Bud Parr applauds The Virginia Quarterly Review for announcing that they will be publishing their magazine in web standard ePub format along with their print edition. He points out (and I agree) that the current push by glossy magazines to create standalone, single-serving applications is misguided:
The current attempts by magazines to port their print editions into a glossy format for tablet computers (let’s move on and recognize that iPad is merely the first of these) is lame and misguided. Let’s face it: Zinio, the primary app for presenting digital versions of print magazines, is anemic, and won’t exist in its current form for very long. Individual apps, like Wired, with some level of interactivity and whiz bang, may work when they get that interactivity and whiz bang down, but production costs will likely favor only certain types of magazines.
What this means is that VQR will be available for purchase in the Apple iBooks store and can be loaded into any all-purpose e-reading device, rather than tying it specifically to a particular software platform or device (ahem, a Kindle). I have never understood the urge to create separate apps for each book or magazine. As a reader, I'd much rather have things available in one or two good, general purpose applications like Instapaper, Stanza, or my e-book reader of choice instead of littering my home screen with apps of varying interfaces and quality.
Now seems like a good time to announce that TriQuarterly Online is also working on an ePub version that we hope will be ready in time for our first issue. We're very excited about it, as it will give readers more options for how and where they can read TQO. It wouldn't have made much sense to move online and not push the envelope technically.