How does Issuu work?

how does issuu work

Basically rather than sending your content to traditional publisher for publishing and printing out hard copies, you can send your content to Flipsnack or YumpuPublishing, to publish your Issuu publications digitally in the realm of the internet. Other benefits of publishing your own flipbook? With a software like YumpuPublishing you get a ton of great benefits for free!

Table of contents:

  • What is Issuu?

    Issuu is one of the leading digital publishing platforms. It allows you to create your own digital publication and distribute it. If you are not interested into publishing, you can read and find a great ton of magazines on the platform. Same as with other Issuu competitors.

    But now to the most important question:

    How does Issuu work?

    Well, as previously mentioned, it allows you to create online content including magazines, publications, catalogues, books and the like by uploading PDF files. You do not need to worry about whether is Issuu legal. (If you would not have already guessed it: Issuu is legal - so continue reading to find out how Issuu works).

    issuu-logo Issuu, a Joomag alternative, will simply take those PDF files and convert them into flash readable content publications.

    By posting your magazines online, you are able to reach a much wider audience, and with billions of people going online daily, there are endless opportunities of growth.

    Issuu has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2006. Currently, it boasts more than 100 million unique visitors per month.

    A lot of people ask: Is Issuu free for readers?

    Yes, it is free for readers.  But it offers 4 different plans & Issuu pricing for publisher who want to publish magazines and thats how does issuu make money.

    You can pay setup your billing to be either monthly or annually.

    For annual payments, they offer discounts as well.  

    You start off with the Basic Plan that is free of charge. In this plan, you get to upload, embed and share your media.

    The Plus Plan costs $26/month and includes reader customizations, an ad-free reader, and some analytics.
    The Premium Plan costs $35/month and adds features to brand your reader, drive user engagement with advanced analytics.
    The Optimum Plan is Issuu’s highest-priced offering and will set you back by $279/month for added features that include unlimited space, a collaborative tool for editorial teams called magma. Magma includes integrated InDesign for designing your publications/magazines.


    The core features provided by Issuu include:

    • Unlimited Publishing: Using Issuu allows you to publish as many publications / magazines you want, there is no limit on the number of publications. However, there is a limit on the size and no. of pages of each publication.
    • Embedded Reader: With a few lines of code, you can embed your publication on any other website.
    • HTML5 Reader: With the HTML5 reader how does Issuu work is that your subscribers can view your publication directly in their browsers, they do not need to install any separate Issuu app for this.
    • Native Apps: along with HTML5 reader, Issuu have also launched native apps for iOS and Android. But here a lot of users wonder how to use issuu app.
    • Analytics: Gives you the power to view your users’ engagement with your publishing, identify page views and areas for improvement, and come to know what content is currently popular with your readers.
    • Sharing: We all love to share on social platforms. You can do the same with your publication. You just have to make sure you are getting your publication ready, to easily share it with leading social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and co., in a matter of few clicks. You just have to log into your social media account. For more details about how to share your digital publications with the public – please check our article  related “WordPress Issuu plugin to share publications“.

    The following two points go a little bit deeper into the Issuu pros and cons.

    Issuu Pros

    thumbs-upIssuu makes it very easy for you to share your magazines on all the leading social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.

    For further details on how to share your publications/magazines or whether to use the WordPress Plugin for embedding it into your website, have a look at our other articles.

    Issuu provides an fast and easy way to upload PDF files and transform them to an digital page flip publication.

    The converted magazine feature fluid zoom-in and zoom-out and page turning animations.

    Although the analytics and user engagement information provided are not free, they provide valuable insights into the readers reading patterns and their reading experience.

    Like which pages are being read the most, how much time readers are spending on a particular page and much more.

    This information is crucial for knowing what content your readers like, and what content not so much.

    Issuu cons

    thumbs-down One of the aspects the platform lags in, is the Issuu help center or in other words the customer help & support services.  

    We see many people complaining about slow or non-responsive support.

    I believe with the sheer amount of clients; it is becoming difficult for its support to coup up.

    Issuu needs to expand its  team proportionally related to its overall growth.

    Issuu does not allow you to use embed audio or video into your pulications, these features are provided by Issuu competitors like YumpuPublishing or Joomag.

    pdfIssuu puts a limit of uploading a PDF of maximum 500MB. Also your publication can not be longer than 500 pages.  

    The issuu free alternative Joomag or other   related Joomag competitors allow you to upload unlimited pages.

    I definitely suggest that you take a look at Issuu and other Flipsnack alternatives to find out which software is most appropriate for you. My personal favorite is YumpuPublishing.

    You might not immediately find the best publisher platform to use for your purposes but there are many other  related sites to Issuu.

    However, it is surely the most widely used publisher platform and the features offered are quite ok (for a monthly fee).

    All plans come with the 14 day free trial, so you can get a feel for all the features provided by Issuu without having to pay anything.

    If after using the platform you are comfortable with it, you can go ahead and buy one of the plans that fits your needs best.

    I hope you found this article helpful and that I could answer at least some of your questions about how does Issuu work.

    If you need any further help & support or would like to see other realted articles to this topic, feel free to get in contact.

  1. The lack of video embedding is a big no-no for me, it seems I have to switch sides and try YumpuPublishing. With video being more and more important in social media I find it hard to understand why they don’t offer this option….

  2. I’m seriously tempted to upgrade to their premium plan just for the statistics, I have no clue if what I’m doing is ok for my visitors.

    • fineartdoc

      January 2, 2018 at

      Helen, yes, I think they should and will make changes soon so that video embedding is possible but for now, YumpuPublishing is a very good solution.

      Victoria, having access to statistics is crucial, otherwise you will never know what you are doing great and what you should stop doing.

  3. I haven’t published a digital magazine before so I don’t have a lot of experience thus no clue in what platform to pick. Which platform is best for an absolute newbie like me?

    • fineartdoc

      January 11, 2018 at

      Since both platforms have a free plan I recommend trying them both and decide this for yourself. I personally prefer YumpuPublishing, as it offers some more features and is really intuitive to use.

  4. I’ve always wanted to publish my own magazine but I kept postponing it. Right now I’m stuck between Issuu and YumpuPublishing so I have to do my homework between choosing one…

  5. I finally figured out how does Issuu work! I initially thought that it also helps me to put the pdf together but i have to do this on my end. Can’t wait to get my magazine online!

    • fineartdoc

      January 19, 2018 at

      Melanie, I can recommend to start with YumpuPublishing, as it is really simple to use and easy to understand.

      Robbie, that’s great! Keep fiddling with it to learn more.

  6. Have to agree, their help center sucks! It took them more than a week to answer a simple question – which I fixed in the meantime no thanks to them.

  7. Honestly, is anyone ever going to post a 500-pages magazine? I barely manage to edit 40-50 pages, I can’t imagine working my way up to 500…

  8. I’m using their free plan and it has everything I need right now. Still trying to figure out how to create the perfect layout to make the most of my magazine. And yes, the audio/video restrictions are such a bummer even more so considering they don’t offer these in any of their paid plans.

    • fineartdoc

      January 31, 2018 at

      Jonathan, sorry to hear that.

      Penelope, yes there are people that have created 500+ pages magazines. Not many, but there are a few.

      Sarah, from the looks of it, you should give YumpuPublishing a quick test as it also allows you in the free plan to add video/audio and images.

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