Tried & Tested 3: Joomag

JJmag1If I can’t have it in print, then I’ll have it in digital form. I’m talking about having my own photography magazine. And I did just that with an online magazine creator and publishing tool at Joomag. This is as close as you can get with a cover, pages and content similar to a printed publication. You can have it published online, and you can even download your magazine in PDF format and have it printed. This is an assessment in the one-week time I created a magazine and tested out the site.

The Upside

1. It is interactive. You can have an engaged reader or audience by having interactive elements such as videos, music and sound. You also flip the pages like you do in a real magazine (it is based on flash). There is the option to view the magazine full screen or to zoom in at whatever size and area of the page.

2. It has lots of templates for you to choose from both for the cover and inside pages. It’s just a matter of replacing the images and texts in the templates with your own and lay them out following the template grids and guides, or experiment and mix it out with your own lay-out.

3. With a single account, you can make as many issues or as many magazines, books, albums or catalogues that you want. And you can add as many pages as you like. Just be sure you don’t run out of materials to put in.

4. Your magazine is embeddable and linkable. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, social media sites, blogs, forums and other websites.

5. There is the basic free membership which for my purposes is good enough. You get a professional editor, embedding function, and features for adding video and audio.

The Downside

1. The paid subscription is rather expensive. The Silver, Gold and Platinum membership unlocks full features offered by Joomag such as tools for branding, selling, ads-free viewing, support for iPad, HTML5 for mobile and multi-user accounts. This is all good if you are in pursuit of commercial and business goals.

2. Using the professional online editor requires some background in page-making, topography and lay-out. I’m familiar with desktop publishing softwares but still grappled initially when I went to do the online magazine. I’m acquainted with the various tools and environment but couldn’t seem to find an “undo” or “go back” button hence for every mistake I did I had to start again from scratch. The trick is to minimize making mistakes (helps to have a lay-out drawing on paper and determine first where to put titles, text body and images), do one element or page property at a time, and save the page as often as possible (you can go back to continue editing where you left off). Don’t let this deter you from working on your creation. Everything can be learned, with patience and determination. You can start out by creating a simple, uncluttered lay-out then work on more edgier designs in your next issue.

This blog now has an interactive digital magazine version. Each issue comes out every month and revolves around a theme. Junsjazz Images & Inspiration Issue #1 (December 2012) which showcases sunsets and sunrise images, was published and went online yesterday. For me this is a milestone, being able to share my works using today’s evolving technology in a soon-to-be paperless world. Note: be sure to put on your headphone when viewing the magazine. Enjoy!

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11 responses

  1. Fantastic info – thank you!

    December 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Glad to share all these stuff. thank you too!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:25 am

  2. Just started looking at your online magazine – looks great! Photos are gorgeous, of course – but the layout is excellent too. Very professional. Congrats on this accomplishment – hope it goes well!

    December 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    • Junsjazz

      I previously worked as publications editor so these things are right up my alley. Would be great to have your travel pics and writings in a magazine. Hope you try it out. Thanks again!

      December 2, 2012 at 2:29 am

  3. Thanks for the very interesting info. Your magazine looks fantastic!

    December 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

    • Junsjazz

      Much thanks! glad you like this post and the magazine!

      December 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

  4. Pingback: Are the digital magazines for sale? « Junsjazz Images & Inspiration

  5. Well done! Your magazine not only promotes creativity, but also serves as inspiration at trying out different aspects.

    June 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

  6. Pingback: Online Magazine Made Easy | chrisagiroux's Blog

  7. Cici

    IF JOOMAG’S CUSTOMER SERVICE WAS RATED 1-10, THEY’D BE A -5!!

    When I dialed the number located on Joomag’s website to try and reach customer service/customer support, I reached the Sales/Marketing Department where I spoke with a “Manager” named Edgar Harue. Because they were not the correct department, I asked to be transferred to the customer support department. Well you can imagine my surprise and frustration when he explained to me that it was “impossible” due to the fact that Joomag does not have a direct number for “Customer Support”.

    I can’t express how much frustration I have with this company’s lack of “customer support”. Emailing and chatting is NOT a decent enough support system! I’ve actually taken to their 24/7 Live Chat where the ending response was “We will contact you within 24 hours”. People that are spending money should be able to speak with a live person who can answer their questions about their account, no matter how much they’re paying for their subscription. To quote Mr. Edgar Harue “we have about 3,790 customers all over the world, it’s impractical to help them all individually”. Wow – that is the essence of a great company isn’t it??

    Well I’m sure I’ll be hearing from some “representative” of this horrible company “within 24 hours”, because customer priority is of the utmost importance to Joomag; I won’t hold my breath.

    To any current Joomag customers: I dare you to call in and ask a simple question regarding your account (all I wanted to know was if my current hard copy order went to print or not, just a yes or no)…then share your experience.

    February 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

  8. Joomag has cost us time (and MONEY) due to inexperienced customer service reps and malfunctioning software. Both their subscription fees and hard copies are at a premium price — but they will REALLY get you with storage fees. And don’t expect to publish your magazine on your own time frame. If there are hiccups with publishing after hours, you are out of luck. If you do have a complaint about the premium-priced print-on-demand hard copies (and we’ve had many), Joomag will make you jump through hoops to replace it. Yet, with each print quality complaint, it was the same response, “We know there is a problem and are working on our hard copies and will improve our quality.” There was a time that Joomag would call me when they screwed up, but after a series of debacles that stalled our operations they decided that “phone calls weren’t their policy”. I would not recommend this platform to anyone that wants to present a magazine that seeks dependability in their publishing platform — along with attentive and responsive customer service. When I recently canceled my premium subscription (after 3+ years) due to too many mistakes on their part, they slapped me with storage fees. Their “solution” is for me to pay up or delete past issues of the magazine…which is a scary proposition for any publication. Why would anyone want to publish with a company that would suggest that the product be deleted? It’s disheartening to know how they treat their “valued customers”. However…it gets worse…after we canceled our paid subscription with Joomag, they began to display ads for Joomag alongside all of our previous magazines – magazines that we paid to have NO ads in them. Again…why would anyone publish with Joomag with these sorts of business practices?

    November 3, 2017 at 2:20 am

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