An online flipbook is a digital representation of a book that turns pages realistically as the user interacts with it. What’s the best tool to create a flipbook? This article compares 10 top solutions to get you started.

When you say the word “flipbook,” most people think of a small book containing drawings in the corners that animate when you turn quickly through them. But in the digital age, the term takes on a new meaning.

A flipbook is a professional, glossy presentation of a PDF file in magazine or catalogue format. Users “flip” though the book by clicking on the interface, and the program responds with an animated turn of the page. Some advantages to using flipbooks are:

  • they look like actual magazines, so the format is familiar
  • no publishing costs are involved
  • can be shared on social media, websites, and/or designated servers
  • full-color display
  • often have embedded multi-media elements
  • appear cutting edge, are beautiful to look at, and come with a significant wow! factor

Flipbooks are a way for you to post information online to social media, on websites, or designated servers, and are an excellent tool for:

  • educators creating e-courses
  • students wanting to create glossy reports
  • authors
  • magazine publishers
  • businesses with catalogues they update regularly

If your interest is piqued and you want to learn more, here’s a list of the top 10 flipbook software programs to get you started you on your journey of discovery.

1. PUBHTML5

PUBHTML5 allows users to create gorgeous, professional-looking online magazines. While the free version is enough to give you a taste (if you don’t mind the company watermark), there are a number of reasonably-priced paid options.

Other demos →

Pros

  • pre-designed templates are available, even in the free version
  • ebooks can be converted to PDF and/or ZIP files, uploaded via FTP or made into an EXE file for easy sharing
  • no additional apps are needed to view ebooks on handheld devices
  • PUBHTML5 uses password-protected, free cloud storage
  • can share private ebooks by granting permission to as many or as few people as you wish
  • integration with Google AdSense to help you monetize your publications
  • extensive online help and support pages

Cons

  • pages can be a little slow to turn
  • no options to zoom in on full screen view
  • flipbooks cannot be viewed offline with the trial version

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Paid accounts have a monthly fee of $15.00 USD for the Pro plan, $25.00 for the Platinum plan (billed annually), and $29.00 for the Gold plan. There is an option to purchase a lifetime Enterprise account for $999.00.

Paid services include

  • integration with Google AdSense to help you monetize your publications
  • elimination of PUBHTML5 watermark
  • unlimited storage, uploads and pages
  • fully customizable interface, templates and branding options

2. KVISoft FlipBook Maker

For a flipbook maker that’s not web-based, KVISoft FlipBook Maker is a good choice.

Check out the demos →

Pros

  • converts existing Word, Excel, PPT and PDF files to Flash or HTML5 flipbooks
  • creates both left-to-right and right-to-left flipping books
  • toolbars and templates are customizable
  • can publish flipbooks in a number of formats including Flash, HTML5 and video
  • works with Mac and Windows platforms

Cons

  • pages on demos are really slow to flip and load
  • no cloud storage provided; user must embed into his/her website or upload to DropBox (or similar cloud storage) for sharing
  • free version is only a 30-day demo and paid version is pricy

Here’s what you get with the paid version

KVISoft FlipBook Maker has a one-time purchase price of $97.00 USD for the FlipBook Maker and $297.00 for the FlipBook Maker Pro edition. With the paid versions, you get:

  • technical service and support
  • full use of software beyond 30-day trial period
  • discounts on future purchases with company

3. Flip Builder

Flip Builder turns PDF files into impressive online books with a single click.

Other demos →

Pros

  • allows you to add YouTube videos, hyperlinks, audio and Flash
  • touch support for mobile devices
  • hundreds of online templates available for online book creation
  • Google Analytics and social media integration
  • Flip Builder shopping cart means you can sell PDF e-books on a variety of platforms

Cons

  • not available for Windows 10
  • animated background when viewing online book is distracting and not easy to turn off or change
  • browsers must have Flash enabled in order to view online books

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Prices range from $79.00 USD for the Mac and iPad PDF to ebook converter, up to $999.00 for the corporate plan. Purchasing the program allows you to:

  • publish an unlimited amount of ebooks
  • upgrade free for life
  • eliminate the watermark on published ebooks

4. Flip HTML5

Similar to PUBHTML5, Flip HTML5 has the ability to create beautiful, full-featured flipbooks.

Other demos →

Pros

  • compiles all of your publications and displays them in a bookcase which you can embed on your webpage
  • subscription feature allows your readers to automatically receive new editions as published
  • collects statistics on your viewers so you can learn more about your target audience

Cons

  • cannot embed your ebook in your personal webpage with the trial version
  • must purchase higher-tier premium accounts to use many interactive functions

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Premium accounts are available beginning at $15.00 USD per month for the Pro plan and go up to a one-time charge of $999.00 for the Enterprise plan. With the paid version, you get:

  • increased storage and unlimited flipbook uploads
  • the ability to publish larger documents
  • long-term access statistics
  • conversion to other formats including DOCX, PPTX, and XLSX

5. Anyflip

Though Anyflip’s interface and packages are similar to FlipHTML5’s, Anyflip’s free solution seems to have more benefits than the others.

