#1 Issuu Alternative Found! (Comparison of 9 Issuu Similar Sites)
Despite being a loyal customer of the Issuu publishing platform, there were quite some things I was finding frustrating. After reading around, I realized there were a ton of other software out there that claim to be similar to Issuu or even better. But I stumbled upon one software that actually had it all and was the perfect fit for an free Issuu alternative — the digital publishing platform Yumpu.
Looking for an alternative to Issuu?
I got you covered! I tested a ton of alternatives to Issuu and here is what I have found out.
Well, comparing alternatives to Issuu wasn’t easy, let me tell you. There was a lot of choice and lots to think about.
However, after much research I think I’ve found the best Issuu alternative out there and found something called Yumpu which you are going to love.
Here’s what I discovered, and why I think my chosen software is the very best out there.
The Best Issuu Alternatives of 2019:
First I will give you an Issuu Review where I will answer most of the important questions around this software. Afterwards, I will dive right into the various Issuu alternatives I tested and give a quick review, including the ultimate winning software! Oh, and don’t miss out on my Yumpu vs Issuu feature comparison at the end.
The moment I realized sites like Issuu could do the job better
I’ve been a massive fan of online flipbooks for a long while now and had always enjoyed using Issuu as my interactive digital publishing platform of choice.
However, nothing is perfect, and the software had some, well, issues to contend with.
Although I enjoyed many of the pros of them, such as uploading my PDF’s to create flipping book HTML5 magazines with ease, I also found there were some features I wasn’t getting.
I wanted to be able to use the software when I wasn’t connected to the internet, and in terms of having my digital magazines read, there were thousands of digital publications competing for space which meant mine weren’t getting the traffic I needed or deserved.
No satisfied that I was getting the best for my payment , I decided to see if there were any other Issuu like services out there which would be a better place to host my work.
I was investing good cash in the software, so ideally, I wanted something like Issuu but free, so I could make savings on creating my flash html5 page flip digital publications.
Here’s what I found out when I searched for an Issuu alternative myself.
How an issuu similar site saved me time and money too
My work involves putting together magazines and catalogs but not magazines destined for the shelves of your local newsagents.
My magazines are entirely digital, hosted online and sharable via social media sites, so they require a bit of a different set up.
You see, people that read content online such as a digital magazine want a more ‘magazine-ish’ feel to their experience.
They want to flip pages as if they were leafing through a glossy, and Issuu like sites let you do this easily.
However, they also want all the benefits of a digital publication, with clickable links, multimedia content and presentation.
Putting a flip book together is time consuming, make no mistake.
I spend a lot of hours researching, writing and arranging my content, not to mention adding video, links and more.
It seems like as soon as I finish one flip book I already have to start working on the next issue, leaving me little time to really follow up what’s happened to the last one.
I was investing all my days and energy into the creation of my publications, but leaving no time to investigate, analyze or share what I produced.
Because sharing’s not that simple from Issuu, I knew it wasn’t a five-minute job, so I just tended to put it off.
Added to this, I was spending more than I wanted to on my pro subscription, so time and capital were disappearing rapidly, with not much to show for a result.
However, since I’ve discovered my free Issuu alternative, which I will share with you soon, I’m finding I have way more time due to the streamlined functionality of this new provider.
Not only that, but most of what I want is available on the free of charge plan, so that’s more in my savings account too.
If you are in the business of publishing or creating magazines, I am going to share my hot tip for a genuine Issuu alternative that is guaranteed to save you time and cash too.
But first I will give you a quick Issuu Review. If you already know all the FAQs and what Issuu is all about, feel free to skip this short part.
I asked myself questions like:
What is Issuu?
As you know, they are a publishing platform for online flip book magazines.
Which functions do exist?
To see what functions were missing, I had to think about which functions were already there.
I came up with a list of things like HTML5, built in SEO, the ability to add your own branding and clickable links.
You can embed publications on your own web site, can charge subscriptions for your content and can find out who has been reading your catalog and which pages they read most.
All these features had to carry forward into my alternative to Issuu.
Are there more websites like Issuu?
I wasn’t sure if there were or not, but when I started digging, I discovered many websites like Issuu.
I looked at what was available and picked my favorite seven to investigate in depth.
How does Issuu work?
It is really quite straightforward.
You simply sign up for an account and then upload your PDF to the web site.
There are some options to fill in to ensure your publication can be found, and then the publishing software does the rest.
With Issuu how to create a magazine is fairly user intuitive, although there’s not much help or tutorials available.
Like Issuu how to use my alternative had to be at least this straightforward.
Is Issuu free?
One of the reasons I started looking for other platforms was because I wasn’t happy with what I was paying.
While there is a free version, what is Issuu free is a very limited offering.
I was paying $35 for my subscription, but you can pay as much as $269 depending on what features you need.
Is Issuu legal? How does Issuu make money?
They are pretty strict on copyright rules, and they do their best to stay above the law, even with their user generated content.
They make money by selling subscriptions and also by taking a cut of any paid for online magazines.
My alternatives to Issuu needed to be clear on all this too.
What is Issuu used for?
