Emagazines are an awesome way to create content you can use in your online marketing efforts. It’s fun flipping through the pages, and you can create hotspots to link to other content throughout the book to run competitions or promote products.
As I’ve produced a number of electronic magazines (emagazines) in the past two years, I thought you might like to try it too.
#1 Create your electronic magazine
Depending on your graphic design skills, you can create an emagazine using desktop publishing software like Adobe Indesign or even just in MS Word or Publisher. As I’m a professional designer, I use Adobe CS5 for all of my graphic design projects. If you have no experience with layout and design, this is a job you can outsource to a professional graphic designer. Most good designers will cost between $60 to $120 per hour but, if you have something you can offer them in return, you may be able to barter for services. Also, up-and-coming designers may also be interested in big projects like this so they can bolster their portfolios.
Things to keep in mind if you’re DIYing your emagazine:
- Check your image resolution. Even though it’s an online publication, you’ll still need crisp, clean photographs. I usually ask people to submit large images in 300dpi so that I can reduce the resolution myself if need be.
- Make sure you have lots of RAM. Trying to produce a large publication on a slow computer is like water torture. Just sayin’
- If you need incidental graphics, you can buy stock images or have a designer create images for you.
- Set styles. When producing a publication it’s important to have consistent styles. Set up styles before you import your text so that when you place text in your document, you don’t have to go back through and apply the styles manually.
- Print it out to proof-read and, if you can, get someone else to proof-read it too. If you’ve been staring at something for hours, it’s hard to see the mistakes and typos.
#2 Create a PDF
Now that you’ve finished designing your publication, you need to create a PDF. Because you’re uploading to Issuu, you’ll want to make sure the images are as clean as possible. So, I don’t recommend using the “smallest file size” option. I use “Print quality” or “Press Quality”. The other reason for this is that you can order prints through Issuu as well. If you only upload a file that has poor resolution, it won’t print well.
#3 Upload your PDF into Issuu
Once you’ve created an Issuu account, you can upload your publication to the website. Make sure you fill out the keyword section and link the publication to your website, so people know where to go to get more information.
#4 Edit your Issuu Publication
Once your publication is uploaded, you can then edit it to add hotspot links to content throughout the emagazine. Issuu is smart. It automatically creates links to URLs in your document, but you’ll need to double check them to make sure they link to the right places.
To Edit, you simply click on the publication you want to edit in “My Library” and on the next screen, select “Edit”.
Once open in the editor, select “large bitmap” so that it is easier to select areas.
You then use the box tool to surround areas you want to create hotspots in.
When you’ve made the necessary changes, save them by clicking on “Save” and close the window.
#5 Share your publication on social media
This is the fun part! To share on Facebook, I now create a jpg of the front cover and share that, including a link to the flipbook on Issuu. The reason I do it this way is because links aren’t as visible on Facebook Page newsfeeds. It also means I can edit the accompanying “description” and can share as a sponsored story if I wish to.
You can embed the publication directly onto your website. I have a WordPress self-hosted website, so can embed the document easily into a text widget.
You can share the direct link with anyone via email or newsletter and use the direct link on Twitter as well.
Make sure you tag other people involved in the publication so that it shows up on their pages and in their notifications as well.
#6 Evaluate your publication’s performance
Issuu includes a very cool stats widget which can help you evaluate your publication’s performance. This gives you some really useful information on what your readers like and don’t like.
So, if you want to give flipbooks a go, try it out! Issuu is free to use and you can upgrade to a pro account if you don’t want the sidebar ads to show. To check it out go to www.issuu.com.
And, if you need help creating an e-magazine, check out my emagazine creation and publishing service here.