Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Interview

App Publisher magazine May and June 2014 cover

With 25 years of content experience, Paul Blake publishes App Publisher magazine as a way to inspire others and offer practical advice on how to publish on mobile. “In my mind, publishing is undergoing a revolution that is as profound as when the printing press was invented,” Blake states when asked about the future of App Publisher magazine. This motivates Blake to keep on top of changes in the mobile publishing industry and capture the stories of publishers as this revolution happens.

You’ll enjoy reading more about App Publisher magazine and Paul Blake’s thoughts on publishing in the interview below.

What motivated you to start this magazine?

I started App Publisher magazine to encourage and inspire people to create and publish content onto mobile and apps.

The idea for the magazine came when I began researching creating a mobile app because my wife and I were moving to the east coast of England. As writers, we thought an app would be a good outlet for our writing about our new home. As soon as I started my research, I realised that all the help and advice on publishing on mobile was aimed at developers, not ordinary people – and App Publisher magazine was born.

The magazine has the kind of articles I’d want to read myself, so covers all aspects of moving content onto mobile – from content creation, structure and design, to app marketing, business models and customer engagement. I’m also covering the new breed of start-up companies that let you build apps and digital magazines without having to code – writing about their developments, talking to their CEOs about their plans, and reviewing their services.

Most of all I’m trying to provide practical advice and help. In the magazine, I write a lot about my experiences of creating a magazine. I see the magazine as a shared experiment with the readership in finding out what works – and doesn’t work – in the digital magazine space.

Describe your average reader.

I’m not sure there’s an average reader. Typically I picture readers as writers, editors, bloggers, publishers and content professionals. However, I think we’re entering a new phase where anyone who is passionate about a topic can start a magazine and find a community of like-minded people. That is tremendously exciting. At the end of the day, there is only good content or bad content – and the good content tends to be written by people who really care about their subject matter.

How do you plan on reaching new readers?

One of the ideas behind App Publisher magazine was that it became self-sustaining straightaway – so there isn’t a massive marketing budget to draw on. I’m doing a lot of social media promotion. Twitter is important, as is LinkedIn. Facebook hasn’t really worked for me so far, but that may be because I haven’t found the right engagement model yet. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about app store search optimisation.

One of the lessons I’d pass on to anyone launching a digital magazine is to be prepared to put in the hours spreading the word. Right now, I’m spending as much, if not more time, on that than I am on creating content.

Paul BlakeHow do you see your magazine evolving over the next few months and years?

That’s hard to predict. My plan is to evolve the content of the magazine around the needs of the readers and to see what happens. I definitely want it to become multi-channel, so there will be web, Android and Windows Mobile editions as soon as that functionality is available on TypeEngine.

In my mind, publishing is undergoing a revolution that is as profound as when the printing press was invented. Who knows what twists and turns will come in the next few years. I want to be out there capturing the stories of the people making that revolution happen and hopefully acting as a compass and guide for those trying to get to grips with it.

How long have you been publishing? Is this your first magazine?

I’ve been in the content business for 25 years so I’m a bit am a veteran. This is the first time I’ve actually published my own magazine though. It’s very liberating to step out on my own and slightly terrifying as well. In the past I’ve just been the Editor. Now I’m the Editor, Publisher, Art Director, Subscription Manager and Marketing Manager all rolled into one. Despite all my years in publishing, I’m learning new skills every day. That is one of the great things about publishing your own magazine.

How do you define the success of your magazine?

It’s easy to start obsessing about the numbers, but in the end, if I’m able to create a self-sustaining magazine that genuinely helps and inspires people to publish mobile content then I’d be happy.

What other magazines do you like? Digital/Print?

I’m pretty much all digital now and much prefer it to print. If I look at what’s on my iPad right now, I have Wired, National Geographic, Uncut, The Anfield Wrap, The Magazine and Dumbo Feather. I also have a copy of Grazia because I’m writing a case study on their experiences of creating an iPad edition for the next issue of my magazine. And, of course, I have the App Publisher magazine app. That goes without saying!

Purchase a single issue of App Publisher magazine today for $4.99 USD or get a monthly subscription for only $1.99 USD, which includes a 7 day trial. Subscribe today!

App Store Link for App Publisher magazine