Self-publishing: wondermags – the eMagazine “multitool”


Trying it out yourself or rather giving publishing companies the elbow – self-publishers are getting more and more opportunities to take the initiative and get off the conventional publishing track.

The issue of self-publishing is a regular topic of discussion in print and publishing circles.  There are now several self-publishing platforms with integrated marketing aids and payment systems on the market. One of these has been launched by the Luxembourg-based start-up, wondermags. I took a closer look at what this is all about and did some outside-the-box thinking together with Christoph Steiner, a project manager at wondermags.

Bernd Zipper: What makes your system so unique?

Christoph Steiner: wondermags is the only self-publishing platform for digital magazines that combines production, distribution/sales and payments in a single system. Anybody with cool content can produce interactive ‘wondermags’ on the wondermags platform, publish them in our web and iPad kiosk and earn money.

Nowadays bloggers and plenty of journalists publish their content free of charge to a very large extent. Only a small percentage earns any money. That is not the way it should be. The wondermags platform enables authors to produce wondermags from their content and then publish and sell them in our kiosk.

Another problem – these days anybody who wants to produce a digital magazine cannot avoid using Adobe tools. However these require specialist knowledge and are associated with high costs. The wondermags platform enables anybody to produce their own eMagazine – free of charge and without the need to have design software skills. There are handmade design templates available for any purpose, the author then simply adds texts, pictures, video, audio, maps and other cool interactive functions to our web editor and out comes a wonderful, interactive magazine.

It’s up to the author whether they restrict themselves to a certain format. Video, audio and pictures can always be incorporated; Source:

Bernd Zipper: Do you have any other future plans as far as integrating interactive content is concerned?

Christoph Steiner: Our list of planned functions is long. Apart from linking in other media services like Soundcloud, Vimeo and other photo services, a whole load of extra design elements are planned. We also have a relatively lengthy to-do list as far as advertising is concerned, e.g. affiliate program links etc.

Bernd Zipper: What CMS and other database interfaces are currently available? Are any still to be added?

Christoph Steiner: At the moment there are still no CMS links, but here too we are already well into the planning stage. In this respect a WordPress link is our highest priority. This should make it easier for bloggers in particular to edit their content direct.

 “Manageable inputs, no financial risk plus creative opportunities – the wondermags platform offers novices and active bloggers a great publishing base.” – Bernd Zipper

Bernd Zipper: You hope that your platform will enable you to become a really major player. How many publications are currently available via wondermags?

Christoph Steiner: Currently more than 70 wondermags have been published in our kiosk. We currently have more than 100 authors on our books, some of whom are still “crafting” their wondermags. We are still helping our authors to produce their publications and will soon attempt to raise the bar.

Bernd Zipper:  You talk about premium content – do you regularly have to turn authors away?

Christoph Steiner: No, that happens very rarely, for example, when the proposed content does not match our GTCs. At the moment we still check the content of every wondermag ourselves before we release it. However wondermags is intended to be a public platform. In other words anybody can become an author without having to submit an application beforehand. Should something not conform to our guidelines, the community itself should take action and report anything untoward.

The establishment of a proactive community is extremely important to us. Wondermags is not just simply another self-publishing platform; rather it has the potential to completely redefine digital (self-) publishing. It is intended to be THE platform for user-generated, self-curated quality content – the Amazon for content, if you like. We want it to be an infinitely large marketplace for content of all kinds, the quality of which is assured by the community.

Only around 10 percent of all bestsellers cost any money at wondermags; Source:

Authors can decide for themselves whether or not they provide their work free of charge – and if not, what price do they charge. An estimated 10 percent of the magazines on subjects such as travel, food, fashion and business cost any money. OK, so where’s the incentive in publishing anything on this platform? In addition to the sales prices, it also generates revenues via full-page advertisements, which are placed in the magazines. Creatives and bloggers get a cut from these ads and receive payments on top of the 50 percent of the net sales prices charged for their publications. Authors have no financial risk whatsoever if they use this self-publishing “multitool”, given that wondermags provides them with a production, sales & distribution and payment environment.

My take: Great stuff! Although wondermags is positioned solely as a digital magazine platform, those new to this business can gain experience in handling their readerships. The comment and contact options for giving authors direct feedback are pretty cool. Bloggers that publish on this platform can nevertheless subsequently get their publications produced via online print. Digital and print do tend to complement one another superbly – there’s a good reason why a print version of all posts in any one year is published at the end of that year.

Founder and CEO of zipcon consulting GmbH, one of the leading consulting companies for the print and media industry in Central Europe. The technology and strategy consultant and his team actively support practical implementation in a wide variety of customer projects. His work involves developing visions, concepts and strategies for the players active in the print production process across a wide range of industries. His areas of expertise include online print, mass customization, strategy and technological assessment for print, and the development of new strategies in the print and media environment. Bernd Zipper is the creator and chairman of Initiative Online Print e.V. and, in addition to his consulting activities, is an author, lecturer and sought-after speaker, orator and moderator. His visionary lectures are regarded worldwide as trend-setting management recommendations for the print and media industry. (Profiles also in Xing, LinkedIn).

Leave A Comment