By Marrecca Fiore

Horse lovers are trotting to the Internet to read the digital editions Bridle & Bit and its sister publications, Arizona Bridle & Bit and the Horse Property Guide online, said publisher and co-owner of the Phoenix, Arizona-based company that publishes the magazines, Rex Wager.

The magazines have been available free of charge through E-Book Systems’ Digital Flip reader for eight months or 24 issues, Wager told Folio: Publishing Technology recently, and almost a third of his readership has made the switch to online. "I publish 10,000 print copies of each magazine every month," Wager said. "Of that readership, I’ve already seen nearly 3,000 downloads of the FlipViewer license. Thirty percent market penetration in a 28 year-old product is very impressive."

Wager said advertisers are also keen to the switch. He said his company recently created a FlipBook directory for its existing advertisers and sold 225 pages of advertisements in just 90 days of upfront selling. Wager said his past print directories were not as successful. "The FlipBook ad directory is going to reach an international audience, which is particularly appealing to advertisers," he said. "FlipBook issue advertisers have already told me they’ve been receiving calls from readers in Australia and Europe."

Next year, Wager plans to publish all 36 issues of the three monthly magazines in the 3-D FlipBook format, and will launch three new products in a digital platform, including the Flipbook ad directory. Wager is hoping to attract an even larger readership to online version, which will save his company time and money. Currently, it costs $35,000 a month for Wager to print his three magazines, it costs just $390 a month, including licensing fees and labor, to put out all three magazines in FlipBook version.