Cyril Ernou has a great post detailing all of the in5 settings in French.
I recently received an email containing the following questions:
Your product [in5] looks amaaazing!
One issue that has always hassled me is the deployment, monetization and DRM [Digital Rights Management] side of things. Do you have any solutions like this for clients selling their creations?
…Aside from the vastly expensive DPS hosting and app store – there don’t seem to be any options available for the small guy to monetize a digital document…?
These are good questions that I believe are of interest to many people. There are several affordable ways to monetize your content and provide some protection to your content at the same time. I’ve put together a list of the best options below (and more are sure to pop up).
1. Host Content Behind a Paid Firewall
Hosting the web content produced by in5 behind a paid firewall (i.e. users pay a membership fee which gives them access to a private part of a website) is a simple way to collect revenue and can provide some basic DRM. Only paid members would have access to the site (via username and password) and content would remain on the server.
Taking the output into app form can also provide revenue (through an app store) and DRM (since apps can be difficult to distribute outside of a store). The options that follow all involve creating an app(s).
You can submit in5 content directly to Amazon. Amazon will actually do the packaging for you! The app is then available to Kindle Fire and several Android devices through the Amazon AppStore. A developer account and app submission are both free. Doesn’t get more affordable than that. (demo video)
You can also export to the Baker Framework using in5, and then package as a app for iPhone or iPad. The Baker Framework is an open source library (completely free) for Xcode (the Apple developer code editor, which is free, but requires a Mac) that can produce a standalone app or issues for Apple Newsstand. An Apple Developer license is $99/year (and up) and if you charge for your app (or Newsstand issues), I believe Apple will take a percentage. (demo video)
You can also package in5 output as an app for multiple devices using PhoneGap. The core of PhoneGap is based on a free, open-source product and there is also a nice web service called PhoneGap Build. Depending on your technical comfort, the cost of this option will vary somewhat. The more you can do yourself, the cheaper this option is. Even if you prefer to use the web service (the least technical option) you can produce a single app for free and the next plan up starts at $9.99/month.
Currently in beta, Liquid State is a web service that is designed to import several types of content, including content produced by in5. Liquid State can then create an app (or “issues”) for multiple devices. Liquid State will offer single app pricing and monthly subscriptions, both of which will be more affordable than the current Adobe DPS pricing. There’s also the possibility that there will be mutual discounts available to in5 and Liquid State customers. If you’re a current in5 user and you’d like to be part of the Liquid State beta you can contact the co-founder, Philip Andrews, directly (philip AT liquid-state DOT com).
*There are some costs associated with submitting to the app stores (I believe is the most costly is Apple’s at around $99/year for a single developer) which are separate from the product or service that does the “packaging” for you.
I mentioned a while back that Amazon had quietly revolutionized the app creation process by allowing submission of HTML5 apps to their marketplace. Very few people understood the significance of this change which allows people to publish without the burden of going through the traditional app production process. So I’m going to cover this topic a bit more within this post. Firstly, what does the existing process of creating and submitting an app to an app store look like?
The Typical App Submission Process
The steps required to create and submit an app vary depending on the tools you’re using and the app store you’re submitting to, but the steps go something like this:
- Pay for a developer account (recurring annual fee).
- Use your developer account to produce a code-signing certificate (a way to verify that you paid to publish).
- Insert the signing certificate into your app.
- If you’re a coder, compile your app. If you’re not a coder, pay some service or developer to compile your app.
- Submit your app to the app store and wait for approval.
The New Process Created By Amazon
Amazon essentially reduced this process to a single step: submit your content to the app store. No fee, no signing-certificate, no packaging, no need to know a heavy-duty programming language or to pay someone who does. Your content just has to be in the form of HTML.
I don’t think it was clear to many people just how easy Amazon’s app submission process has now become, and how favorably it compares to other options.
Thankfully, David Isbitski, recorded a video on how to submit an HTML5 Web App to the Amazon Marketplace:
Unlike other app stores, getting an Amazon Developer account and submitting an app is totally free!
Don’t know how to create HTML5? No problem.
You don’t need to be a web developer to take advantage of Amazon’s HTML5 app submission process. You can export HTML5 directly from InDesign using in5, upload your content to a server and submit the URL directly to Amazon. InDesign to app! No programming knowledge required and no recurring costs.
How in5 makes it even easier
When creating content with InDesign and in5, you can simply enter the Amazon Verification Key into the in5 dialog and in5 will even generate the web-app-manifest.json file for you so that you can focus entirely on the design of your app (and not programmer-type things like “manifest” files).
Here are the two fields that are available in the SEO & Meta section of the in5 dialog:
The Most Useful in5 Feature that You’re Not Using Yet – Scaling a Single Design to Multiple Devices – The Viewport Zoom Setting Explained
The Viewport Zoom Setting can be used to control how your design scales automatically on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones). This video below provides a tour of versatile Viewport Zoom options and shows the results displayed on the screens of multiple devices.
Not using in5 yet? Try it out >>
I was sitting in Colin Fleming‘s One Design, Multiple Devices: Adaptive Design in Digital Publishing Suite lab at Adobe MAX, when someone mentioned that it would be useful to split Alternate Layouts into individual documents when building Folios. Many of our in5 customers are working with Alternate Layouts as well, so I’ve included a script with the latest update of in5. The script is available to use at no charge for in5 and DPS users alike.
Just double-click on the script in the Scripts panel:
The script is installed free with in5. A license is required to use the full edition of in5, but this script will work even if you don’t have an in5 license. So, head over to the in5 download page and get the latest version (which includes this script).