Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thing 69. No Issue with Issuu: Digital Publishing

It's time to publish that annual report and this year you really want to make a "go green" effort. Here's an easy solution! Introduce yourself to Issuu, an online digital publishing platform that allows for amazing presentation of all types of material including newsletters, magazines, catalogs, or similar publications. 

"Issuus" look like a magazine or book--color photos or illustrations, layouts as you want them, pages that turn digitally. Start thinking, "Right now, what does your library offer, be it on your website or through a direct e-mail that you would really like to present in the most professional way?" If you can think it, Issuu can probably make it happen with a little effort from you.

In 2009, TIME magazine included Issuu as one of the 50 best websites of the year. "Maybe a gadget like Amazon's Kindle can compete with the old-fashioned ink-on-paper experience, but for our money - which in this instance, is zero dollars - we'll take Issuu, an online newsstand with infinite shelf space, hundreds of interesting micro - publishing projects and a slick online reader.”

Once you create your content, uploading a PDF of your publication will create a professional-looking virtual version. Besides the ability to make your publication viewable on your website, you can also link to it from Facebook or your blog. Issuu offers functionality by allowing you to use your own logos, choose colors, and include icons. The process is guided and simple. Once complete, your finished product can function as a book, complete with pages that need to be turned.

An excellent example of how this tool can be used is found at Free Technology for Teachers, a blog written by Richard Byrne, that provides “Free Resource and Lesson Plans for Teaching with Technology." Byrne has used Issuu to create resource guides on topics such as Beyond Google and Google Earth Across the Curriculum. A quick browse of the Issuu website quickly reveals a wide variety of publications on topics such as college sports, crafting, and catalogs, all of which have the glossy, full-color appearance of newsstand magazines.

Another online publishing tool is YUDU. Like Issuu, YUDU allows you to upload a PDF of your publication. YUDU automatically creates a digital version that readers can flip through just like a magazine. Publications can be hosted on the YUDU site or embedded on your website in three formats: the full version, an image of the front cover with a link to the file at YUDU, or a small flash animation of the first eight pages flipping back and forth. The last version is a nice way to introduce some motion to your page to capture readers’ attention. Readers do not have to download anything – everything can be read online. With YUDU, you can add audio and video for a multimedia experience, and you can include live links to allow readers to click through to related sites.

With costs for printing and postage rising all the time, why not take a moment to consider virtual publishing as an alternative by exploring these new tools?

By Lynn Stern, SAMMIE

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