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Nomad Editions to launch weekly digital magazines

A new digital only publisher came across my radar this week. Nomad Editions announced yesterday that their first 4 weekly magazines are now available for download. You can subscribe for 12 issues for $6, and right now they’re offering a trial subscription (no credit card info required).

I’m playing around with one of the magazines right now, and I’m pleased with the design. I believe this is the first commercial design I’ve seen that used HTML5. There’s nothing spectacularly amazing about it, but it is nice to read on my laptop.

The viewer is lacking certain features like font size and annotation, but since it’s running in my browser the missing features aren’t a problem. They’re not even missing, for that matter; I just used the browser’s settings.

This is interesting. I’ve said many times that magazine apps aren’t worth the investment, but it seems a lot of people disagree with me and they’re ready to put their money where their mouths are. Update: I should have noticed sooner that this isn’t an app. Sorry, my mind was elsewhere.

From the press release:

Nomad Editions, a new media company producing first-of-their-kind digital weekly publications designed exclusively for mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and other platforms, today announced its official launch—marked by the debut of its full digital platform and the first complete wave of weekly titles—Real Eats, Wide Screen, Wave Lines and BodySmart.

The response generated by the content released in advance of this launch has been highly positive, with several thousand subscribers already registered for the Nomad Editions platform ahead of official launch date.

In addition to the official launch of its first four titles, Nomad Editions has announced it will be working with National Geographic Traveler to prototype a digital weekly based on updated archival material and photography. If successful this new product will be a brand extension of National Geographic Traveler and marketed through Nomad Editions' newsstand.

Led by former Newsweek President Mark Edmiston and media veterans with decades of combined experience, Nomad Editions employs cutting edge technology to drive a unique subscription-based business model in which the content creators share substantially in the revenue generated by their work. Nomad Editions represent a new media form designed from the ground up to be consumed on smartphones and tablets. Every Nomad Edition delivers original, high quality content that combines the capabilities of the online world with the traditional virtues of expert storytelling in words and pictures.

Nomad Editions employs Treesaver, developed by designer Roger Black and former Microsoft engineer Filipe Fortes that uses HTML5 to automatically format the content of each edition to fit any browser and optimize the user experience across multiple devices.

Following the release of its Editorial Roster of award-winning media professionals and the creation of the Custom Media division led by former Inc. Magazine editor Chris Leach, Nomad Editions has solidified its rich platform. Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief John Benditt, Nomad Editions consistently generate high-quality content for a diverse array of topics such as food, film, surfing and intelligent weight control. More issues on subjects such as personal finance, dogs and wine will be launched in the coming months. The first full wave of Nomad Editions includes:

Real Eats – Stories behind food, edited by Sean Elder whose work appeared in New York, the New York Times Magazine, Details, Vogue, Elle, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Premiere, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Redbook and Glamour. Content debuted on Dec. 3, and recent stories include three men on a mission to find the best barbecue below the Mason-Dixon line, one man’s dream of bringing the bagels of his Brooklyn youth to the adopted land of his grandparents, and a modest proposal for bringing reasoned discourse to our society through the dinner table.

Wide Screen – Provides insight behind the movies that matter, edited by Glenn Kenny, a renowned American film critic who is the former editor of Premiere magazine and contributing writer to many publications. Content debuted on Dec. 8, and recent stories include a two-part roundtable from a roster of top critics on the best films of 2010 and what to look forward to in 2011, an appreciation of Joan Fontaine’s greatest film, and an exploration of whether endless access to selective cinematic riches makes geeks of us all.

Wave Lines – All you need to know about surfing and the surf industry edited by professional writer and lifelong surfer Jon Cohen. Content debuted on Dec. 3, and recent stories include an inside story of coming this close to winning a major surf competition, a report on how surfers age, and an investigative report on the battle over a prime piece of surf real estate in Baja.

BodySmart – Will be launched on January 26. It will offer, in easily accessible form, with great writing and illustration, the latest conclusions validated by science for maintaining your health and fitness. In particular, BodySmart will focus in on intelligent weight loss, an area where new science has a lot to say and where much of the conventional wisdom is wrong.

"The launch of Nomad Editions marks a major step forward in how media content will be consumed in the digital age," said Mark Edmiston, CEO of Nomad Editions. "For the first time ever, readers now have a platform that they can trust for a high-quality, enjoyable and interactive reading experience that was designed specifically for their mobile device of choice. We’re very pleased with the positive reception we’ve received from our subscribers in advance of today’s launch, and look forward to developing additional publications that service  special interest areas in a multitude of subjects beyond these four titles."

"Editorially, Nomad Editions is an exciting adventure in creating an entirely new form of publication," said editor-in-chief John Benditt. "Our goal is to find passionate, literate, expert editors and collaborate with them to realize their visions. We’ve made a very good start on that with our first three editions–strong voices, smart content–and we intend to keep adding new Nomad Editions at a good clip right through 2011. For me, it’s a great pleasure to work with editors and writers of the caliber that we’ve recruited to Nomad."

Readers can register at to receive unlimited access to all Nomad Editions for 30 days. After this initial trial period, readers can subscribe to one or more titles for $6 per three month period. Each Nomad Edition covers one niche subject and contains approximately 20 to 30 minutes worth of content for the average reader. All editorial content will be archived and searchable on the Nomad Editions web site. For more information, including instructions on how to register for free one-month trial subscriptions to Nomad Editions' digital weeklies, please go to

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Mike Cane January 27, 2011 um 11:57 am

Wait. These are all browser-only and you’re not complaining? What’s the difference between cloud magazines and cloud eBooks then? If you complain about not being to own the latter, why not the former? And Hoodgrown is down in HTML5, but it’s wrapped in an app so it can be downloaded.

Magazines have a shot — just not most of the ones currently in print. I don’t know about these. I can’t see — from the subject matter — why I’d prefer these over websites that have been out there for years.

Nate the great January 27, 2011 um 12:10 pm

I don’t collect magazines like I collect ebooks, and I also rarely read magazines 6 months down the line (like I read ebooks).

Mike Cane January 27, 2011 um 12:25 pm

Bah. Loophole. You’re still spending money!

Nate the great January 27, 2011 um 12:38 pm

Actually, no. I haven’t bought a magazine in years.

Mike Cane January 27, 2011 um 10:21 pm

But if you were to buy THESEm you would be.

I haven’t bought a magazine in years, either. In the 1980s, I had subscriptions to almost everything, too.

Chris January 28, 2011 um 1:16 pm

Tested a couple. I like the presentation a lot, but the content wasn’t compelling in the film and food mags I tried. (I feel like a heel writing that–sorry writers!)

My bigger issue was that there seems to be no way to bookmark articles directly for later access, and no way to copy and paste text, email text, Instapaper it, or even save a photograph. It’s far too locked down by browser tricks in an age where online content is usually accessible and malleable.

If I could at least clip and save articles on the Nomad site to build my own private archive, I’d be more interested. As of now I can’t see a compelling reason to pay for what they’re offering.

Nate the great January 28, 2011 um 1:37 pm

I don’t understand why you can’t copy and paste. I just did it, formatting, image, and all.

Chris January 28, 2011 um 3:51 pm

I couldn’t last night on an iPad. Were you testing on a PC or touchscreen device? Hmm, I’ll re-check…

Nate the great January 28, 2011 um 3:56 pm


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