I’ve spent 41 years in the news business, more if you include my days as a paperboy.

We “newsboys” would get bundles of newspapers dropped off to us and then deliver them house to house. Before we got them, all sorts of things happened in the creation of the product.

Those prelude steps included cutting down trees, making paper from the timber, sending huge rolls of paper to the printing plants, running the presses, loading bundled papers on trucks and delivering them in bulk to a bunch of 11-year-old kids who delivered the final product. Whew.

It seemed a normal way to do things at the time. But looking back at what we know now and moreover the technology we possess now, it’s a laborious way of getting a news product, including a magazine, to readers.

The Internet is amazing in many ways, and one of them is the ability to deliver information in a timely and efficient way. And in an exciting, engaging and value-added way, as you can see beginning this month with the launch of an all-new digital version of WardsAuto Dealer Business.

You can’t deliver cars online. But you can deliver magazines and other publications in wonderful ways.

Now, readers can get their information much easier and more effectively online. Not only that, our new tablet version is so much more alive and has so many more capabilities for delivering a true reader experience. It retails all the essential elements of a magazine, and makes them better.

The October issue is the last print version of WardsAuto Dealer Business magazine. It bows out as the new digital version debuts.

A few years ago, I might have regretted announcing the end of a print publication. Technology back then wasn’t advanced enough to make an online magazine much more than a copy-cat version of the print publication.

But that’s far from the case today, as our tablet version will demonstrate on a regular basis. And now we’ll put out two issues a month rather than just one.

The reinvented WardsAuto Dealer Business will also give you:

  • Daily updates and access to the latest retail and industry news.
  • Alerts when new issues and new content become available.
  • Interactive content that allows you to explore added information, watch videos, take part in polls and offer comments.
  • A truly mobile experience that goes with you everywhere on your mobile device, downloaded for convenient reading while traveling or otherwise offline.

We are using advanced software to create a digital magazine that puts information at your fingertips and brings content alive with compelling graphics, scrolling text, videos, polls and greater interactivity.

A big reason we are entering this brave new world is to give readers what they want. A reader survey tells us 70% own iPads or other computer tablets, and 24% plan to get one within a year. (And that was a few months ago, so the adoption rate surely is higher today.) Four out of five dealers told us they like to use those devices to get business-related information. 

We knew what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want to transfer a print publication into a digital format, any more than a movie director is content with filming a production of a play.

Accordingly, you’ll find our new version much more engaging than flipping through the pages of a print publication.

We’ll leverage the new technology to the max, offering something so exciting and different that it will intrigue readers – and reach more of them. The print publication of WardsAuto Dealer Business was mailed only to dealer principals and general managers. Now, department managers can take advantage of the magazine’s news, analysis and expert advice to help their operations make more money.

Here’s what you need to do to get the magazine: 

  • Make sure we have your current email address so you get our alerts as new issues are made available.  Go to WardsAuto.com/esub to update now.
  • Download the app to your iPad or Android tablet. Visit the iTunes App Store or Google Play App Store and search WardsAuto

I’m confident that after you see the new WardsAuto Dealer Business, you won’t want to go back to the old days.

Steve Finlay is the editor of WardsAuto Dealer Business.