Some people familiar with launching new print titles might be familiar with the so-called 'Second Issue Problem'. You have been working very hard for months on a new title, new concepts, design, great stories etc. The big day arrives and you have completed the first issue, hurrah! And then comes the second issue... for which you only have one week or one month at most...
With all publishers rushing to the iPad the Second Issue Problem is happening all over the place now.
Over the past 9 months we have seen numerous concept video's. Those are pretty easy to do, just throw some creative minds together and you'll end up with a great video. But then comes the question: but how do we produce this every month or every week. Suddenly the great concepts turn out to become editorial headaches. We've had numerous discussions with publishers who planned to hire some iPhone developers to build an iPad App telling that the only thing they still needed to figure out was how to turn it into the second issue...
When we started our Tablet developments end of last year, anticipating that Apple was likely to launch a tablet device, we teamed up with our customer Time Inc. Their challenge was bigger than most other publishers: they started the concept video hype with the SI video, but even more important Time Inc's big titles are all weeklies.
So from the beginning our focus has been to establish a producible workflow, allowing Time Inc., and now also our other customers, to produce great tablet publications on a weekly basis. We have extended our Enterprise Publishing System with specific tablet functionality, developed a set of InDesign plugins for tablet interactivity and created a new module inside Content Station to manage your complete tablet issue.
And it works! Whereas the industry as a whole is still struggling with this, our customers happily produce not just weekly, but even daily designed tablet issues. Currently more than 20 titles are live with our iPad tools which by today have published over 120 issues, all designed for the iPad!
With this great workflow foundation in place we're now moving full-speed ahead. We're releasing a functional update every month to our customers, adding more and more cool features. This week we'll be releasing the 1.4 release with 12 great new features. We're looking forward to see the first iPad publications taking advantage of these new features. There is a lot more great stuff under way, stay tuned.