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Magic magazine goes digital with an eye on the iPad

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Earlier this year, Magic magazine went digital. Finally. Magic Editor in Chief Stan Allen talks about why he made the transition … and why he waited so long.

What finally pushed you over the edge?

The iPad. It meant you no longer had to read pages on a PDF. For the longest time, we’ve had tools to take pictures of our pages and put those up on the Internet. But the iPad allows us to do so much more.

Such as?

More photos, for starters. Sometimes a story will come in with 30 good photos, but we can only run 10 in the magazine. Now, you can see all of them, and they look great. Also, footnotes are easier to read; you just touch the iPad and the note pops up in a text box. But the biggest thing is video. Quick example: Joanie Spina writes a column called Direction in which she describes somebody’s act and offers advice on how to improve it. Now, you can watch the video and hear her voice talking over it.

How’s the iPad version selling?

The month it came out, 10 percent of our readers opted for the digital version. Then it went back down to two or three percent. But over the months it’s crawled back up to eight or nine percent. It’s most popular overseas where shipping is expensive and takes forever.

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Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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