Digital publishing has been constantly evolving over the last few years. The growth of technologies has changed the way people share content on the web. While PDFs are still a widespread solution for delivering content online, they are being replaced by advanced virtual technologies such as flipbooks
Digital flipbooks have become the perfect alternative to static and boring PDFs. They combine the look and feel of printed materials with a modern, user-friendly digital format.
What is a digital flipbook?
A flipbook is an online interactive HTML5 publication converted from a PDF that looks like a real-life book. Flipbooks provide an authentic reading experience online as if in a paper book by the means of page-turning sound effects, page shadows, and more. Such virtual flipbooks preserve the real look and feel of printed books. Users can turn the pages of the book by swiping the screen, clicking a mouse, or using the keyboard. Similar to reading apps, online flipbooks provide an option to zoom pages, navigate and search within the document.
The idea behind a flipbook is to provide an engaging user experience beyond that of a simple digital document. The intuitive interface of flipbooks, their interactive navigation and various add-ons ensure the overall reading experience that is superior to many other formats.
How to create a flipbook?
There are professional flipbook makers that convert PDFs to HTML5 publications. They create a ready-made flipbook that can be shared as a link or embedded into a website. The flip page animation of such flipbooks imitates a real book’s page-turning, sounds, and design. Such animation is widely used by professional digital publishing tools like FlippingBook, Instant Flipbook, FlipHTML5, and other flipbook makers. Also, the flip page effect is used in e-book reading apps such as Apple Books, Amazon Kindle, and others.
Who can use a flipbook?
Flipbooks have a wide range of functionalities which make them useful for business and private purposes. Interactive flipbooks are popular among marketers, sales reps, business owners, writers, and other professionals. The flipbook technology helps boost marketing and provide an engaging content experience for the audience.
What differentiates flipbooks from PDFs?
PDFs have been one of the most popular formats of content distribution. However, PDF files are now becoming obsolete as they have not only benefits but also significant downsides.
In our digital age, content plays an important role in any business. And a lot of people share their content via PDFs, which can be aggravating because it’s difficult to edit and update them. For instance, a product catalog or a menu should always be up-to-date. But the only way to deliver a new version of a PDF is to re-send the document every time an item is added or something is changed. With flipbooks, it’s easy to have the most recent version of the document online because the link to it always remains the same – no matter how many times the content has been reuploaded. Thus, there’s no need to re-send anything to the audience.
PDFs are not optimized for mobile devices. Studies show that mobile traffic accounts for roughly 50% of all web traffic worldwide. This means that digital documents should work on all mobile phones, or they won’t reach the target audience. Unlike flipbooks, PDFs are difficult to read on smartphones or tablets due to the lack of responsive design or a user-friendly interface. That’s why advanced technologies like digital flipbooks are gradually replacing PDFs.
The superiority of flipbooks over PDFs is clear from the two points above, but there’s more evidence that singles out digital flipbooks as a better-suited tool for business than plain PDFs.
1. Ease of distribution
Most digital publishing tools use HTML5 technology to create flipbooks. With it, digital flipbooks can be viewed on any smartphone or tablet, as well as on a stationary computer as direct links. This is a strong advantage of flipbooks in comparison with PDFs. While the former are accessible as links in any browser, on any device, PDFs always need to be downloaded or require specific apps to be viewed.
A flipbook is easy to share as a link on social media, website, or email, which simplifies the distribution process significantly and helps reduce marketing, advertising, and printing costs. Also, since flipbook makers allow easy document updates, there’s no need to reprint or re-distribute the new version of a document – it becomes instantly available online under the same link.
2. User-friendly format
One of the key benefits of using flipbooks is their user-friendly format. There is no need to have special skills to access or navigate it. The interactive navigation in flipbooks differs from that in PDFs. For instance, an interactive table of contents helps the audience find the necessary information in seconds, which is particularly helpful when a flipbook is large with multiple chapters. Thumbnails with page previews and a flexible in-built search tool also help viewers navigate around the flipbook easily. Plus, the interface of a flipbook itself is very intuitive, so reading the document becomes a natural process, not unlike when you’re reading a physical copy.
3. Captivating visual experience
Creating digital flipbooks allows companies to draw attention to their brand by presenting content in a more vibrant, eye-catching, and engaging way than they would be able to in regular PDFs. Flipbooks can be customized with a logo, company color and background to match the brand style. Thus, people can recognize the brand name in the flipbook and trust the content they see.
Moreover, flipbooks surpass PDFs because they carry interactivity across their pages: videos, pop-up images, GIFs, and other elements. Compared to them, PDF documents are pretty plain and can’t offer much interactivity, usability, and engagement. Additionally, some content in PDF documents might be displayed incorrectly on different operating systems and devices. Virtual flipbooks, meanwhile, keep all the pictures and textual elements unimpaired.
4. Insightful content analytics
Analysis of content’s performance is a powerful way to get a deeper understanding of the audience’s behavior. With PDFs, metrics are limited to the number of downloads, and it’s impossible to know whether anyone has read the content or not. Flipbooks provide deep insights into content performance, including how long users stayed in the file, what pages they viewed, which links they clicked, and more. Such comprehensive information about the audience’s interests can improve marketing and sales efforts.
5. Document security
Sharing private information via PDF is not a secure way to deliver content. It’s hard to protect PDFs from third-party downloads and views, so it’s a pain in the neck for those who want to keep their content private. Most flipbook tools, however, provide options to lock content with a password, restrict access to people only inside the workplace, or disable share and print options for the document. This way, it’s possible to be in complete control of the document’s security levels.
Online flipbooks have a solid position in digital publishing because they can be used for any type of content and their usage has already gone beyond being a simple PDF alternative. Due to their huge potential, they’re actively used to deliver all kinds of content online, such as company manuals, internal documents, private files, and much more.
With a number of cutting-edge features, digital flipbooks capture the reader’s attention and provide a visually pleasing reading experience. So using flipbooks is a tech-savvy and creative decision to give people the familiar comfort of printed materials in a modernized version.
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