The Ultimate Flipbook Guide

If you’re looking for an effective digital tool to help turn your ideas into a reality, join the millions of people who’ve used Issuu to create a page-turning, interactive flipbook online. Whether you want to know how to make a flipbook or simply improve your existing content on Issuu, this will be your ultimate guide. Soon, you’ll be creating impactful content that will help you reach your goals.

Fullscreen flipbook reader with the add link, social post and embedded video features

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Flipbook?

  2. The Difference Between a Digital Flipbook and Paper Flipbook

  3. How to Make a Flipbook

    1. Turn a Digital Design into an Online Flipbook

    2. Convert PDFs to Online Flipbooks

    3. Upload Directly from the Cloud

  4. How Can Flipbooks be Used? 

  5. Who Can Use Digital Flipbooks?

  6. How to Make Your Flipbook Interactive

    1. Add Links

    2. Embed Videos

    3. Fullscreen Reader

    4. Digital Sales

  7. Flipbook Examples

  8. Summary

What is a Flipbook?

A flipbook is an interactive digital version of a print magazine, brochure, booklet, or other traditionally printed work. The benefit of a flipbook is that they can be infused with media and other elements like links, videos, and more. Distribution is also easier and more cost-effective, as links to your flipbooks can be added to emails and shared on social media. 

Flipbooks have flippable and turnable pages just like printed books, but flipbooks give you statistics on who is reading your publications, allow you to boost interactivity with links and video content, and help you reach a global audience at the click of a button.

Digital Flipbook vs. Paper Flipbook

Digital Flipbook

The benefits of digitizing your content are that it can be distributed almost instantly, you can reach a wider audience without needing to duplicate efforts, it works seamlessly into digital marketing efforts through email and social media, and your audience can interact with multiple touchpoints – like a product page to make a purchase – immediately after reading your flipbook. Digital flipbooks can also create more engagement because visuals like photos and videos are easily added.

Print Flipbook

The benefits of printing your content are that it creates a tangible item for your readers, which can be valuable as a keepsake or memento. Print can be easier for some audiences to comprehend and can create a more lasting impression in this digital age. Finally, print can add a personal touch to your content and make your audience feel like they’re receiving something special.

The shift from print to digital has changed the way we consume content in the last several decades. Now, media consumers are more likely to look up an article on their preferred mobile device or computer than to head to a newsstand. While there’s still plenty of love for printed content, there are advantages to consider with each.

What makes the most sense for your content might not be the same as what works for another publication. In many cases, a hybrid model might make the most sense for your content. If we look at mass media companies like Condé Nast, many of their magazines, from Architectural Digest to Vogue, utilize a hybrid subscription model where their readers can opt for a digital version, a print version, or both. This gives their readers the opportunity to consume content in their preferred medium. 

Issuu enables you to create your best distribution model. We make it easy for you to embed publications like catalogs and program guides onto your website. You can also build out your subscription content using our Digital Sales feature, which allows you to create a paid subscription model for your content. Here’s an excellent example of how the magazine Happiful uses Issuu on its website.

Happiful Issue 70

How to Make a Flipbook

Issuu makes it easy to host and share your files as digital flipbooks, enhanced by interactive features like video overlays and shopping links. Here’s how to make a flipbook using Issuu:

Step 1: Turn a Digital Design into an Online Flipbook

You can design your content using a tool like Adobe InDesign or Canva. Once you're happy with your design, it's time to think about where to put your flipbook so that it can be hosted and shared with audiences on social media, through email marketing, or anywhere else your audience lives online.

Designing content on Issuu to upload to Issuu and transforming into a flipbook

Step 2: Convert PDFs to Online Flipbooks

Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, designer, or something in between, transforming your documents into an immersive, page-turning experience will offer readers the chance for better interaction with your content. To convert a PDF to an online flipbook, simply import a PDF onto Issuu – like a magazine, catalog, or newsletter – and create a digital flipbook to share with the world in one click.

Step to converting PDFs into an Issuu flipbook

Step 3: Upload Directly from the Cloud

Another way to simplify your publishing process is to upload directly from your cloud storage. Dropbox and Google Drive give you access to your files directly from your Issuu Publisher page. Once you have a file ready to go, store it in your cloud, and know it'll be there, ready to upload whenever you'd like to publish your content. This is especially helpful for regularly published content that might have pieces of content prepared at different times. 

Our integration with InDesign makes it even easier to export your designs and convert them into a flipbook online. With these integrations, converting your existing files into an interactive digital flipbook has never been easier.

Uploading a document to Issuu directly from the Cloud from our Dropbox and Google Docs integrations.

How Can Flipbooks be Used?

