In the age of digitisation, consumers and especially companies need to become increasingly creative in order to distribute their personal or commercial content in a targeted manner. An increasingly popular way of doing this is the use of so-called flipbooks. These are digital publications that, like PDFs, can distribute content online - only better, of course. In order to keep track of the different providers in the digital publishing sector, I have tested several different publishing platforms, service providers and also digital publishing software that offer this service:
Let's get straight to the test winner: YumpuPublishing offers a convincing selection of publishing options with five different plans. Those who simply want to bring their documents into a more modern format than conventional PDF documents can use the FREE plan. On the other hand, those who also want to integrate videos, links and image galleries can opt for the adFREE plan, for example, and benefit from additional features such as ad-free integration on their own website or monitoring with Google Analytics. The WEBKiosk, APPKiosk and PROKiosk, with which (as the name suggests) entire online kiosks can be created for the distribution of digital magazines, are a truly professional solution. All around the prices are more than fair for the features you get and there is something for every demand. In addition, YumpuPublishing scores with its user-friendly interface and its website, which is available in English, German, Italian, French and other languages. For me YumpuPublishing is clearly the winner in terms of value for money.
The next digital online publisher I looked at is called iMag. They also offer the conversion of static PDFs into interactive online publications and have a convincing web presence in English, German, Italian and French. Now for the really exciting part - the offer: Unlike most of its competitors, iMag offers only two different service-plans which makes it no less useful. If you are looking for a high-quality look in your online magazines and value social sharing as well as Google Analytics integration, then the low-cost package for $49 per year is completely sufficient. If you want to have a closer look bevor purchasing any plan, you can also get a trial for only $1. At this price there is almost nowhere else a comparable offer. Even the slightly more expensive plan has a lot to offer. Additionally it convinces with search engine optimisation and a layout completely without external advertising. As stated on the website, iMag offers a suitable option for both private customers and freelancers, but also for smaller companies.
I also knew Flipsnack before I started the research for this article. Hardly any other digital publisher offers as many different options as Flipsnack. A free trial is also tempting here, but due to the very limited number of features, it hardly provides insight into the possibilities of Flipsnack. In contrast to other online publishing platforms, Flipsnack only offers its own branding and analytics services from a rather expensive plan with almost $50 per month. Even with the really expensive options, the user is still limited to a number of pages. Apart from that, Flipsnack tries to bring almost all services in online marketing under one roof with the business and education plans. Even though sending branded emails and a huge number of separate workspaces may sound sensible, such services are better left to the professionals. All in all, a satisfactory provider of digital publishing, but more so when it comes to smaller matters. I would leave the paid features alone due to lack of information.
issuu is probably also known to everyone who has already dealt with the topic of digital publishing. But I personally was not convinced by the service. This is partly due to the following: With four different plans, issuu is stable in the midfield of providers. However, the offer is not exactly overwhelming. The free version offers almost no features at all, so I could actually leave my documents in the conventional PDF format instead of uploading them here. To integrate a video, for example, I need the premium plan, which is really not cheap at $45 per month. If you want to get a deeper insight into the behaviour of your users, you will be disappointed here too. issuu promises 'detailed statistics' at a premium price, but does not provide Google Analytics integration or really meaningful data. For me, the magazine publishing platform failed the test despite its high profile.
With Flipdocs, one of the unknown publishing companies has also entered the race - not particularly successful, as you can see. In contrast to competitors like ISSUU or Yumpu, even the start page of Flipdocs is not very convincing. Unlike the other providers in comparison, Flipdocs offers the possibility to convert only one single PDF to an online publication. But for a price of $30 per e-publication this is quite expensive and you can only digitalise 20 pages - for each additional page it’s $1 extra. If you want to commit yourself for the long term, you can create an unlimited number of digital flipbooks for $35 per month. Unfortunately, Flipdocs doesn't really seem to offer much more than unlimited digitalisation, because there is nothing to see of interactive content, Google Analytics, social sharing & Co. An absolute disaster!
After extensive testing I have come to the conclusion that Yumpu not only offers a wide range of offers and features, but also the best value for money for each of its products. I continue to use Yumpu to convert my PDF documents into interactive digital magazines and can recommend it to anyone who is also looking for a suitable publisher.