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Going Digital

Hello, I'm Ellen and I'm the Editor of the Shalford Magazine. Our distributors are getting older and it is harder to get new ones when someone wishes to stop (usually after many years). We'd like to make the magazine easier to circulate and bring ourselves up to date so are looking into doing a digital version alongside the paper copies. Does anyone have any experience of this? We already pdf the magazine to send to the printers so being able to upload pdfs would be a good way to do it. I'm currently looking into it and thought people on here may have some good suggestions. Yours hopefully!
Dear Ellen -I've been soldiering on these past 20 years (I'm 81) with hardly any help in the monthly production of our parish magazine so have much sympathy with your remarks. However I may be able to help by telling you how we get our magazine onto the web. I note your comment re .pdf and this is the format I use both for the printer's copy and the web copy. I don't know which DTP you are using but the one I use is Serif which has a sub routine which allows me to produce both a .pdf formatted copy for printing and another 'different' format copy specifically formatted for use on the web. You may already know that the copy of the magazine you create can be quite massive in digibytes - ours is usually around 80-90 Mbytes which is far too 'big' to upload to the web site (or even email). That's where the correct software comes into its own allowing you to shrink the large file down to something like 2 M bytes a size that can easily be handled even by Outlook and the like as an email message. Before I convert our magazine into .pdf format for the web I remove all the advertisements leaving only the editorial comment and articles. (You may wish to discuss this with your committee before making this kind of decision.) Next you have to have access to a web site whose 'manager' will do all the necessary bits and pieces so that when it appears on the web site it can be read by say, Adobe Reader. We have a village web site run by the council and a church web site run by the church. Every month I email the appropriate .pdf as an attachment to both of these. Other than ensuring the .pdf format is web friendly that's all I have to do. I must however confess that I am a self taught fellow so can only tell you what I have learned over the years - no doubt there are lots of people out there who have a much better knowledge of these things and who can provide you with a simpler solution. Our two web sites are - www.bishopshull.org.uk and www.stpeterandstpaul.org.uk both of which carry our magazine. Keep up the good work. Bob Coombs robertcoombs@talktalk.net
Dear Bob, thank you for your comprehensive reply - and encouragement. I will look into doing this. Well done you for keeping going too! Ellen Hallam