2014-07-31 in Learning

Review: software options for publishing a digital magazine

Popular user experience in digital magazine

As a digital magazine publisher, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make when going digital is which publishing software to choose. There is a wide range of options available, ranging from free software to alternatives which cost tens of thousands of dollars and, as always, the leading options on the market each have their pros and cons.

It is widely debated in which situation and by whom digital flip magazines are mostly used, but what is undisputed is that digital magazines reach a much broader audience and costs less to publish than traditional print magazines. Below you can find great user-friendly platforms that enable you to get your digital flip magazine published as quickly as possible.


One of the best platforms out there when it comes to designing and publishing an excellent digital flip magazine, FlipHTML5 is used by some of the biggest brands on the planet.

As the name suggests it utilizes HTML5, which is a an excellent platform for creating flip magazines as it enables anyone to access the material without any additional software, allows your magazine to load quickly and makes it compatible with mobile devices.

FlipHTML5 allows you to create flip magazines that can be viewed on Android as well as iOS. You have access to cloud publishing, statistics and integrating with Google AdSense, as well as the ability to add audio and video, embed YouTube videos, share on social media and publish content as text for SEO purposes.


Another huge name with many respectable clients, Uberflip provides a solid platform for designing, publishing, sharing, reviewing data and working on converting customers.

Unlike with PDF format eBooks and regular digital magazines, a customized flip book not only looks better and has more functionality – like adding video and audio or flash animations – but it is also much easier to edit on the go.

You can also examine a huge amount of relevant metrics in great detail and use the information to optimize your content. You can use some of the lead generating tools offered in the package to customize your product for your target audience.

3D Issue

3D Issue is geared towards multi-platform functionality, meaning that it can be used to provide the best reading experience on computers as well as smartphones and tablets.

You can work with HTML5 to convert PDF’s into digital editions, embed your magazine on your official Facebook page, incorporate video and audio, publish your magazine within minutes and go through different statistics to get an idea about your viewers’ preferences and behavior.

It is a good digital magazine publishing solution for less experienced publishers who want to get good quality combined with ease of use and an intuitive design.


Issuu claims that over 15 million publications are using its software and that it’s the single fastest growing digital publishing platform anywhere. The reason why Issuu is so appealing for publishers is because you can upload PDF files and seamlessly convert them into flash.

Publishers that have had difficulty in the past converting PDF into flash files will be happy to learn that with Issuu it actually works. If you don’t have a large budget and are interested in creating a sleek digital magazine that won’t frustrate your readers, then look no further than Issuu.

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

With its incredible range of features and ease of use, it’s not a surprise that many of the dominant players in the publishing industry—including Martha Stewart Living, Rolling Stone, and Reader’s Digest—choose DPS as their go-to software. It helps you save time by removing the need for coding, while making your content easily readable for your subscribers.

There’s no question that Adobe is at the forefront of the publishing industry and that many of the services offered via DPS, including viewer customization, precise analytics, and author tools, are unmatched by the competition.

The major downside of DPS, however, it its exorbitant cost which puts it out of reach for many smalltime publishers. As a ballpark figure, even their cheaper Professional Edition comes with an annual licensing rate of $4,800.


Mag+ is rightfully an up-and-coming digital publishing platform that is gaining ground on Adobe. Publishers are attracted to Mag+ since it offers almost all of the features of DPS at a significantly lower monthly rate without any hidden fees.

Smaller independent publishers report that the customer service at Mag+ is phenomenal and that their tutorials remove a great deal of difficulty from the process of publishing a digital magazine. With impressive design, video & audio, and marketing features, Mag+ is likely to keep gaining a larger percentage of the market share.


Joomag is another great tool for individuals and publishers that want to convert PDFs into readable digital magazines. The free version lets you get a feel for the software, and you’ll learn how to insert images, audio, video, and links into the text of your magazine.

A minor drawback is that you’ll have to pay a modest monthly fee for the Gold and Platinum options to gain iPad support. A more serious concern for some publishers is that the process of selling digital magazines is somewhat convoluted, and even then they’re compatible exclusively with iPad. But for just $39.95 a month (Gold Package), the HTML5 compatibility and iPad support are bargains.

Google Newsstand

Recently re-branded Google Currents – now Google Newsstand is a very easy-to-use magazine publishing platform with integrated AdSense functionality. Newsstand is an Android app that presents articles, audio and video from many publishers all in one place. It can be found in the Google Play store on all Android phones and tablets with Android 4.1 and above in the United States, Canada, Australia and Britain.

While showing great promise with the growing market share of Android devices, one need to be aware that Google Play Newsstand is not available on iPhone or iPad, thereby limiting the readership potential.

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