital presence. Publishers can begin by giving existing print advertisers a great deal on a bundle that includes both print and digital placements while also making it clear to the advertiser that print and digital will be divorced in the future. This approach also begins to get advertisers to start mentally assigning a value to their digital advertising opportunities from the publisher.

    If you have other ideas, we’d love to hear from you!

    The Best Way To Increase Your Reader Experience

    A common complaint with replica editions is that the reading experience on smaller devices isn’t up to snuff. We created Turnstyle to provide an engaging reader experience on any screen size, and we’ve seen great gains in session times and shared content as a result.

    Since responsive editions are a new paradigm for publishers and advertisers, we also offer a hybrid approach that gives readers a choice between the replica print design that they know and love and a rich, responsive article view that is readable and engaging on all devices.

    When readers open the Table of Contents for an issue, they have a choice of which edition to read. As our Director of User Experience and Product Management, I wanted to make sure that readers understand the two options and that it was easy to access either one.

     

    TOC pic2TOC pic1When we first released Turnstyle, we designed different TOC interfaces for the iPhone and iPad. In our internal usability testing, we found that the iPhone version was easier for readers to use. We’ve now redesigned the iPad TOC, taking inspiration from the phone version to give readers a clearer choice between the Turnstyle and replica editions. Readers can now easily read the content in whichever format is best for them.

    Contact

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    5 Mobile Trends-Don't Get Left Behind

    Do you own a smartphone? Are you using mobile technology in your every day life? Do you read books, articles and posts on your smartphone or reading this blog on a smartphone right now? I don't think I would be jumping to conclusions to think the answer to all of these questions is "yes". 

    I am here to tell you the shocking new…mobile technology is not going away! I know, I know, it's shocking. But what might actually be shocking is that about 40% of Americans are almost exclusively using their mobile phone for everything from social interactions, reading articles and emails to utilizing many apps. Even further, there will be more than 2 billion smartphones in the world by the end of 2014.

    Now, the question remains; what mobile trends do you need to be on top of to not be left behind? 

    1. Mobile and the physical world will merge into one: It's a whole new world out there when it comes to using mobile technology to get people to make buying decisions in the physical world. 

    2. Mobile moments are key: You need to leverage your app or content to engage your consumers in their exact moment of need. You need to get them the right services or content at the right time!

    3. If you don't have a mobile advertising strategy you are missing the boat- You need to partner with a digital media platform that can help you offer better and more targeted mobile experiences. 

    4. If mobile is not a focal point in your business, you are going to get left behind- mobile and smartphones are taking over your business, not just your mobile business and you need to have an app and a great mobile experience.

    5. You must figure out the right mix of messaging for the social-mobile combo – This is more of an art than a science, don't be afraid to fail! 

    I believe with these 5 easy tips you can get you and your team prepared for the new and ever growing mobile world. GTxcel can help with everything from the overall media platform, creating apps, creating responsive design to being able to monetize your ads.

    GTxcel Adds Two New Directors to Team

    BERKLEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GTxcel (http://www.GTxcel.com)a leader in digital publishing solutions, announced today that Brian Flynn and Erica Pelosi have been named Senior Director of Client Services and Director of Marketing, respectively. Flynn and Pelosi are excited to join the GTxcel team as they continue to grow in the industry.

    “Top 100 Company that Matters Most in the Digital Content Industry.”

    With these new roles both Flynn and Pelosi will help lead publisher acquisition and retention programs and GTxcel’s leadership position in the marketplace. Flynn will be reporting to CEO, Peter Stilson who is thrilled to have Flynn on the team! “We are thrilled to have Brian Flynn join GTxcel,” say Stilson. “His knowledge and passion for delivering superior customer service will help us continue to implement not only the most cutting edge software but also in keeping our customers fully satisfied while taking full advantage of what we have to offer.”

    Erica Pelosi will be reporting to Matthew McGinty in helping the Marketing department at GTxcel. “We’re excited to have Erica on the team,” says McGinty. “Having been a top performer on both Sales and Marketing teams, Erica will bring the right balance and focus to our Lead Generation efforts. Her innovative approach will allow us to continue to lead and evolve as the SaaS leader in Digital Publishing.”

    About GTxcel

    GTxcel (http://www.gtxcel.com) is a leader of high quality digital, mobile and content management solutions. Our service takes content and creates a digital and dynamic interactive experience for readers that can be viewed on any desktop/laptop, tablet or web-enabled smartphone. The GTxcel technology centers around a Unified Publishing Platform (UPP) where content is created once and published on multiple platforms. GTxcel also offers consultative services that include monetization strategies and marketing services.

    A privately held company, GTxcel is headquartered in Berkeley, California with corporate offices in the Boston area. In 2012, GTxcel was named by eContent Magazine as a “Top 100 Company that Matters Most in the Digital Content Industry.” In 2013, GTxcel became a Xerox® Business Innovation Partner. Learn more at http://www.gtxcel.com/Request-Information/.