Other demos →

Pros

  • digital book may be viewed on a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle
  • can convert PDF to digital book online or download Windows and Mac software for free
  • SEO optimization built-in so your digital book can be indexed by Google bots
  • free online digital book templates, themes, backgrounds and scenes, even with free version
  • Google Analytics, social media sharing, and subscription distribution are also available with the free version

Cons

  • pages on the demo are really slow to turn and load
  • embeds watermark with trial version

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Subscriptions for paid features range in price from $15.00 USD per month for the Pro version, up to a one-time charge of $999.00 for the Enterprise version. Paid versions feature:

  • more uploads per month and greater cloud storage
  • the ability to publish to a local computer for offline viewing
  • the ability to add video, audio, and Flash to your flipbook with the higher-tiered packages
  • integrated bookshelf tool

6. Flipsnack

Flipsnack produces attractive online books which you can post on their cloud service for free, or download with the paid accounts.

Other demos →

Pros

  • offers users a standalone reader with direct link
  • social network sharing integration
  • online book can be embedded on websites and blogs
  • has a separate version for use by educators and students

Cons

  • variable times for page loads means some are quick, while others make the reader wait
  • watermark embedded on online books created with the free version
  • free version has limited number of features available

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Regular users can purchase paid accounts ranging in price from $16.00 USD to $30.00 per month. With the paid version you have access to:

  • custom templates
  • reader interface is branded with your company’s  logo
  • the ability to create unlisted and password protected online books
  • the ability to download your online book for sharing and posting on your own website or social media

7. Flippingbook

Flippingbook is a one-time download software that allows you to create and share attractive ebooks incorporating rich media for a number of promotional purposes.

College Algebra

Other demos →

Pros

  • ebook displays nicely on all desktop and mobile devices
  • website embedding options and Google Analytics integration
  • quick page turns and uploads
  • advanced customization available, including viewing skins, backgrounds, and branding

Cons

  • there is a demo, but apparently no free version
  • software is expensive and lifetime purchase only; no options for monthly contracts
  • you must purchase multiple licences to have access to all features, such as the ability to view ebooks on mobile devices

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Flippingbook’s prices range from $399.00 CAD to license one workstation, $699.00 for two, and $1,199.00 for three. With the licence purchase, you get:

  • the ability to embed your digital book on a website
  • page-turn animation on your Facebook feed
  • SEO optimization and Google Analytics integration

8. Yumpu

Yumpu integrates flipbook software with social media to create a unique online service for its members.

Other demos →

Pros

  • hosts your magazines in the cloud so your readers will always have access
  • creates hotspots to embed links, videos, slideshows, and sounds
  • publishing on Yumpu.com puts you into their database so you can be found via their search engine and suggested to interested readers
  • has a WordPress plugin which allows you to convert your flipbook to an online, readable e-paper

Cons

  • you must purchase a higher-tiered, paid option for features basic to other flipbook software, such as Google Analytics and conversion to view flipbooks on mobile devices
  • reader subscriptions are only available with the most expensive package
  • free plan displays advertisements

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Yumpu’s plans range from $10.00 USD to $339.00 per month. The first two paid tiers offer a 30-day free trial to start. The differences between the free and paid plan are:

  • privacy settings starting with the $10.00 per month package
  • WEBKiosks for your magazine
  • mobile device compatibility with the $219.00 per month package
  • subscription management, including in-app, subscriptions and purchases with the $399.00 per month package

9. LucidPress

LucidPress has options to create both print and digital magazines and flyers.

Pros

  • web-based, drag-and-drop interface
  • extensive, dedicated support via forums, tutorials, and email
  • templates for a variety of publications
  • no credit card is needed for free version

Cons

  • free app is very limited, allowing no more than 3 pages per document and you cannot print to PDF
  • you lose the ability to edit existing documents once you exceed the 25 MB of storage space you are given with the trial account
  • if you’re collaborating with someone with a paid account, you will not be able to edit documents containing more than 3 pages if you have a trial account
  • plans cost $2.00 to $4.00 more if you choose to pay monthly, rather than annually

Here’s what you get with the paid version

Paid plans range from $7.95 USD to $40.00 per month, paid annually. The advantages to paying for a plan are:

  • access to LucidPress’s premium template library and custom fonts
  • document analytics
  • apps for team management and simpler and easier sharing of documents

10. 1stFlip

1stFlip is a PDF to flipbook converter that turns static PDF pages or images into interactive, page-flipping books on both Mac and Windows platforms.

Check out the demos →

Pros

  • pages in demos are quick to flip and load
  • books can be converted to EXE, ZIP, and HTML files for offline viewing
  • has built-in ability to upload to 1stFlip server for easy online viewing
  • fully customizable templates available

Cons

  • free version is only a 30-day trial
  • must have the latest version of Flash installed to view flipbooks

Here’s what you get with the paid version

1stFlip is $99.00 USD for the flipbook creator and $299.00 for the pro plan. The cost is the same whether for Mac or Windows operating systems. The differences between the regular and pro options include the ability to:

  • insert new pages into existing flipbooks
  • add trigger actions, converting callouts, shapes, and text into hotspot links
  • embed a number of features including YouTube video and audio
  • delete unwanted pages or readjust page order
What's the best flipbook software for you?

Last but not least, I’d be happy to learn your thoughts and suggestions. Are you closely familiar with any of the solutions on my Top 10 list? Have they worked out well for you? Feel free to share your feedback.

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