Flipbooks can be an integral tool for a variety of industries. Your digital publication could be added directly to your website to take center stage when visitors land on it. This can make your website more visual and interactive, allowing your audience to have more independence as they explore your offers.

Who Can Use Digital Flipbooks?

Professionals that work in the design professions also benefit from using a digital flipbook. Here are some examples of ways people might use them:

Graphic Designers

Designers always need an up-to-date portfolio ready to share with potential clients or employers. A digital flipbook makes it easy to share your best work anytime.

Architecture Professionals

These flipbooks can also work well for architects already engaged in their careers. Creating additional digital assets to help showcase ideas for prospective clients and then cataloging the work done afterward is an invaluable way to demonstrate one of the most visual art forms we have in the construction industry.

Real Estate Professionals

Realtors use flipbooks to show off their listings. In addition to a good website, having a flipbook online acts as another tool for real estate professionals who want to empower their clients to learn about the most relevant listings and their area.

Fashion Professionals

Issuu flipbooks can help elevate fashion magazines with immersive elements, host style guides that will set trends in motion, or create a digital défilé through online lookbooks. Professionals in the fashion industry can also sell special issues or create subscriptions for recurring publications with the Digital Sales feature.


Marketers can boost their digital marketing arsenal with dynamic Issuu flipbooks. From catalogs to lookbooks, marketers can build effective campaigns around more comprehensive content and add interactive features to take their flipbooks to the next level. Create a multimedia experience with embedded videos and links, distraction-free fullscreen sharing, and then transform content into an eye-catching Social Post.

Corporate Professionals

Corporate communications can be simplified with Issuu's all-in-one platform. Make annual reports, business proposals, and employee onboarding stand out with Issuu. Brands can create pitch decks sure to impress, publish whitepapers, craft visually stunning creatives, and get products in front of the eyes that matter most. They can differentiate documents and hold their audience's attention by adding interactive multimedia elements sure to bring corporate digital materials to life.

Students and Educators

Digital flipbooks are a valuable tool for students just entering their careers, and having a flipbook online can be a one-stop shop for everything they would need to demonstrate in their portfolio. It creates an interactive link that can be shared with a prospective employer to help students stand out from the competition for competitive internships. Educators can use flipbooks as part of their curriculum to engage the audience's attention.

Travel Marketers

Travel marketers can leverage Issuu's interactive features to take travelers on an experience before the plane takes off. They can market destinations, planned trips, or even personalized experiences with flipbooks that stand out from the competition. Whether it's a cruise itinerary, sales brochure, tour guide, or something else, take travel marketing collateral digital.

How to Make Your Flipbook Interactive

Designing your flipbook takes time, feedback, and perhaps a few revisions. This is always a rewarding process, especially if you're skilled in graphic design, and it's possible to create one more layer to it. Making it interactive is one of the most fun steps in bringing your flipbook online. With Issuu, it's easy to create an interactive publication and publish it in around the same amount of time as it takes to send an email.

Add Links

When you add links to a PDF online, you bring that document to life and invite readers to connect with the material in a broader context. Links drive action and allow you to put offers and products directly in your document. Links transform your document into an interactive, connected reading experience that can help drive traffic and boost conversions.

Add links feature

Embed Videos

YouTube and Vimeo have transformed the way we can consume content online. They've each helped create a more visual experience for audiences everywhere and democratized video marketing. It's now more affordable and accessible than ever before to combine video with your marketing materials. Did you know you can combine your video content with text in your flipbooks too? Embed videos into your latest flipbook.

Embed videos feature

Fullscreen Reader

Presenting your content in fullscreen helps create an immersive reading experience, free from distractions. You can do this with Issuu's fullscreen reader, and the benefits are vast. In an age of endless content and ever-optimizing apps competing for our attention, giving your audience a space to focus and engage in their reading is a refreshing experience. When combined with customized branding, the fullscreen experience increases brand exposure and becomes a tool to help an audience go from discovery to well-informed.

Fullscreen reader feature

Digital Sales

You can take your flipbook even further by taking the time to monetize it. Add shoppable links to your content, streamlining your content marketing process and selling access to anyone in the world. Whether you're working on a magazine, a series of short stories, or something else, our Digital Sales feature is a powerful way to sell single issues or ongoing subscriptions. You can sell your content across any of your channels with a single link. The best part is that you never have to pay a commission fee.

Digital sales feature

Flipbook Examples

Now that you know how to create a digital flipbook, here are some flipbook ideas to get you a better picture of all the types of content you can make. Whether you want to stand out from the competition in your industry, improve your digital content, or shake things up with your marketing materials, here are some Issuu creators who have made impactful and interactive digital flipbooks.

Now that you know how to create and publish an impactful flipbook online and have plenty of inspiration to choose from, it's time to bring it all together and make it a reality. There's no better time to begin than the present.

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