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If you’re looking for a great platform to share your digital downloads without actually giving them away or letting people get a sneak peak maybe at the workbooks or the downloads or the checklists or sheets that you’re giving away in a particular course without actually giving it to them, then Issuu is a great platform for doing that. It’s also a great place to just publish a magazine every month to different readers.

If you’ve never used Issuu, I’m going to show you today exactly how you can do that and what it can do for you.

Hi. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous Designs and I help online business owners create beautiful digital downloads using Adobe InDesign. So if that sounds like something that you are interested in or if that sounds like it fits you, then make sure to hit the subscribe button below because I post new videos and tutorials every Monday and Thursday.

Today we are gonna be talking about Issuu. And if you’ve never heard of them, I actually stumbled upon them on accident when I was a fitness coach in a totally different life. But I produced fitness magazines. And I wanted to share them with people. And I wanted to share my fitness planners with people as well. So if you’ve never heard of Issuu, it actually has an app that you can download. So I’ll share my screen.

Issuu has a few different plans for you as a publisher. Now, you’re gonna be using Issuu as a publisher, not a subscriber. And if you are … So first of all, if you download the app, it’s free. So don’t worry about that. It’s free. You should check it out, look around. I’m not sure how they get away with it or if magazines make them available. But Money Magazine, Oprah Magazine, Fitness … Pretty much every premium magazine that’s out there I’ve been able to find on Issuu. Not gonna talk about the legalities of that today. But you as a publisher have four different plans you can choose from.

Now the first one, I would just start out with the basic. That’s free. The only thing to keep in mind is if you’re going to do the basic, you have no protection of your documents. So for example, my fitness magazine was just free. I didn’t care who read it as long as people read it. I was trying to get people as fitness coaching clients. And because I was doing that, I wanted it to be as free and uploaded as many places as I possibly could. I wasn’t really too worried about list building at this point. I was just worried about awareness so that people would know who I was.

So that is a great plan if that’s all you care about. Now, if you want to protect your documents, then you might want to go with the starter plan or the premium plan if you’d like to sell your publications. So let’s say you … I know a lot of people are using Gumroad and other things like that. I actually don’t like Gumroad. I would rather sell my stuff on Issuu. It’s just a nicer layout, it had a better, I don’t want to say ROI … It just had a … It was just easier to use. And Optimum, obviously, is only if you are producing a ton of things and you have a huge team ’cause $269 per month is kind of steep.

Now, inside of my Issuu … We’ll go in here. This is my old account. And I think I downgraded to the basic. And it used to be a premium. And it will tell you exactly how many people have read it and how many impressions it’s had. So not everyone’s going to read through the whole document. But some people will just kind of glance and see your magazine whether they were searching for it or it came up in a suggested search. So once you start using this application, you’ll see it looks a little bit like Pinterest. You’ll just see a ton of different magazines that will show up. So this is mine. And you can see, even on the free version, I can still embed this. I can go through … And this is the whole magazine. So it does that nice … I’m sure you’ve seen other people when you go to their website, you can kind of click through the different pages.

Alright. So it also gives you the opportunity to provide links to your documents to others. It gives you some statistics like above like we saw right up here. And it also gives you the opportunity to share your document on social by creating a gif for you. So I actually really like this. I don’t know why a lot of people just aren’t using this, which is crazy to me. Now, the other cool thing is that you can print these. It’s a magazine publication. Even though it’s digital, you can print these yourself. So here is an older … It’s not even on there anymore … Fitness planner that I made. And I had it printed. So it’s actually … It’s pretty nice. If you like that … What is it called? … Like that magazine quality paper, and I’m not even sure what the weight it, but it has that nice glossy feel to it just like you would see in a magazine. And these pages are actually, I would say, thicker than a regular page. And the back and the front cover are much thicker than you would get in a regular magazine that you see on the news stand.

And you can see the colors are pretty vibrant. I have another page with more colors on it. So here’s another page with things to read. And the colors are really beautiful and came out nice and clean and crisp. And I think it just looks amazing. Now, the important thing, and I’ll show you a huge mistake that I made, was knowing your left page from your right page. So you can see where I had made a huge faux pas and that November starts over here and October is ending over here. So really important to make sure that you get proofs of these because you send them out.

The other thing it didn’t do though was tabs. So obviously it’s a magazine. This was really meant to be a planner and it’s spiral binding. So the tabs pages showed up just a little odd. I really should’ve changed those before I sent that in. But that is pretty much it. You can also, if you have lines for people to write, it actually writes very well. But just like you would think with magazine pages, if they write with a marker or something that’s a little more liquidy, it does tend to run if their hand grazes over it.

So that was it. It was pretty affordable. Just like anywhere else, you’re going to save so much money if you’re able to order this in bulk versus ordering one offs. Now, as far as I know, this could’ve changed, but no one can order a physical copy of your book but you the publisher. I don’t believe they can offer it on there. But again, I did not upgrade to … And in fact, they didn’t even have four tier prices. They just had a basic and a premium before. So before, I was not able to allow other people to purchase just one offs like this ’cause, you know, somebody really wants these two pages together.

But anyways, I think Issuu is a great platform that you could look into. You can protect your pages so no one can download them. If the information is so, so special that getting this information, even glancing at it, is forbidden for people, you could always put sort of a watermark on top of it, you could maybe take a few pages out and just leave some excerpts. People want to see what they’re buying and what they’re getting before they actually purchase it to make sure it’s worth it. Right?

Because especially with digital downloads, a lot of us online businesses will say there are no returns because of the nature of this digital download. And maybe we don’t want … I’m hoping … None of us really want unhappy customers. We don’t sell things because we want to trick people into buying them and saying, “Ha ha, now you’re stuck with it ’cause it’s digital.” I know I always want people to be happy. I don’t want them to purchase anything that they didn’t want. So if I can, I give them the full digital file as a preview … Mind you, not something they can download, just as a free preview. And then when they purchase it, they don’t have any buyer’s remorse or they don’t say, “This isn’t really what I thought it would be.” And that has happened to me before on Etsy with selling some digital downloads because I may have something that’s 50 or 100 pages and someone will say, “Oh, I really liked the beginning and the preview pages, but I didn’t like everything else.”

So something to think about. Remember, today we talked about Issuu. It is an application. And it is for you as a user just to read magazines and discover new people. It’s a great way to connect with other people also in your industry. I know not a lot of people are talking about this. It’s a great networking place. I’ve met a lot of people who also produce planners and are graphic designers. And I also hooked up with a lot of different fitness coaches that I was able to collaborate with.

The third thing is make sure you try out the free version just to see if you like it. Upload some trials. And then remember the premium is pretty pricey. But you can get money instead of using Gumroad or easy digital downloads or something else … You could use Issuu to sell it. And I think it’s even better because, again, you can give people a preview so they know exactly what they’re getting before they purchase it.

So that is my top recommendation for previewing documents and/or selling them as well, and, of course, for printing them if you want magazine style printing and make sure that you understand what you’re doing so that you don’t end up with insides and guts that look like this. Alright. I hope that was helpful and I will see you guys next week. Bye.

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