Digital magazines are now becoming popular, especially with the impending demise of print publications.
I have had some experience with publishing magazines on Apple’s newsstand platform and with over12000 subscribers to my Newsstand magazine, Appville; I can safely say I have learned a thing or two.
Today, I decided to publish a version of the Appville magazine source code and give you some free page templates. In doing this, I hope it will help you in the journey of creating your own digital magazine.
I was inspired to release this template pack because I have been getting a lot of requests from people wanting to know how to go about publishing a Newsstand magazine. But you have to understand, it isn’t about the technology, the content of your magazine is what will decide whether it succeeds or not.
Marco Arment summed it up pretty well in his post here
“Publishing platforms will soon make it easier to get into Newsstand. But making magazine-quality content on a regular schedule, getting enough subscribers to pay when there’s tons of great online content for free, and keeping the subscribers interested after they’ve paid — those are hard, they’ll always be hard, and a lot of people are underestimating those challenges and thinking the biggest barrier is an app.” – Marco.
What you Will Get
Let me introduce what you will be getting in the download
Magazine Issue Management
The first screen you will see is a list of issues that are available in your magazine. The app uses the issue management present in the iOS NewsstandKit.
I have included two other colour schemes in the app. Orange and Blue.
Magazine Page Templates
After downloading an issue, you can then start reading by tapping on the item. The magazine uses the open source Baker Framework to display the pages. These are effectively HTML pages that are linked in a HPub format. Find out more information here.
I have included 5 page templates. See them below
The Full Page Image Template
The Contents Page Tempate
The Article With an Image Template
The Plain Article Templates.
I have included 3 plain article templates here. The main difference between them is the colour and typography. I got some inspiration from the Big Book of Font Combinations to layout the typography.
I found a mixture of iOS-Native fonts to use and here they are.
- Avenir (for the Headers)/Baskerville (for the articles)
- Futura (for the Headers)/Optima (for the articles)
- GillSans (for the Headers)/Baskerville (for the articles)
How to Use – And Download link
The code is available in Github from the link below
Currently, the code uses 2 sample issues uploaded to the App Design Vault site, you will need to create your own issues and upload them to your own server. The sample issues are in the /Sample-Magazine-Issue folder in the repo.
You will need to zip up the folder and then upload it.
Next, you should create a .plist file that will hold a list of all your issues. A sample .plist file is added to the XCode project and you can find under the /Supporting Files/issues.plist group. I have pasted a sample below as well.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <array> <dict> <key>Name</key> <string>Magazine Issue - 1</string> <key>Title</key> <string>Magazine Issue - 1</string> <key>Date</key> <date>2013-06-01T06:00:00Z</date> <key>Cover</key> <string>http://www.appdesignvault.com/appville/issues/type/issue-image.png</string> <key>Content</key> <string>http://www.appdesignvault.com/appville/issues/type/issue-data.zip</string> </dict> <dict> <key>Name</key> <string>Magazine Issue - 2</string> <key>Title</key> <string>Magazine Issue - 2</string> <key>Date</key> <date>2013-06-01T06:00:00Z</date> <key>Cover</key> <string>http://www.appdesignvault.com/appville/issues/type/issue-image.png</string> <key>Content</key> <string>http://www.appdesignvault.com/appville/issues/type/issue-data.zip</string> </dict> </array> </plist>
This file will also be uploaded to your server.
Lastly, you have to change the links in the Publisher.m file to point to this .plist file so your app knows where the issues are located.
This is a project I made with a lot of help from different sources and it is only fair I credit these sources