How to create a digital flipbook the easy way

By |Published On: May 17th, 2022|Last Updated: May 9th, 2024|Categories: Business|

Flipbooks have become a must-have powerful digital tool in the last couple of years, for a variety of industries and uses. At the same time, it has never been easier to learn how to make a digital flipbook; regardless of the purpose behind it. 

The history of flipbooks is a rich one, but it’s not all digital like it is today. In fact, the first flipbooks started out as entertaining drawings. The term “flipbook” came from the action taken where you literally “flip” through the book. And watch the images change ever so slightly, from page to page. This would create an illusion of movement and made for some pretty advanced entertainment at the time.

That being said, over time, flipbooks have changed drastically. In the context of this article we’re going to talk about how to create an HTML5 flipbook. No matter the kind of industry you’re in, or if you want to make a flipbook for personal use; this guide will have you covered.

What is a flipbook?

A digital flipbook is an interactive HTML5 publication that recreates the page turning effect of a printed book, easy-to-read on any device. You can enhance the flipbook with interactive elements such as videos, slideshows, internal and external links.

What is the difference between a flipbook and a PDF?

The main difference between a flipbook and a PDF is the page flip effect you achieve with a flipbook. A PDF is a static publication with little to no animated elements, while a flipbook offers plenty of interactivity to your existing or new content. You can either enhance a PDF or create a flipbook from scratch. 

How to make a flip book with Flipsnack

When we think about how to make a digital flipbook; we might believe that it’s a complex process. A process with a lot of steps involved in perfecting the final publication. In reality, creating a flipbook animation online is as easy as five steps, when you bring a PDF to Flipsnack.

Step 1: Upload your PDF

There are two options for making a digital flipbook: start from a PDF or create from scratch. If you don’t have a PDF ready, use one of the many free options available for creating a PDF. Alternatively, Flipsnack’s Design Studio helps you create a flipbook from scratch. 

To start, click on the Upload PDF button from your Flipsnack dashboard. From here, you can drag and drop your PDF or select it from your existing files. To upload multiple PDFs at once, click the drop-down menu and select Bulk upload.

Step 1 upload your pdf explained in Flipsnack

Step 2: Customize and brand

The next step is to customize your online flipbook with brand elements so that every publication you create reflects it. With Flipsnack you can fully brand your flipbooks. From logo, brand colors, and fonts to custom links for the publications you share with the audience.

Upload your brand elements to Flipsnack’s platform to easily access them whenever you make a new flipbook. Customize even the player’s accent color with your brand’s color; so that in every little detail your brand will shine through. Finally, add a background color or an image for your digital flipbook before moving on to the next step.

Step 2 customize and brand options available in Flipsnack

Step 3: Enhance with interactivity

The beauty of Flipsnack’s Design Studio is that you can take boring, static PDFs and enhance them with interactions. Your PDF report, catalog, brochure; or whatever else you decide to upload will go from a still image to a flippable, animated experience. 

Add videos, GIFs, internal and external links, or more advanced interactions like iframe widgets. Our drag-and-drop editing process allows you to make quick changes to both text and visuals while keeping the same link. This is where your flipbook will really start to take shape. 

Depending on the type of flipbook you’re looking to create, there are specific interactions that enhance real estate listing presentations. Upload 360 video tours along with the home descriptions for those specific listings. If you’re a retail store looking to increase your sales, add product tags over each and every item. This way, you are minimizing page clutter, and maximizing customer engagement.

Step 4: Publish publicly or privately 

Once you create a PDF flip book, you might wonder how do I publish a flipbook online? You have four publishing options at your disposal. First, there is the public sharing option. This is the default option, making your flipbook available on your public profile and have it indexed in search engines.

Next, there is – unlisted. This option removes your flipbook from your public profile and prevents it from being indexed. Users can only access an unlisted flipbook via a direct link you send them privately. 

Followed by – password locked. As you can probably guess, this option makes it so that a password that you set is required before viewing the flipbook.

Finally, there is the option to publish your flipbook privately. This helps you share your flipbook with specific people only. By selecting this option, you can import a CSV file containing up to 1000 email addresses for quick bulk sharing. The recipients receive an email notifying them that a flipbook was shared with them. I would like to mention that this permission can be revoked at any time.

Step 4 publish publicly or privately presented in Flipsnack

Step 5: Share your digital flipbook

Beyond your publishing options, you have a multitude of ways to share your flipbook. Want to embed it on your website? Copy the embed code and have your flipbook readily viewable for all to see on your homepage, blog, or ecommerce store. 

Share your digital flip book through social media, email, or a direct link. It’s all possible. Meet the audience where they’re at, otherwise, your content will get lost in platforms they don’t check. For businesses, being able to share flipbooks and their contents in a variety of ways is essential. Create a QR code for your flip book and print it for restaurant menus. Or for trade shows where you need to access digital catalogs. And if you’re wondering “Can flipbooks be downloaded as PDF”? The answer is yes, you can enable this option for your audience; when you customize a flipbook and before you share a trackable PDF online.

With just a few easy steps, here is how to make a flipbook your audience will engage with. Digital flipbooks are such versatile and powerful tools; that have quickly become a must-have for many businesses, small and large alike. 

What are the benefits of a flipbook?

Now that we’ve seen how easy it is to make a digital flipbook; we can continue building a strong case for its utility. Think of digital flipbooks as your most versatile marketing tool. Starting from a PDF or from scratch, you can create a digital flipbook. And customize it to be essentially anything you need them to be. Magazines, brochures, flyers, presentations, and even internal communications documents. You might want to share your PDFs safely or make them interactive. Everything is possible with a digital flipbook maker.

