Finding an Effective Alternative to Issuu

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Written by Matt Berringer

April 26, 2021

Issuu 101

Founded as a Danish company in 2006, Issuu is a ubiquitous player in the world of digital publishing from PDFs. Currently, the company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Issuu is well-known for its free tier that allows users to quickly begin publishing their content online without a monthly subscription cost. It is a solution for independent artists and sole-proprietors who are looking for a cheap way to digitize their projects. However, on the free tier, content is monetized in other ways. Please read on to learn more.

(Learn more about Digital Publishing Basics)

What Do Issuu’s Reviews Say?

As of this writing, Issuu carries a four star rating on G2 crowd. Here is a sample of what people like and what they don’t like about Issuu.

What people like about Issuu

“Love the ability to post a PDF and see it transformed into book form.”

“Issuu allows me to publish various types of e-document and display them in stunning page-flipping effect.”

What people don’t like about Issuu

“The sharing features could be better in my opinion.”

“There’s a limited number of templates available.”

Assessing Issuu’s Competitors

Finding the right content creation software is an important decision to consider when planning out your digital marketing strategy.

Relevant factors to consider when searching for an alternative to Issuu include:

Whether you’ve worked with similar content platforms in the past or this is the first time exploring a solution, you’ll want to ask the right questions and explore how they fit into your overall brand strategy.

The Best Alternative to Issuu

Users transitioning from Issuu or simply looking for an alternative platform choose Nxtbook Media’s nxtbook4 or Pageraft platforms. Nxtbook offers multiple platforms that drive exceptional content experiences that have driven proven results.

Nxtbook is a great alternative when looking for expertise in markets ranging from:

Check out a comprehensive comparison of the Nxtbook and Issuu below and find the solution that’s right for you!

Content Ownership

Perhaps the biggest difference between Nxtbook’s platforms and Issuu is that on Issuu’s Basic and Starter tiers, Issuu inserts third-party banner ads into your content and you do not have the ability to choose which ads are shown. We have heard of circumstances where direct competitor’s ads have shown up in publications – not exactly ideal!

This could be how Issuu is able to support their free and low cost tiers, by selling third-parties access to your content and your audience. In addition, on those tiers, you also do not have the option to keep your content private. So if content ownership is important to your company, please keep this in mind.

In contrast, Nxtbook does not offer any outside advertising options. With every license, your company has total control over your content, how it’s displayed, and what your audience sees.

Designing Your Publication

Another big contrast between Issuu and Nxtbook Media’s platforms is that Nxtbook offers two platforms. These platforms support the full spectrum of digital publishing, from replicas of printed PDFs to fully responsive digital publications.

With nxtbook4 you can upload a PDF to get started and then enhance it with a variety of tools. This allows you to leverage your current collateral.You can even add responsive text using the Article View feature.

PageRaft is a little more advanced than Issuu in that it is built from the ground up for responsive designs and accessibility. You can use PageRaft as a blank canvas and create everything directly in the software. You don’t need to have existing designs to get started but it also doesn’t hurt!

Uploading a PDF

Both nxtbook and Issuu work by allowing users to upload existing PDFs. These tools then convert the PDF to an online document that can be readily shared.

Tiered Licensing and Features

According to Issuu’s website, not every feature is part of every license. So you will need to purchase the license level that matches the feature set your team needs. In contrast, Nxtbook licenses enable full-access to every feature. This provides your team the full range of digital resources immediately without requiring upsells to complete your job.

In addition, Issuu’s license tiers range from 1-3 on their Basic, Starter, and Premium packages. On their Optimum package, up to 25 users are available. Nxtbook licenses come standard with access for four users and more can be added if needed.

Creating a Project

Both Issuu and nxtbook allow users to quickly and easily upload a PDF to get started. PageRaft is more of a blank canvas that allows for more creative freedom but takes longer to master. Issuu features drag and drop editing capabilities.

Customer Support

Nxtbook Media offers partner advocates, technical, and production support staff who are available to answer or troubleshoot issues via email or on the phone. Issuu offers email support and mentions priority phone support for the Optimum license level. Both platforms also offer a robust knowledge base for do-it-yourself-ers.

Experience in Digital Publishing

The Nxtbook Media team has been involved in digital publishing for a number of years. Nxtbook Media was founded in 2003. The Issuu website does not state when the company was founded but a quick Google search shows that it was founded in 2006.

ADA/WCAG Accessibility Support for Digital Publishing Projects

If compliance and accessibility are critical parts of your project needs, this is an important distinction between the Nxtbook and Issuu platforms. Both nxtbook and PageRaft offer accessible content that can be accessed via the keyboard, read by screen readers and accessed by other assistive technologies. Issuu, on the other hand, does not offer a solution that creates accessible content for your audience.

Design Services

If you are short-staffed or just looking for an outside perspective, Nxtbook offers a range of design and production services. Nxtbook’s team can help you design your book, build it, add interactive elements, push it live, and more. Issuu does not offer design or production services.

Payment Options

Both Nxtbook and Issuu offer monthly and annual license options. Nxtbook also offers a three year license option, this option provides the biggest discount.

Nxtbook Media and Issuu comparison table


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