What I find most admirable about Issuu is how it provides magazine staffs the ability to publish online while also keeping the classic “turn to the next glossy page” feel we all know and love. It’s interesting to see a service shying away from the interactivity “every digital magazine page looks like something out of a Harry Potter newspaper” tablet device movement. Issuu is proud of its stance.
“Spending time browsing through the titles that are archived on the site comes so close to the feel of the actual thing that you might forget you’re in a magazine matrix1,” said Time, which included Issuu on its “50 Best Websites 2009.”
The Issuu service makes life much easier for publishers. Where publishers would need a whole staff of people to build a magazine for printing, Issuu’s publishing services allow anyone to make their own magazine and publish it to the Issuu website. Readers can then enjoy the magazine on the comprehensive (the pages move along with your cursor) Flash-powered reader. Readers can also download the Issuu app to their iPhones and iPads free of charge.
Karl Hodge of Macworld UK says, “[Issuu] enables you to convert and publish PDF, Word, PowerPoint and other files online. Magazines have long used PDF for sending publications to print, so Issuu’s workflow isn’t a million miles away from that of professional production. You can choose what tools to build your magazine in, Adobe InDesign is the industry standard, but there are other tools that can do that job for you2.”
Uploading magazines can even be free. The most basic publishing package is free with ads and Issuu branding. It only allows publishers one 1TB of bandwidth and 1GB of storage, so magazine size is a bit limited at this rate.
People can pay $20/month to get unlimited bandwidth, 15GB of storage and no ads, but the Issuu branding stays. But if a major publisher is looking for a platform to bring their magazine to the digital world, they can invest $999/month for the Enterprise Package which include unlimited bandwidth, 15GB storage (500 pages per issue), no ads and no Issuu branding. The upside of any of these packages is that Issuu and Google team up to bring readers to a publication. This can save publishers millions of dollars on ad campaigns.
Issuu also has its Smart Look application that can take documents and PDFs straight from a website and turn them into publications for their online reader.
Issuu has given the power of the digital publishing world to the public. It’s time to decide how you will use it. And if you’re not interested in publishing anything, just browse through the magazine racks (menu) as you would at any (digital) café. It’s free to browse and read the thousands of magazines. You can subscribe to your favorite ones and view them anytime on your account’s bookshelf. As I scroll through it with my mouse, I feel like I’m holding a magazine in my hands, laying back at the beach (in reality, my 92 degree kitchen).
Check out some of these examples of free e-zines published through Issuu:
Battlespace is a strategy game hobbyist’s bi-monthly. It goes for a less traditional magazine feel, having wider pages the resemble the dimensions of a coffee-table book. The website’s edition (requires a download) utilizes flash features to enhance the experience whilst perusing the stories and articles from the four corners of table-top nerdom. (click image to see the issuu)
If you need some proof of how good a magazine looks on Issuu, check out Think Quarterly, a science/business magazine that uses the features offered by Issuu to the fullest. It’s a beautiful magazine with interesting illustrations and soft-on-the-eyes text.
Musetouch is a much larger magazine. This issuu contains over 400 pages of content. Light on text, this e-zine is more like a digital art book than anything else, loaded with very breathtaking photos and illustrations. It’s also nice to be able to zoom in on the detail of each piece with the click of a button.
Issuu’s digital magazine rack grows bigger and bigger every day and it’s doubtful that you won’t find something interesting to read. Check out more of the awesome selection on Issuu.com.