Since the flipbook technology has been gaining more and more popularity lately, there is no shortage of solutions to turn your PDFs into interactive HTML5 publications. But how do you find the best flipbook software among them? What features to look for and what pitfalls to avoid?
To simplify the task for you, we’ve made a list of the best online flipbook makers that exist in 2023. It will help you get a better idea of the market and find the software that suits your needs best.
Why Choose the Flipbook Format
A digital flipbook is an innovative way to present content online. You can create an online flipbook from a PDF in seconds and share it as a link anywhere you want, without having to send over a whole PDF file. Equipped with visual appeal, interactive elements, and smart features, an online flipbook is a great alternative to printed collateral and static PDFs alike.
Tips for Finding the Best Flipbook Software
Before you go on to compare the choices on our list, here are some general tips on how to make an informed decision about the flipbook software you want:
- Check reliability. Before committing to a solution, ensure it is stable enough to support your documents. Look for a status page on the software’s website with its uptime and incident reports.
- Consider interactivity. Adding interactive elements on top of your PDFs is what flipbooks are all about. So make sure the software offers the elements you need for your content: videos, animations, audio, expandable hotspots, or pop-up images.
- Study pricing plans. Take your time to compare the subscription packages that the software has and see which one suits your requirements and budget. Double-check the number of flipbooks you’ll be able to create and their maximum size.
- Decide on the number of seats. If you’re planning to use the software as a team, determine the number of accounts to buy, and look for a dedicated pricing plan. You'll want to choose a solution that has collaboration features to aid your shared projects.
- Research compatibility. Check if the flipbook software integrates with the other tools and platforms you use to ensure a seamless flow of data. It can simply support an online automation tool like Zapier to connect applications without coding.
Top 5 Best Flipbook Software
All of the flipbook makers presented below are great at what they do—namely, creating flipbooks. But there are some distinctive features to each solution that make it better suited for different goals.
💡 Best flipbook maker for: individuals and businesses of any size that want to create professional-looking, interactive catalogs, brochures, guides, e-books, and reports.
🤔 Something to consider: you can’t create documents from scratch—upload your ready-made PDF or transfer one over from Canva.
💰 Pricing: from $25/month, 14-day free trial.
Professional online flipbook software, FlippingBook is among the leaders in the Flipbook software category on G2, one of the largest platforms where people can discover and review SaaS products. FlippingBook’s achievements include Easiest Setup, Fastest Implementation, Best Estimated ROI, and Best Support.
FlippingBook supports vector graphics, which means flipbooks made via this online flipbook software always stay sharp no matter what device you’re using or how closely you zoom in. Multiple interactive features allow you to further enrich your digital documents—and you can test most of them during your free trial. Detailed statistics for each document, from unique views and viewers to the number of downloads and time spent on the page, help you analyze readers’ activity to make your flipbooks even more impactful.
As for ease-of-use, FlippingBook is pretty much intuitive—it goes both for its interface and the flipbooks themselves: you can easily navigate them thanks to an interactive table of contents, thumbnails, text search, and several page-turning options. This comes in especially handy for lengthy documents—even within a 1,000-page catalog, your client will be able to find the item they’re looking for in seconds.
PDF viewer: FlippingBook’s PDF viewer is a big part of what makes us rate this flipbook software so high on our list. It’s simply the most advanced among its competitors. Its smart zoom allows you to catch even the smallest details. You can send your client a link not just to a certain page, but to highlighted text on it, which makes discussing layouts, prices, or clauses so much easier.
Reliability: FlippingBook hosts your flipbooks on Amazon servers, to make sure they’re well-protected from unwanted access and always operational—their status page shows that flipbooks created via FlippingBook stay online 99.99% of the time. Plus, users praise their support team for responsiveness, allowing FlippingBook to gain 9.3 on G2 in the customer support category, with 8.9 being the industry average.
Branding: Creating a consistent brand image across all platforms is vital. That’s why it’s so important that you can highlight and promote your brand in your FlippingBook publications in a variety of ways: through a clickable logo, a changeable background and color palette, a favicon, and even by creating custom URLs.
Interactivity: Want to hold your audience’s attention and make them keep reading? Studies show that vizualization, different storytelling formats, and interactive elements increase user engagement by 94%. Luckily, interactive features—such as video embedding, GIFs, lead capture forms, and colorful pop-up galleries—are one of FlippingBook’s fortes. They can be yours, too!
Canva integration: If you don’t have the means to create a beautiful PDF on your own, don’t fret—thanks to FlippingBook’s integration with Canva, you can make a neat classy PDF there and then simply send it right to your FlippingBook account.
💡 Best flipbook software for: individuals with the budget for the highest plan and the intention to have their own mobile app with flipbooks on Google Play.
🤔 Something to consider: limited branding and analytics, no collaboration features for teams.
💰 Pricing: from $14/month, 14-day free trial.
Publuu proudly takes the second place on our list of the best online flipbook software. It’s a great flipbook creator that lends both visual quality as well as interactivity to your flipbooks. Compared to more cumbersome solutions, Publuu is rightfully valued by its customers for being easy to use.
Overall, it’s a great piece of software—yet, probably, not as branding-oriented as its close competitor, FlippingBook. For instance, you can add a clickable logo to a Publuu flipbook but it won’t be very noticeable in the top right corner of your document. There’re also a couple of minor practical inconveniences, such as inability to regulate the size of your hotspot icon or the lack of unique viewers in document analytics. And teams won’t find any features to help them work together on the same projects from different accounts.
Online newsstand: Publuu allows you to create a virtual bookshelf—a web page where you can keep all of your flipbooks or a selected few on display. This way, readers can have a preview of your publications and easily find what they’re looking for.
