Osprey and Amber launch digital partworks

Osprey and Amber launch digital partworks

History publishers Osprey and Amber Books are looking to bolster their digital sales by repurposing content and selling it through Apple’s Newsstand, with regularly updated digital magazines.

Osprey has been working with Exact Editions on World War II Military History Magazine, a new app that will consist of content from the Osprey archive released monthly in serialised form.

Amber Books has teamed up with Padify on a Dinosaurs digital partwork, with users able to buy individual issues or purchase an ongoing subscription. New content will be published each fortnight.

Osprey’s World War II Military History Magazine will be available for free as a download, before allowing users to upgrade to an auto-renewing subscription through their iTunes account. Each issue focuses on an iconic battle of the Second World War, and features newly commissioned maps, analysis and a monthly quiz.

Osprey said the move would help it capitalise on the incremental revenue streams that come with auto-renewing app subscriptions, adding that it  would create a subscriber community for its titles.

Daryl Rayner, m.d. of Exact Editions added: “App subscriptions help a publisher connect with its customers in a direct and regular way. Book publishers can now enjoy the delights of magazine selling.” The company will also be able to use the development to “understand their customers, making it easier to track the trends, likes and dislikes of their subscribers”.

Charles Catton, publishing manager at Amber, said: “Dinosaurs is an exciting opportunity to revive an old publishing model for the new digital publishing era. We have the perfect content which‚ thanks to the Padify engine, we can repurpose and enhance for a new generation of readers.”  

Dinosaurs will be published in September; Amber will then follow up with Ancients in their Own Words: The Greeks. Both are based on previously published books. Catton added: “We’ve done a number of dinosaur books, but the content for this is principally derived from The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, published four years ago. Padify then adds in the enhancements and interactive elements. There are some small additional costs in moving to digital, but essentially we’ve already sunk the costs against the original print book.”

Catton said there was enough content from The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs to publish 26 issues, but said it would think about originating fresh content if the series takes off. “There are plenty of other dinosaurs to explore.”

Osprey is pricing the World War II Military History Magazine at a monthly cost of £2.99, or a quarterly subscription of £7.99. Amber has yet to finalise its pricing, but expects it be around the £1.99 mark for each issue.