By Oo Gin Lee
PAY just 10 per cent of the newsstand price for magazines like Cosmopolitan and Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Yes, you read it right.
Such imported magazines usually cost an arm and a leg but, on Zinio.com, you can get interactive digital versions of American magazines for a steal.
The print versions of United States magazines Cosmopolitan and Electronic Gaming Monthly go for about $14 and $11 per copy respectively at newsstands here. At Zinio.com, they cost US$1 (S$1.49) per copy when you subscribe for 12 issues.
Mr Tan Chin Hong, 36, an IT product manager, said: 'This sounds great. Not only is it cheaper, but it is also environmentally friendly and enables mobility. I won't have to lug around bulky magazines and I don't even have to go down to the shop to buy them anymore.'
Zinio offers over 800 American magazines for download, including (right, clockwise from top) Electronic Gaming Monthly, Elle, Men's Health and BusinessWeek. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Single issues at Zinio cost more, like US$3.99 for Electronic Gaming Monthly. You can also get special rates for physical magazines when you buy an annual subscription at Amazon.com, but they are meant only for US readers. Amazon.com will also not ship to Singapore.
Electronic Gaming Monthly at Amazon.com, for instance, costs US$19.97 for 12 issues.
Get around this US-only restriction by using a virtual concierge service like Vpost (vpost.com.sg). But you will have to pay an additional S$6.70 in shipping for every issue. Vpost, however, charges shipping for only 10 issues when you order a 12-issue subscription. Delivery takes one to two weeks.
If you are going for online pages, sign up an account with Zinio.com and download a Zinio reader for free to your PC.
Pay for the magazines you want with your credit card and they will be downloaded to your PC.
The e-magazines can be read only with the Zinio reader but you can print out individual pages.
Subscribers will be alerted when a new issue arrives. The e-magazine is delivered in crisp high-resolution images that look even sharper than the print version.
Navigate the pictures by clicking on the front and back buttons at the top menu or simply pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Zinio started in 2002 and currently delivers over 20 million issues annually for its growing base of
3.5 million readers. A search on the Web does not reveal any other competitor with a similar business.
There are over 800 magazines selling at Zinio from many different categories. Popular titles include Men's Health, Macworld, Harvard Business Review, Car & Driver and ESPN. You can also get European, Latin American and Asian magazines.
Tham Ruoxi, 23, who is in between jobs, said she prefers to flip rather than scroll, but is willing to compromise because of the cost-savings on Zinio.com.
'It's great for reading in the office as it will look like you are actually working,' quipped the avid reader of imported fashion magazines such as Lucky, Elle, In Style and Glamour.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on 31 December 2008.