It is used by all sorts of companies, individuals and others to create online magazine type publications as well as flyers and more.
There are a ton of publications on the platform, so it is a pretty crowded place to try and stand out.
What does Issuu stand for?
I wondered if there was a complex acronym in play here, but there really wasn’t.
I think it is just a play on the word ‘issue’ as in ‘this is our 3d issue for July’ and nothing more complicated than that.
Now that we are all on the same page, let’s continue with the alternatives to Issuu.
In searching for an Issuu alternative, I found a solution to all my problems
To begin my hunt, I started to make a list of all the websites close to Issuu, to see which ones I should be reviewing further.
What I found, initially, was that although many publishing software appeared to be alike, actually they weren’t.
For example, there’s not much point in reviewing Issuu vs Scribd, Issuu vs Flipboard or even comparing it to SlideShare, as none of these are viable Issuu alternatives .
I needed options which were more like this Issuu platform for digital publishing I’d been using for so many years.
I also found a raft of other alternative possibilities, including Calameo, iPaper, Flipsnack, Youblisher, Publitas and Behance.
However, in the main these products were too expensive for my needs and lacked some of the basic features I wanted to ensure were included in my alternatives.
Added to which, there’s already been loads of information on these alternatives to Issuu in the past, so I didn’t just want to reshare information that was already freely available; I wanted to compare web sites like Issuu that were lacking information in the hope of uncovering a gem.
In the end, I picked seven less well-known services like Issuu; here’s what I found out about the best alternatives to Issuu:
1. Issuu vs FlippingBook
When I first fired up the FlippingBook website, I thought I’d found my publishers solution right away.
It includes a very Issuu like PDF viewer, is pretty straightforward to use and offers HTML5 functionality which means it will work on all platforms.
I was delighted to have discovered a fitting site so quickly… or so I thought.
Unfortunately, when I started digging into the pricing of this platform, I discovered it was actually no good to me at all.
In the free vs pro comparison, I discovered that only the advanced plan would offer the unlimited pages of uploads I needed.
In order to gain access to this, I’d need to buy a lifetime membership as well as paying a sizeable monthly subscription.
That was way too much for me, so the outcome of Issuu versus FlippingBook was decided for me.
2. Issuu vs Yudu
The cross-platform functionality and bucketloads of fun features made me think Yudu could really be a contender as my alternative.
You can embed direct links in your pages like you can with Issuu, and there’s even the possibility to create a unique ‘app’ to share your content direct from the platform.
However, what I don’t like about this particular choice is their lack of transparency over pricing. And I have found out that a ton of publishers agree here with me.
It is very, very difficult to discover exactly what they want to charge you for using the service, with the FAQ’s stating price will be dependent on how much you want to publish and how often.
I don’t know about you, but I feel I’d like to know up front what my liability is going to be before investing my time in learning how to use a new publisher.
3. Issuu vs Magcloud
Magcloud was singing to me before I even started investigating.
It is a real magazine focused platform, so perfectly suited to what I was looking for in an digital publishing platform.
There’s even an option to print hard copies of your content too, which might be a bit last century for some, but for others will be a massive selling point.
Unfortunately for Magcloud, although on the face of it, it’s one of the better magazine tools like Issuu, actually it is sorely lacking in some of the features I see as essential to my work.
For example, links cannot be embedded — shock horror —the software just isn’t as simple as others.
So, it is a reluctant no from me.
4. Issuu vs Zmag
The service and shiny web site of Zmags looked awesome at first glance, but it soon became apparent that this was not really a service for magazine publishers.
As much as I could have used it, the features it contained are really more aimed at the online retailer and ecommerce market, so if you are into all that, it’s probably one worth considering.
For me, it lacked the functionality I use to make my flip books more interesting, so it had fallen at the first hurdle.
Not only that, but a full subscription to the site was adding up to almost enough for a deposit on a house, so my search continued.
5. Issuu vs Zinio
At first glance, Zinio looks pretty good.
They use a simple, user friendly content management system which lets you easily see all the content you have uploaded to date.
If you wish to make extra income from your flipbooks, you can use their tool to embed Google display ads or your own in-house advertising too.
As one of the issuu alternatives, it’s got all the capabilities you could want.
However, it’s also one of the most pro services like Issuu out there.
It is used by many of the big boys in publishing, so unless you fancy competing with ‘Hello!’ and ‘Elle’ for attention, you might want to look elsewhere.
6. Issuu vs Uberflip
Uberflip is a cool name and the interface looks pretty cool too.
It is a solid substitute but, in my opinion, is squarely aimed at the sales marketplace rather than those who want to publish more creative content.
There are plenty of features and the team to help you out is purported to be good, but it’s hard to see how you could customize the experience to suit different needs.
If you are looking to create digital magazines, interactive publications and online brochures or sales catalogs with page flipping effect, this is probably not a bad alternative.
However, if like me you want to publish interactive magazines, it is not looking like a very good choice.
7. Issuu vs iMag
The iMag platform is super easy to use, and has a ton of great features to help your content get found.
