Digital Storytelling with MagCloud

MagCloud is Hewlett-Packard’s self-publishing platform. What is interesting about MagCloud is that it isn’t a book publishing business. Instead, its focus is on magazine-style publications. MagCloud not only supports magazines, it’s a great place to produce and publish quarterly journals, reunion souvenir booklets, brochures, flyers, catalogs and just about anything else your imagination can create. In addition, there’s a digital option where your publications can also be offered as high-quality PDFs. And, there’s even an iPad app.

For family organizations and genealogical societies, MagCloud will not only print your publication for you, but they can even send them directly to your members. And, by offering a digital edition in addition to the print one, you may be surprised to see how many members choose it – reducing your costs even more. You can also generate additional revenue by selling back issues through your MagCloud storefront without the expense and effort of storing and shipping them yourself.

There are a growing number of templates available including 8.5 x 11 standard, 8.5 x 8.5 square, 5.5 x 8.5 digest and 8.5 x 5.5 digest. The two digest options would work well for digital editions to be read on an e-reader or tablet. Prices for full-color printed publications start at 16¢/page for the digest format publications. The saddle-stitch binding option costs nothing, but the perfect binding is an additional $1.00. Check the price calculator to see what the actual cost of your publication will be. You have several options with the digital edition: free, free with print edition or paid. If you set a price for your digital publications, 30% goes to MagCloud and you keep 70% of it. There are no upfront costs and no cost to maintain your online storefront.

Creating a MagCloud publication is really quite simple. There are template packages with instructions for each size publication and several different apps. Apps include Microsoft Word [Win & Mac], Microsoft Publisher, Apple’s Pages and Adobe’s InDesign. Download the package and start creating your own publication.

MagCloud is a good solution when you want to create a more graphical publication. And, by choosing one of the digest options as your template, you’ll only need to create your publication once to offer it as both print and digital editions. The smaller size of the digest makes it much easier to read the resulting PDF on tablets and e-readers. And, with the digital edition, your hyperlinks will function so you can include links to outside sources like your society’s web site, the article author’s site or even back to your MagCloud storefront to grab another publication.

If you have a storytelling project full of photos, fonts and fixed layouts, MagCloud offers the flexibility to do just about anything you want and you don’t need to learn a new app just to build your story project.

Reading on the iPad

Today I have two delicious reading apps to tell you about – and both are free. First is the MagCloud iPad app which makes reading magazines like Irish Roots or Festivities a delight. MagCloud is a publishing platform focused on magazine-style publications. With MagCloud, publishers can produce beautiful magazine-style publications in both print and digital (PDF) format. And, like other self-publishing platforms, there are no up-front costs to use the platform. You control the design and content and can choose to offer a one-of-a-kind publication or a recurring one. But back to the iPad app . . . it makes reading these gorgeous publications a most enjoyable experience. The publication automatically adjusts to the iPad’s orientation showing a two-page spread in landscape view and a single page in portrait view. There is even a browser built into the app so you can follow links in an article to view the linked site, then return to the page you just left.

Colored Pencil magazine as seen in the MagCloud iPad app.
Colored Pencil magazine as seen in the MagCloud iPad app.

The other app is Documents by Readdle. If you already have ReaddleDocs, this is a totally re-designed update. With it you can do just about anything. It reads office documents, email attachments, PDFs – even books. You can view photos – and movies – and even listen to music. It can edit text files, organize and store files, share files using Dropbox, Google Docs, iCloud, Box and other services. And, it can download documents from the web and even save articles for reading later. Whew! If you find this interesting, you might also enjoy some of their other apps – like Scanner Pro [free & $6.99] and PDF Expert [$9.99].

A page from Family Tree Magazine's PDF edition as displayed in Documents app.
A page from Family Tree Magazine’s PDF edition as displayed in Documents app.

Society Publishing with MagCloud

With the many affordable options available to genealogical societies today, there’s no excuse for the sad, copy shop things being sent out as quarterly journals. It’s time to punch up your word-processing skills and take advantage of affordable publishing platforms like MagCloud.

MagCloud is Hewlett-Packard’s self-publishing platform focused on magazine-style publications. Using MagCloud, a society can easily produce and publish quarterly journals, newsletters, brochures, flyers, catalogs and just about any other kind of publishing project. You can also offer a digital option where your publications are available as high-quality PDFs. And, there’s even an iPad app.

For family organizations and genealogical societies, MagCloud will not only print your publication for you, but they can even send them directly to your members. And, by offering a digital edition in addition to the print one, you may be surprised to see how many members choose that route – reducing your costs even more. You can also generate additional revenue by selling back issues through your MagCloud storefront without the expense and effort of storing and shipping them yourself.

There are four sizes of publications: 8.5 x 11 standard, 8.5 x 8.5 square, 5.5 x 8.5 digest and 8.5 x 5.5 digest. The two digest options would work well for digital editions to be read on an e-reader or tablet. Prices for full-color printed publications range from 16¢/page for the two smaller sizes to 20¢/page for the two larger ones. The saddle-stitch binding option costs nothing, but the perfect binding is an additional $1.00. Check the price calculator to see what the actual cost of your publication will be. You have several options with the digital edition: free, free with print edition or paid. If you set a price for your digital publications, 30% goes to MagCloud and you keep 70% of it. There are no upfront costs and no cost to maintain your online storefront.

Creating a MagCloud publication is really quite simple. There are template packages with instructions for each size publication and several different apps. Apps include Microsoft Word [Win & Mac], Microsoft Publisher, Apple’s Pages and Adobe’s InDesign. Download the package and start creating your own publication.

MagCloud is a good solution when you want to create a more graphical publication. And, by choosing one of the digest options as your template, you’ll only need to create your publication once to offer it as both print and digital editions. The smaller size of the digest makes it much easier to read the resulting PDF on tablets and e-readers. And, with the digital edition, your hyperlinks will function so you can include links to outside sources like your society’s web site, the article author’s site or even back to your MagCloud storefront to grab another publication.

If you have a storytelling project full of photos, fonts and fixed layouts, MagCloud offers the flexibility to do just about anything you want and you don’t need to learn a new app just to build your story project. Need some inspiration? Take a look at Family History Journal,  SPAN from the Natural Arch and Bridge Society or the Clan MacLeod Newsletter. Click on the Preview link just below the cover image.