22 Feb 2017 by Enrica Menozzi

Apple and Android: how to publish a magazine on app stores

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The Digital Revolution

Today more people spend time on their tablets, phones and other personal mobile devices than any other time in history. While these handy devices may have spelled the end for traditional magazine publishers, it has turned out to be a surprising boon for content producers with an eye towards technology.

In order to help you going digital, we’ve written a complete guide on how to create a digital magazine.

Download it here for free

The most frequent excuse used by people who don't read is a lack of time. With digital magazine publishing now more available than ever, any time is enough to check out the latest issues. With that in mind, learning how to publish a magazine on app stores can be intimidating at first, but the process is actually rather intuitive.

Preparing for Publication

First, before you can offer a product to the world, you have to have a product to offer. It goes without saying you'll need the finished product that you plan to present in the app store in its completed format. The most popular final presentation form is PDF.

Once you have your layouts finalized, your copy proofed and edited and any embedded links or animations are verified and working, then you want to bundle the entire thing in Adobe's PDF format. This can be done with Acrobat which is available from the Adobe.com website or with any number of alternative options on the web.

The important thing is that for all intents and purposes this file looks and behaves exactly as you want when a future subscriber downloads the issue to their device.

Submitting on Digital Platforms

Submitting your magazine for publication will differ depending on the platform you're using. Each platform has its own unique rules but the basic steps are the same. Gather the files you've created and log into or create an account on the platform you intend on using.


  • In order to publish an app on the App Store, you need a Mac and an Apple developer account. If you don’t have a developer account yet, you can easily create one here.
  • Once your developer account is up and running, the next step is to create all the certificates needed to sign the app. These would be the .p12 distribution, the push notification and the mobile provisioning certificates.
  • You can now build the app, choosing the xCode software or a CMS platform. Once you’ve finished, upload the app using the Application Loader (a tool provided by Apple).
  • Finally, submit the app for review. Apple takes about 48/72 hours to review the app and to make sure it’s in compliance with the standards.


  • Similarly to Apple, also Android requires you to have a Google developer account. If you don’t have one yet, just create it here.
  • To publish an app in the Play Store you don’t need to have all the certificates required by Apple. Therefore you can start building your app using the Android Studio software or a CMS platform.
  • Finally, upload the app via browser and publish it in the Play Store. Your app will be live in a few hours.

After Publication

Once your magazine is published on a major platform, it's time to sit back and reap the rewards of your effort. Or, you know, get cracking on the next issue. Alas, no rest for the weary.

Given the turn around time from brainstorming and developing leads, to either creating or sourcing good copy to the final layout and art proofs of the eventual issue, it's easy to see why most magazines have already started the next issue before the current one ever hits the newsstands. Many larger publications have their leads in place months in advance to meet the heavy deadline demands of a regular publishing schedule.


This is what we do it for right? Generally speaking receiving payment from your publishing platform is a pretty straightforward and reliable process. Unlike traditional publishers in print of either magazines or books, who rely mostly on royalties and fluid fulfillment dates for payments, mobile publishers gather all of your sales internally on their own servers and present you with an invoice and payment on a pretty regular schedule. Payments will usually arrive via direct transfer on a given date each month. The payment options available to publishers are available on their respective websites and are subject to change, though they rarely do.

Things to Consider

Keep in mind that standard materials that might be found offensive are generally not allowed in the digital marketplace. This includes anything considered profane, racist, discriminatory and generally pornographic as well.

Take the time to review the marketplace you intend to publish on and become familiar with the layout. What stands out to you, what magazines jump off the page? This may give you an idea how the layout of the website lends itself to proper formatting on your part. In some cases, experimenting with what categories you find your publication under may lead to a broader audience in the long run. The possibilities are extensive and the tools at your disposal are powerful, to say the least.

Publishing in the App Store or on Google Play is open to any entity that has a magazine they want to share with the world. The great thing about the digital revolution is that it allows all voices to be heard on an equal playing field. The consumers decide what they have interest in and therefore drive their own market share. This does provide a great opportunity to circumvent the normal roadblocks that meet the traditional media publisher. In modern app stores you're appealing directly to the target audience, this means you can stay true to your market's interests without making concessions to the middlemen.

Now you know how to publish a magazine on app stores, good luck!

Moving the first steps into the digital word can be tough. For a complete guide on how to go digital, don’t forget to download our ebook:

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Enrica Menozzi

Enrica Menozzi

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