PRSS Plans To Rival Print
About three years ago, entrepreneur Michel Elings met travel writer and photographer Jochem Wijnands at a barbeque. The next day they started creating the successful iPad-only travel magazine, TRVL. Now, based on the experience they gained from launching the five-star rated TRVL, they are set to release PRSS, software they hope will make publishing iPad magazines quicker and easier for other publishers.
Shortcomings Elings and his colleagues saw with Woodwing, the software they were using to convert InDesign files to an iPad format, led them to believe they could create a better solution themselves. "We really became a little upset by the software-that it didn't do any justice to the product," says Elings. "It was really hard to navigate through the app."
Elings felt that the original TRVL app was slow, especially when entering the app from the kiosk and backing out again. "We've designed the software that Apple forgot to make," says Elings He expects the first iPad magazines created with PRSS to be out in October. PRSS will be free, cloud-based software and publishers will pay a fee per magazine download.
One upside of PRSS is that programming or web design knowledge is not required to create a magazine. A variety of templates is available or publishers can make their own, and much of the design works by way of drag-and-drop functionality. Elings says an issue of TRVL that used to take him 3 days now takes him an hour. (It should be noted, however, that PRSS is not a tool for converting InDesign files to iPad-but rather a tool for designing iPad-unique editions.)
Cloud hosting of PRSS software and publisher files will allow for convenient changes and updates to digital issues. Whereas some tablet magazine publishing applications would require a user to delete the old version and download the issue again to get updates, with PRSS, corrections can be made and, once re-published, updates will automatically be made to a user's version. Cloud hosting also allows live previews, where, like Google Docs, multiple users can simultaneously collaborate.
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.