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Making the transition from Print to PDF

how do I manage distributing PDFs to subscribers?

9:34 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We publish a print magazine and it is doing OK with subscriptions, but I would like to offer it as a PDF download to both print subscribers and to those that want to just take the PDF version (like overseas subscribers, postage is a killer now..)

I don't know where to begin with this, creating the PDF magazines and hosting them is not the problem, it is managing the downloads and hence my posting here.

There is another Print Magazine (I will post the link if allowed) that has a website that also offers its magazine as a paid PDF download (cheaper than the print mag) and it seems to be managed rather well.
You subscribe, log in your account, get email updates with a user-specific URL to download the next issue.

Is there any kind of service that is available for managing this sort of thing?
I do not want to just post a single URL for everyone to download from.

12:29 pm on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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One way to go might be to use an existing content management system (CMS). There is paid and free software available which might fit your needs.

One CMS that comes to my mind which certainly would support username dependent URLs for one PDF resource is Typo3. It is free software, but it is not really easy to learn. If you have not much software experience, typo3 might therefore not be the right choice for you.

3:16 pm on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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thanks for your reply, a CMS is probably what I am looking for.

free is good, but not required.
I can budget the cost of the CMS into the subscription and would rather have something semi-easy for me to manage rather than something that is free and difficult for me to deal with .

I can't even do CSS yet!

any tips on shopping for a CMS would be welcome.
such as: What to look for, what to stay away from when trying to shop around for this.

at least I got an acronym to use now.

3:42 pm on Feb 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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opensourcecms.com is a good place to start. You can play around with demos of a lot of CMS's there. Even if you decide not to go open source, the playing around can give you an idea of what you're looking for - and not. Since you already have a payment system capable of handling subscriptions, there might be some features "lurking" there that could be useful.

[edited by: Beagle at 3:46 pm (utc) on Feb. 8, 2008]

12:39 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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thanks, the other website responded and told me they do everything in-house and referred me to a CMS that might be what I need, except that is based on Coldfusion and my host does not support ColdFusion..