    Contacts

    GTxcel
    Erica Pelosi, 508-804-3000
    Director of Marketing
    epelosi@gtxcel.com

    What the iPhone 6 means for digital magazines

    Apple is set to announce the the latest iteration of the world’s most popular device this fall and the screen size is set to grow again as it did with the iPhone 5. It seems imminent that we’ll see at least the 4.7” screen launch this fall and, supply chain willing, a 5.5” version shortly thereafter. This is part of a growing trend toward larger phone screens that are slowing global tablet sales according to Gartner.

    This isn’t great news for publishers that have built their digital strategy solely around larger tablet screens. As we’ve mentioned before, we think it’s a big mistake for brands to limit their strategy to any one screensize or device. The lines between phones and tablets are only getting blurrier and users are adopting new devices of almost all sizes.

    All of this continues to highlight that the most important thing for publishers is to make your content available everywhere because that’s where their users are – everywhere. That means owned channels like brand apps and websites, but also aggregators like Flipboard and 3rd party content channels like LinkedIn. The great news is that there is more content being consumed than ever before. The bad news is that the number of screen sizes and channels publishers need to think about is expanding exponentially.

    At GTxcel, we’re going to be focusing our roadmap on making sure publishers can get their content in front of readers no matter where they are efficiently and with monetization strategies in place to leverage each channel. We’re making some major changes to our product lineup soon to give readers a great reading experience on all screens, giving publishers a high level of design control all without overwhelming staff. If you are a publisher that’s been painstakingly placing each pixel to get that perfect result on a single screen size & platform, give us a call, we’d love to work with you.

    Mobile Usage in Academics

    College students are at an all time high with mobile device usage, always needing to be connected.  This can mean anything from updating their Facebook status to sending out a Tweet about something funny they just saw. But for many, the mobile scene is moving into the world of education.

    At the University of Central Florida, there was a campus wide survey conducted October, 2013 by EDUCAUSEreview to find out just how important the mobile world is for students. There was a focus on who exactly owned a smartphone and how they were using it.

    It was found that just over 91% of students owned a mobile device ranging from iPhones, Androids, or iPod Touches. This is a huge number compared to 37% who owned a tablet. Although this market is growing, smartphones still dominate the playing field.

    Out of the 91% of students that owned a smartphone, around 58% of them were using the device for academic purposes. With more than 60,000 students attending the University, this is a staggering number of academics being completed on a smartphone.

    So how can you get your school into this huge, and growing, market? Why not look into GTxcel’sTM newest product ClassApp?

    This app product is a versatile one that works great on all mobile devices from smartphones to tablets. It’s great for students and teachers, helping to save money and working to reduce your carbon footprint, a growing worry of our time. 

     

    ClassApp

     

    ClassApp takes your PDF’s and brings them into the digital world, keeping students and teachers connected and up-to-date!

     

    ClassApp is a quick and easy way for teachers to keep in touch with students and keep them informed with all the latest course news. Students can get all the information they need at the tip of their finger from course syllabi to presentations and reports. For an in-depth look at it check it out on our website!

     

    The Future of Multichannel Websites

    In the ever-changing digital world that we live in, there is always room for improvement. But the question remains of how we can move into this world in a seamless and efficient way? Consider responsive design.

    Responsive design in a nutshell is the ability for HTML to move flawlessly from one device to the next. The benefits of this are huge, including:

    • Convenience of one website (vs. full site and mobile site)
    • Increased hits on Google searches
    • Correct resolution, pixels and sizing across all screens

    Mobile devices are being used at an all-time high with 31% of mobile Internet users using a smartphone as their primary device. Companies used to create two different websites for mobile and desktop computers. This has the potential to hurt SEO (search engine optimization), but with responsive design, having one unified website helps companies stay relevant in search engines.

    User-friendly websites are one of the most important things in bringing customers back to you, instead of your competition. If a user isn’t able to find the content they are searching for, there’s a 61% chance they’ll leave to find a more convenient site according to recent stats posted on Smart Insights. But, a customer is 67% more likely to buy your product or service if they had a good (mobile optimized) experience.  

    Website flows perfectly from one screen to the next, adjusting for vertical and horizontal layout. See the website at MyNewOrleans.com!

     

    Responsive Website for MyNewOrleans.com

     

    The seamless flow that comes from working with responsive design makes for an enjoyable experience for users across platforms. Ease of social sharing brings more readers to your site.

    GTxcel’s Rivista Content Management System can bring your company up to speed in the digital world. Create a site that works on all screens with easy readability and sizing.

    Rivista™ powers Palm Springs Life to help readers enjoy at home or on the go!

     

    Responsive Website for PalmSpringsLife.com

     

    GTxcel can help you to manage & monetize your website to its full potential. This support comes in a variety of ways:

    • Manage content online through RivistaTM CMS
    • Display articles, pictures, and videos across platforms
    • Monetize through ad serving, sponsored content, event listings, directories, and paywall (in beta)

    You can view more samples of Rivista sites here