I was poking around Save the Semiprozine a few days ago looking at the very informative listings (and seeing some zines I’ve never read before, thus I must catch up!). I once again found myself thinking that I would probably read more online magazines if they came in convenient eBook or PDF format. I know doing this is no easy task — at Fantasy we’re trying to set procedures in place to do it each month, but we’re currently behind. We deem it worth doing, though, because it will bring in some extra money and it’s convenient for readers.
Online magazines are convenient, yes, but I do most of my reading for pleasure away from the computer; usually on my commute. I can make PDFs of any web page myself, but that extra step usually stops me — I have too much to do as it is!
Though not everyone has an ebook reader, many people do. Plus, netbooks are huge right now and make pretty good eReaders. (If you own one, try turning the brightness down to about 40%. It makes a big difference!)
So my idea basically boils down to this: Semiprozines, particularly online ones, you should try making eBook/electronic editions of your issues or monthly archives. Give them away for free, sell them for a small fee to cover the time it takes to put them together or to raise money for your zine. In three months/issues, see how many downloads you have and how much your readership increases. Call it an experiment.
It’s a challenge! I’m throwing down the gauntlet. Who will be brave and take it up?