Designing a magazine is a long and complex process. But as hard as it may be, it’s also rewarding. At the end you get a beautiful end product that many people will read and love.Today we’ll talk about how you can make your beautiful magazine even more appealing to the digital reader with a free magazine maker. I’ll tell you everything you need to know to make an informed decision about the best magazine makers online, because you deserve the best.
There are many options if you’re looking for a digital magazine maker, so if you want to know which one would fit your requirements for an online magazine, keep on reading.
Flipsnack is online web application that can be used by even the most non-tech savvy people to create magazines, to publish them online and even to sell them.
When using this tool, you have to options: upload a ready-made PDF or design the entire magazine, page by page, in their online design app. Either way, the software is enjoyable and easy to use.
Regardless of how you choose to make your magazine, the published magazine has the same look and feel. Readers will enjoy the page flip effect each time they turn the page.
As you create your magazine you will discover that the tool offers a lot in terms of options and customizations, as well as distribution options: embed, download, share and email.
You may also set your magazine up for sale. Flipsnack does not charge any additional fees for the selling program. For every sale that you make, you get to keep every penny.
Flipsnack’s design tool is not as advanced as InDesign, so it might not be the best choice for a professional editorial designer. However, it’s perfectly fine for any amateur designer. It would also be an awesome tool to use for the flatplan. The production manager could make a mockup of what should go on each page, and then share it with the creative team.
The design tool is one of the features that makes Flipsnack different from the rest. Out the 5 tools reviewed here, it’s the only one which has a fully developed, advanced HTML5 design editor.
There’s no advertising program on the site. While that means that there are no ads anywhere on the site, it also means that you will not be able to pay to advertise your magazine on Flipsnack.
The pricing model is Freemium, which means that you get limited use of the tool with the free version. Pricing plans range between 12-48 USD/month when buying a yearly subscription.
Issuu is one of the biggest online platforms for publishing online magazines.
Issuu is a good option for publishing you magazine online. The process is very straightforward and simple. All you have to do is upload your PDF, set a few customizations and then publish it as a flipbook.
The platform does a good job at delivering your content to other readers. If you want to get more readers, you may also enroll in their advertising program, to get your content in front of users of their platform.
You can also sell your magazines on Issuu. The fee for each transaction is 30%.
You may find the ads distracting, especially if you are a free user. Another thing that free users may find annoying is having their content surrounded by many other suggested publications from your competition.
Issuu doesn’t have a design tool so you have to have your magazine read to upload, as PDF.
A free option is available, but users have to upgrade to use the more advanced features. Prices range from $19-$260 / month, when purchasing a yearly plan.
As the name suggests, FlippingBook is an online flipbook maker, and it’s a solid option for a magazine maker. The tool has two versions: a desktop app and an online application.
It’s nice that the tool provides the desktop version, for which there’s just a one-time payment, and which can be used locally on your computer. However, we believe that for the non-technical people the online version is better because it hosts your publications online on their platform, making it a whole lot easier to manage and share them.
Flippingbook is easy to use and it offers many options for magazine publishers.
Unlike the rest, Flippingbook does not have a free version. There’s a free trial period, at the end of which everything you created is blocked, unless you decide to upgrade. The online software is more limited than the desktop version, so there are some features that you may expect to see (table of contents) but you won’t be able to find them.
Anothing thing that is still missing in Flippingbook is the magazine selling option.
Prices for the online version range between 37-149 euros / month when choosing a yearly plan, on top of which there an additional VAT fee, of about 19%.
Even though Publitas is more focused towards businesses and product catalog publishing, it works for magazines as well.
Just like all the other recommended options, Publitas is a simple and powerful solution for your magazine publishing needs. Some of the coolest features it offers are hotspots, which allow you to tag products and highlight products in catalogs, to attract the attention of buyers. These hotspots would be awesome to use in fashion magazines in Suggested products pages.
On of the biggest concerns for magazine publishers should be whether they could make money off their magazines. Unfortunately, with Publitas you can’t enroll in a selling program, because there isn’t one.
Another thing that would bother me is that you only get email support if you don’t upgrade to one of the most expensive plans.
The free version is only presented as a trial, but it can be used for a prolonged period of time. Prices are between 99-299 euro/ month when billed yearly.
Joomag is a complex magazine publishing platform, that can be used to create content, to publish it and to distribute it online.
Out of all the 5 magazines makers analyzed here, Joomag is the most complex one. It allows you to create magazines out of PDFs or to design them in their app, similar to Flipsnack. It also has an integrated email platform and a selling program for magazines. The fees are between 10% and 30%, depending on the subscription plan.
The biggest disappointment with Joomag is that it is still Flash. That means that the magazines will be blocked by browsers, by default. The design editor is Flash as well.
Joomag can be used for free, but with limitations. The premium versions cost between $19-$149/ month, billed yearly, and an additional VAT, which is determined based on the user’s billing country.
So these are the best 5 magazine makers which you can try yourself, for publishing your magazines online. Have you tried any? What do you think about them?