An issue without issuu
May 31, 2012 12:35 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to upload a .pdf to turn it into a virtual magazine (like on, but I don't want to use issuu. Is there a wordpress plugin I can get somewhere to do what issuu does?

I can't seem to find it on Google (keywords: digital magazine plugin, digital magazine, issuu wordpress plugin) but I'm sure people have used the digital magazine format on their own websites without having to resort to issuu.

Important things I would need the "thing" to have:
- must be accessible on iPad
- page analytics and metrics (how long a reader spent on a page, referrals, country location, etc.) would be a huge plus.
- ideally a Wordpress plugin, but I'm open to other options.

Many thanks for all your help and suggestions!
posted by drea to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
as far as I know the usual method is to convert a PDF to flash or something comparable.

For example see FlippingBook, although I have no experience with the program myself, they claim that you can also make it work on IOS devices
posted by IAr at 2:06 AM on May 31, 2012

Are you willing to pay? I don't think there is a standalone free app which does what issuu does. There are various companies which do the same thing, and some of them have free versions. For example yudu does pretty much the exact same thing, and satisfies your criteria of not being issuu. They have a free version. All these companies have to put in a lot of work on an ongoing basis to keep their products working, as platforms like the ipad are very much a moving target (I have done a little work for Yudu), so I think you are unlikely to find a comparable open source version.

I know that Yudu's offering works on iPad.

Can ipads not read PDFs?
posted by richb at 4:11 AM on May 31, 2012

Is there any reason you absolutely need a 'digital magazine' format instead of some sort of state-tracking paginated series of web pages?'s flash-based delivery system looks like it breaks some core principals of the World Wide Web. I don't think search engines would be able to index your content, and it looks like it makes things miserable for anyone who's vision impaired and browsing with the aid of a screen reader.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:47 AM on May 31, 2012

How was the PDF made? If it was made by scanning a document in it's going be a headache. Indesign and other desktop publishing will "Publish to Web" (and work with ipad), not ideal by any means, you'd just have to do some quick search and replace to add google analytics or whatever in there. Flexpaper might do what you need, doesn't seem to be totally design for that though.

All that said, I'd try to convince you or the client to make a separate wordpress site or section that uses a magazine theme (there are tons), and come up with a workflow that takes advantage of that.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 7:13 AM on May 31, 2012

I use BlueToad for this which charges ~$4.00 per page. They have an upcharge for iPad compatibility which I haven't used.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:13 AM on May 31, 2012

Response by poster: Hi all,

Thanks for all the responses so far. I'm willing to pay but I'm not to keen on a monthly / incremental fee, which is why I'm looking for other options.

What I would like to do is host the .pdf on my own server, much like Lonny mag. It doesn't have to be a flash object, but given the success of such apps like Flipboard, I'm thinking that the visual appeal of a magazine would make it an enjoyable read on tablet devices.

@Ronbutnotstupid according to Issuu, the pro version offers a fully searchable publication and has an HTML5 option for iOS devices.

Lonny mag is my peg. They used to publish on but now they're using something else, and I'd like to know how it's done.
posted by drea at 9:37 PM on May 31, 2012

Lonny looks like a bespoke system to me. Perhaps they got fed up with issuu? Why not email them and ask what they use and if you can have a go? If you have some money to spend, they might license you a copy of their code. Although if it's a custom system, it might be heavily tied to their particular circumstances and be inapplicable for your magazine.
posted by richb at 1:23 AM on June 6, 2012

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