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What is Digital Publishing?

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

digital publishing

When the Internet launched back in 1989, people started sharing information in exciting new ways. Entire industries were launched, old ones were reworked, and the face of business communication changed forever. Fast forward 40 years and it’s still the same story, but on a much more epic scale. The Internet has single-handedly destroyed the traditional working world. Yet it’s also spawned entire industries ripe for disruption and innovation. Enter digital publishing.

Publishing has changed over time as new technologies continue to spur innovation. Today, turnkey solutions are infiltrating every industry imaginable and helping businesses gain an advantage over the competition. In fact, the digital publishing industry is expected to reach $68.81 billion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4%, according to the Digital Publishing Global Market Report 2022.

But digital publishing can mean different things to different people. And that can leave many of us confused. Don’t fret—we’re here to help you make sense of it all.

Joomag Analytics (JMA), one of the many advantages of digital publishing, in action

Digital publishing. What is it, exactly?

Let’s break it down first. “Digital” refers to electronic or computerized technology, any online media available on electronic devices, including laptops and pads. “Publishing” as defined by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, involves “bring[ing] printed works (like magazines, books, and catalogs) before the public usually for sale.” Put two and two together and digital publishing gets a whole lot easier to understand. It means using online technology to digitize written or print material and disseminate it through electronic devices.

The best digital publishers are experts at their craft, creating editorial, highly engaging content and distributing it online to:

  • Reach mobile, and global audiences

  • Save money

  • Track performance with detailed analytics

Print vs. digital publishing: the pros and cons

For business models rooted in tradition/print, transitioning to a digital format can disrupt production, marketing, and distribution processes. That’s good and bad news, so it’s important to know the opportunities and risks inherent to each medium. Let’s start with print.

Print publishing pros

1. Traditional publishers can enlist the help of agents - industrious fellows who fight hard to ensure you and your work get noticed. The best ones land book deals, negotiate contracts, and mentor authors to further their writing careers. In short, they’re pretty darn helpful.

“Helping publishers really makes me happy,” says this agent.

2. Distribution can be fairly straightforward. Bookstores, libraries, and other brick-and-mortar outlets can house your content for potentially hundreds of customers to admire. And the best part? Technology isn’t required. That’s pretty great.

3. Text on paper is final. There’s no turning back and you can’t change or update anything once your content is published and in the hands of consumers.

Start Creating Your Digital Publications Now!

Print publishing cons

1. Traditional print publishing requires paper and printing materials. Online publishing doesn’t. Naturally, print publishing is much more expensive than its digital counterpart.

2. Time isn’t always at your side. It can take an entire year for a book to ever see the light of day. Writing, editing, and printing can extend the wait even further. Print means a lot of patience!

3. Text on paper is final. There’s no turning back and you can’t change or update anything once your content is published and in the hands of consumers.

Digital publishing pros

1. Digital publishing is incredibly accessible. Practically any business in any industry can get started and benefit from it.

2. Online publishing curtails production and marketing costs, extends your reach into new markets, and ultimately drives more sales and conversions.

3. Performance analytics can offer an incredibly detailed view of how readers interact with your content—helping unlock its full potential in the process.

4. Digital content like online magazines and digital brochures can be distributed to the public at any time.

5. Digital publishers can easily update content in real-time, even after it’s published. Typos or outdated information can be fixed in seconds.

6. Are you a control freak? Great, because digital publishing gives you complete power over your content. Everything’s on your terms.

7. There’s a higher chance of online content going viral, and fast. People view your content → they like it → they share it on social media and other digital channels.

8. Web content is engaging and interactive. Media such as videos and photos can be embedded in online catalogs, for example, to provide a hassle-free shopping experience. You can get really creative with it.

Start your digital publishing journey today!

Digital publishing cons

1. While online publishing is accessible, the learning curve can be steep for those who are entirely new to the field. Digital publishers must familiarize themselves with writing, marketing, and distribution best practices. It’s a daunting task for newcomers, but all-in-one digital publishing platforms can help offload the work.

2. Digital publishers are still shrugging off the stigma of self-publishing. For print-only veterans in the industry, having your work published by any of the “Big Five” is the only way to legitimize it. It’s an archaic way of thinking that’s (thankfully) changing.

3. Digital content is liable to technical issues and constraints, such as poor internet connections. Moreover, some readers may find it difficult to read content on smaller mobile devices.

Examples of digital publishing

Digital publishing comes in many different shapes and sizes. The article you’re reading right now is just one example. Other forms of digital publishing include:

The list goes on and on, which is unsurprising because digital publishing has crept into our daily lives. Using a search engine to find the information you need, for example, is much more practical than spending hours ransacking a library. And many distinguished universities from around the world are now offering their course materials online.

Joomag: The Trusted Digital Publishing and Content Performance Solution

Did you know that Joomag originally started as a digital publishing-only platform back in 2009? We’ve blossomed since then, and now we’re proud to say that we offer a lot more.

While we still give our customers the creative freedom to make whatever they want, we also give them the data they need to make it even better. Our recent introduction of Joomag Analytics (JMA) perfectly encapsulates our renewed emphasis on meaningful feedback and data.

Small publishers and Fortune 500 companies alike depend on us for their content marketing, corporate communications, and sales enablement needs. There are no limits to our platform, and users are free to let their imaginations run wild with every piece of content they create. Anyone can create gorgeous, interactive publications, distribute them across multiple channels, engage with audiences on a deeper level, and measure content performance with Joomag.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the digital publishing examples below—courtesy of our talented customers—and you’ll see what we mean. You can also get in touch with us by following the link below.

Check out these great digital magazines and get inspired!

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