Mobile app: If you want to give quick access to your flipbooks, but a bookshelf doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, maybe the mobile app option is for you. With Publuu’s Premium plan, you can create your own app to showcase flipbooks and share it on Google Play.
Reliability: According to reviews on G2, Publuu is praised by its clients for the caring and responsive support team.
💡 Best flipbook software for: creators with a couple of flipbooks who want to feature their own music as a background sound.
🤔 Something to consider: the price is based on the number of flipbooks you have—even for just three documents, you’ll be paying more than with any other solution on the list.
💰 Pricing: $15/month for one flipbook, 14-day free trial.
Among other online flipbook programs, Paperturn is somewhere in the middle. The flipbooks you make with this flipbook software look good, their page-flip effect—maybe not superb but quite realistic. Like many other tools, Paperturn allows you to add extra interactivity with links, video, and background audio. And even while using a trial, you can make your flipbook as stylish as you want by experimenting with its design.
Unfortunately, there are some areas in which this flipbook software is lacking. For starters, its PDF-to-flipbook convertor is slower than in other tools—the conversion process can take up to 15 minutes. Customization and editing are not very straightforward, as, for example, you’d have to look for GIF and picture embedding in the Links/Video & SEO section. Though the final result looks nice, it has some flaws as well. When you’re turning the last page, you’ll see a "ghost" of the non-existent next page behind it that disappears only when the flipbook is fully closed. It’s a small detail but it takes away from the overall impression.
API gateway: API gateway is Paperturn’s solution that allows you to search through your flipbooks directly from your website and automatically display the covers or links to your newest publications. It’s a useful tool for an online publisher or, say, an Intranet manager who wants to keep their colleagues up-to-date with the latest internal documents.
Content protection: Every flipbook software offers content protection in different forms, but Paperturn deserves an extra mention for having the IP whitelisting option. That means you can restrict access to your flipbook to specific IP-addresses, and no one else will be able to open it.
Keywords: If you want your flipbook to get as much exposure as possible, you can optimize it for search engines with Paperturn. That includes not only customizing the flipbook’s name and description but also listing keywords that will make it easier for Google and other search engines to find it.
💡 Best flipbook maker for: retail marketers that want to automate the creation of product catalogs.
🤔 Something to consider: flipbooks may appear blurry when you zoom in; the free trial isn’t full-featured.
💰 Pricing: from $32/month, 14-day free trial.
Flipsnack is a solid flipbook maker. On the plus side, they have lots of customization features and smart templates for different kinds of publications—you can even design your flipbook right there. On the downside, this digital flipbook software doesn’t support vector graphics, so when you’re zooming in, both text and images look blurry.
As almost any other online flipbook software on our list, Flipsnack offers a free trial. However, you’ll find that you can’t test several crucial customization features, such as branding, lead form, and menu controls, during the trial. And while you can test its content editor’s features, such as video or link embedding, you can’t save the changes. Hence, there’s a limit to what you can actually try out before you have to pay—the flipbook you’ll publish during your trial won’t have either design or interactivity to help you evaluate its potential.
Design tool: If you don’t have a PDF to go with, Flipsnack offers their own templates to customize and create your digital document from scratch. Sure, it’s no Adobe Acrobat or Canva but it’s simple and requires no third-party apps, so it can be a really handy tool for swift PDF creation.
Catalog automation: Flipsnack’s Beta Automator makes catalog production easier. You can connect various data sources (for example, a Google sheet with tags and prices) to your Flipsnack catalog, create smart fields there, and then just drag and drop products from your source. A real time-saver for a wholesale or retail marketer!
Shopping lists: Another neat feature that makes Flipsnack a good match for a digital marketer is shopping lists. Going through a Flipsnack catalog, a reader can add the items they like to a shopping list without leaving the flipbook. Once they’re done, they can import it and send it to you as a PDF quote.
💡 Best online flipbook maker for: individuals that want to share and monetize their content on social media.
🤔 Something to consider: third-party ads next to your content.
💰 Pricing: from $29/month, 14-day free trial.
One of popular flipbook creators, Issuu is powerful flipbook software with a monetization option. The quality of publications and the ability to create magazine subscriptions make Issuu a good solution for e-commerce publishing.
Still, there are some downsides to this PDF-to-flipbook software. Unlike other solutions on the list, Issuu has a free plan that allows for unlimited number of flipbooks, however, the deal is not as sweet as you may imagine. Unless you’re on their Premium plan, Issuu will show third-party ads in and around your Issuu publications, which can be overbearing.
Additionally, Issuu’s file convertor, while in general creating high quality flipbooks, can be a bit glitchy and misinterpret the number of pages in your file. In the example above, the convertor wrongly recognized pages 2-3 and pages 4-5 of the document as one page spread.
Exposure: Issuu is a social media platform of flipbook solutions. If you’re sharing your flipbooks publicly, other people can find your profile and read them and, vice versa, you can easily browse through other creators’ content as well. All publications on the platform are sorted by categories, such as Business, Education, Hobbies, etc., to make navigation easier. Issuu also offers tools that allow you to create social posts and digital articles from the content of your flipbook. So if SMM is your gem, Issuu is for you.
Digital sales: If you’re publishing content online and struggling with monetization, Issuu may be the solution to your challenge. Its digital sales tool provides the opportunity for a digital publisher to sell access to their content by issues or as an ongoing subscription.
Templates: To help you with creating professional-looking online documents, Issuu provides customizable templates for different kinds of digital publications. To use a template, you need to download it, edit it in a compatible editing software, and then upload it to your Issuu account.
This is our list of the best flipbook software, 2023 edition. We hope you’ll find the one that works best for you!