Showcase Content with Online Publishing Tools

Issuu Homepage

Just a few years ago, sites like  Newspaper Death Watch, began tracking daily newspapers as they steadily went out of print. Since then, publications have adapted to the changing media landscape by creating online versions of their publications. But the delivery is different, and sometimes not as visually appealing as the copy you get to hold in your hand.

Online publishing tools offer just that. And not only are they useful for magazines, but they’re great for brochures and promotional pieces.  Issuu and FlippingBook are two examples of online tools used by two Schipul clients to showcase their content.

The Houston Zoo‘s marketing team uses Issuu for their Events & Venue Guide.

The Houston Zoo uses Issuu online publishing tool for their Events & Venue Guide

Issuu lets users upload in any format and choose the best way to display their content (magazine, presentation or paper).  One of the great things about Issuu is that it’s SEO-friendly. According to the site, every word inside publications on Issuu are available from any search engine.  More than that, users can try it for free or just browse it’s catalog of online publications.

Rice Epicurean uses FlippingBook to showcase their weekly specials.

Rice Epicurean Markets uses FlippingBook Online publishing tool for their Weekly Sales Paper

FlippingBook turns PDF files into flash on a specific site, rather than a searchable community. It allows users to share and view the content online.  Also, the program lets users tailor the look of publications, has a download feature for multiple ways of sharing and a built-in text search that helps users find specific information within the text.  The drawback of the program is that   its free versions are watermarked and only available for Windows 7, Vista and XP.

The sleek presentation of publishing sites like Issuu can be intimidating. If you’re seeking something simple, Scribd. is worth a peek.

Scribd is an online publishing tool for all types of documents

It’s an open reading platform, meaning you don’t need a flash player or web reader to view documents. It’s HTML based. The types of documents span the gamut –school work, how-to guides/manuals, books, presentations, spreadsheets – it’s all there. To get a better idea of the community Scribd caters to, I recommend watching their  introductory slideshow.

Depending on your needs, FlippingBook,  Issuu and Scribd are all suitable online publication tools with great features. FlippingBook is a good tool for content that will change consistently, yet it offers the functionality of a visually appealing, hand-held publication.  Issuu is definitely the way to go  for a more substantial publication, that won’t “expire.” And Scribd offers a bit of both worlds, where your document can live and breath in a widely accessible format.

Check out a previous post from @cwminor on online publishing services.

Trend Tuesday: Online Publishing Services

Now that you know about online office software, it’s time to start publishing your work. While in the past this might of been nearly impossible for the average writer, today all you need is a document and an internet connection. Being able to publish has never been easier, as there are several services now available. With the rise these publishing services the question is now, Which one should I use? Below, I will list 3 different services and discuss what makes them different.

1) Issuu

Price: Free or $19/mo Pro Account

Features (Pro Acount): Unlimited Storage, Bulk Uploading, Unlimited Document Uploading, Detailed Statistics, No Ads (A big plus for your work), Privacy Controls

My Take: Their tagline is “Publish by millions” which goes to show they are serious about producing your work. Issuu appears to be the complete package with slick design, well-rounded features, and an easy to upload system. Issuu is a great service if you are serious and plan to be publishing for a long amount of time but if you are just publishing 1 or 2 pieces of work, the $19/mo plan would not be worth it.

2) Scribd

Price: 20% of earnings

Features: No monthly plan, HTML 5 integration, simple layout and uploading, support for many file types.

My Take: Scribd might not be as robust as Issuu, but the HTML5 integration completely changes the experience of reading documents. Most services make documents a static image, however Sribd formats documents so users can highlight text, and interact with the work. Also, documents load much faster and are able to be read on mobile devices like the iPhone. Scribd is practical for people who publish often but not enough to justify a $19/mo subscription. While there may not be as many features, the experience makes this service a competitor.

3) MagCloud

Price: $0.20/Per Page

Features: Simple interface and uploading. Designed for magazines.

My Take: MagCloud differs from the other services by focusing exclusively on magazines. MagCloud is based off a traditional system, where users upload documents, then receive a proof, and finally publish online. When users buy magazines online, they are shipped a physical copy instead of just a digital one. MagCloud doesn’t offer much flexibility other than what it’s designed to do (i.e. you can only upload PDF’s). I would suggest MagCloud to people who publish a magazine every week or so, and don’t care or need to do much else.