Once you’ve uploaded your PDF, the in-built software uses a cool, bespoke designed algorithm to optimize it for Google. All publications are added into powerful content hubs, which means it can reach higher in Google results.
As well as this, iMag has loads of advanced features which I simply loved playing around with. Adding in video, audio and other snazzy extras let me make my publication even better.
I was a bit worried that, with all this functionality, it was going to be expensive. But I was in for a nice surprise, as it’s just $1 for the first month and then $15 a year after that.
8. Issuu vs Bote
Bote is another platform which sells itself on SEO. They do the optimizing for you, so that Google can find and index your work for all the world to see.
It’s used by some big names, including Ikea, MasterCard and Coca-Cola, and boasts around 675,000 customers worldwide.
Sharing is super simple too, with a familiar ‘share’ icon to directly post your publications to social media or to send by email.
The only downside is the pricing. I enjoyed my free trial, but after that it’s $12 a month. While that doesn’t exactly break the bank, I knew there were cheaper Issuu alternatives out there.
9. Issuu vs Yumpu
I bet you are thinking, perhaps I didn’t find any real Issuu alternative at all.
All the options I’ve reviewed so far had one problem or another, and we’re starting to run out of ideas here.
Well, as is often the case, I’ve gone and saved the best for last.
If you’ve never heard of Yumpu.com, I strongly advise you to go and take a look at it right now, as it is not only my personal favorite but also of a ton of publishers worldwide.
As soon as you get onto the site, you know you are onto a popular winner, with its gorgeous design and intuitive layout, it is simply outclasses other platforms like Issuu.
All the great features I enjoy are there and it is super simple to use, with plenty of tutorials and support freely available.
It lets you easily convert PDF files to beautiful digital flip books.
I had a bit of a mental checklist in mind when I was looking for my Issuu alternatives, and as I worked my way through my list of must-haves — feature for feature, I was amazed to find this platform had it all.
Embedding, good support team to contact, SEO, easy sharing… and even better than that, it was all free!
Their free plan is more than enought to begin with. If you wish for even more features, you can upgrade to one of the paid plans.
There is a paid version which includes things like Google Analytics support and removal of their ads, which I will probably upgrade to soon.
However, even this is small change in comparison to Issuu, at $24.95 compared to the $35 I was previously paying.
I’d done it!
I’d found my free Issuu alternative, and I’ve never looked back since.
I really can’t speak highly enough of this alternative, and I reckon you’re going to love it too.
I’ve been using it for just over a month, which means I’ve published four full flipbooks and a quarterly special already.
I’ve had more new readers, more shares and better engagement than ever before, and I definitely won’t be going back to my old ways of doing things.
How to create a flip book with Yumpu:
- Go to Yumpu.com and register for free
- Convert PDF to flipbook by simply uploading your PDF files to the flipbook converter (now download needed)
- Wait 1–2 minutes for the conversion
- Now you can configure your flipbook HTML5 for your readers (add images, audio, videos, hyperlinks, give your magazine a title, add tags and much more,…)
Why I think in Issuu vs Yumpu there can be only one winner
Here’s a quick overview of some of the Yumpu vs Issuu features.
To show you how I came to the conclusion that this is the best Issuu alternative out there, let’s take a look at the way my brain was working when I started on my quest.
Firstly, I really went through Issuu with a fine-toothed comb to uncover what I liked and what I didn’t like about the service I was getting.
So here I want to give you a quick overview of some of the Yumpu vs Issuu features in comparison, so you get a better overview.
Must-have features in a flipbook software
Once I knew all the things I liked, I knew the minimum I was looking for in my Issuu alternative.
I started my hunt by looking at Issuu.com vs my other seven contenders, and as you know I picked Yumpu to be the winner.
Among the features I love, and know you will too, here are some of my highlights:
- Easily convert documents to beautiful publications and share them
- Share to social media with the click of a button (Facebook, Twitter, Google+,…)
- Great customer service
- No download needed
- Add interactive elements by embedding images, audio, video and add a link
- SEO built in
- Works on every device (desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, ios devices— iphone, android, tablet, ipad …)
- Cross platform support (tablet, mobile, desktop etc.)
- Link to your blog, shop, website or anywhere
- Embed on your website, social page like Facebook & Co., ecommerce store or anywhere
As I said earlier, one of the most surprising things about this Issuu alternative is that it is completely free to use.
If you’re not bothered about in-depth Google analytics support, or about having their branding on your pages, you’ll never need to pay at all.
If you do decide to upgrade, I’ve found this to be one of the most reasonably priced pro packages out there.
Try this best Issuu alternative for yourself risk free
There’s no reason not to try out my free Issuu alternative for yourself.
After all, it is free and there’s no strings attached, so you can have a good play around and see if it suits you as much as it suited me.
My publication readership has gone through the roof, and I’m spending way less time fiddling around with complicated settings or laborious sharing, so I can dedicate more of my day to research and writing of my next issue.
Let me know how you get on!
I’d be happy to hear your feedback! And if you are interested in further publishing software reviews such as FlipHTML5 or Joomag on my blog or got questions, let me know in the comments below.