Digital flipbooks help wholesalers, for example, come up with a creative solution for showcasing products. And to add interactions to help customers decide what to buy. Or in the case of a real estate agent, flipbooks help present a new house listing. With the helps of videos of each room to really depict how nice the house is. Let’s dive in to see exactly what type of benefits digital flipbooks hold:

  1. Digital flipbooks are very engaging
  2. Digital flipbooks are easy to share
  3. Digital flipbooks are easy & free to update
  4. Digital flipbooks are SEO-friendly
  5. Digital flipbooks have extensive privacy options
  6. Digital flipbooks can be easily tracked
  7. Digital flipbooks are responsive on any device

1. Digital flipbooks are very engaging

The most obvious benefit of digital flipbooks is that they’re extremely engaging. Let me walk you through a business that introduced interactive digital flipbooks in their internal communication strategy.

Alisha VanTiem, from Keywords Studios, looked for alternative solutions to the PDF or PowerPoint format of internal documents. These formats did not render the desired engagement. That’s when she discovered the world of digital flipbooks. 

Once implemented, the statistics showed over 1000 impressions from employees for internal documents shared in the interactive flipbook format. Alisha shares her experience with the different interactive elements you can use to increase audience engagement:

The ability to add video, audio, and pop-ups has provided the HR team with a new and interesting way to share information with our employees.

Alisha VanTiem, Sr. Benefits Administrator

However, there are more interactions you can add using Flipsnack’s Design Studio. For example, you have a property listing with an incredible view, but it really doesn’t show up well in a static image. With a digital flipbook, you can insert a video or embed a virtual tour to really capture the right perspective. 

For product catalogs, create a better buying experience. Instead of customers browsing through a static catalog, taking notes; sending the order details to you, they can create a list right from the catalog. Add product tags, captions, or spotlight images for certain items. At the end, the highly interactive catalog is much more inviting to browse, and create order lists from.

2. Digital flipbooks are easy to share

Once you finish making a digital flipbook with interactions, the next advantage comes in sight: multiple sharing options. Whatever option you choose, you can share your flipbooks publicly or privately in a fast, easy and secure way. 

Let’s see what Lars Herzog from Newell Brands has to say about this advantage. Their backstory starts with the need for a more efficient method to share catalogs with their Outdoor brands in the EMEA region. Dealing with the entire EMEA region meant two things: being involved in the tedious process of producing. And shipping printed catalogs all over countries from this region:

An online tool like Flipsnack allows us to reduce costs and the time to market. It allows us to get catalogs in front of our customers fast and easily. So switching over to digital catalogs came as the perfect solution for our needs.

Lars Herzog, Head of Digital & Online Marketing, EMEA region

There are a lot of sharing options to choose from, but we’ll start with the most used: a direct link. Simply copy and paste this responsive link to any online platform, group chat, with no email attachments or download required. 

Digital flipbooks are easy to share described in Flipsnack

For flipbooks that need to reach wide audiences, you have the option to embed it on your website. This is an easy way to keep your customers up to date with the latest product releases. Or perhaps to promote your university more effectively. 

Send your publication via email, create a QR code that you print and take with you to trade shows. Or to other product presentations to instantly access an interactive flipbook on any device. Choose from three different styles and brand your code with a custom logo using a free animated logo maker. Share flipbooks on Facebook, X, Pinterest, or copy and paste the flipbook link on any other social media channel.

3. Digital flipbooks are easy & free to update

We briefly touched on this earlier in our article, but this amazing benefit deserves a spot on our list. Digital flipbooks facilitate the updating process of any brochure, presentation, or product catalog. 

Here’s how it works; you simply edit whatever information or image you need to, and then click on share and update. The link will remain the same, without having to resend the flipbook with the new changes to your audience.

Digital flipbooks are easy and free to update in Flipsnack

More than the ease of updating, think about how much money it costs to reprint a batch of physical copies that have the wrong price or a typo in them. Your audience deserved perfectly designed flipbooks with double-checked information. Continue creating professional designs with a tool that allows you to fix any mistakes that initially go unnoticed.

4. Digital flipbooks are SEO-friendly

You know by now that PDFs are not ideal for search engines. If one of your PDF’s objectives is to rank high or to appear on the search engines results page; then there are a couple of things you can do. 

Once you convert a PDF to a digital flipbook, you unlock SEO tactics. Start with adding a title of your publication that includes the main keyword you want to target. That title will be used as a meta title for your publication, so it will appear in SERPs.

Digital flipbooks are SEO friendly

A second thing you need to do is come up with a detailed description of your flipbook; where you insert the main keyword, as well as more specific queries. The first part of this description will be used in the meta description. 

Keep in mind a short list of best practices when you need to write meta descriptions:

  • make it unique by using long-form keywords
  • structure it to be a short summary of your flipbook
  • place the most important keywords and information in the first part

By applying these two SEO practices, you offer readers a better experience while aiming to be a top performer with search engines.

5. Digital flipbooks have extensive privacy options

Unlike PDFs, online flipbooks can be protected and kept away from unwanted viewers. When you make a flipbook online, you get to choose who has access to it. Here’s how the same brand we mentioned before, Keywords Studios, took advantage of this important benefit:

Flipsnack has been a great tool for our HR Team’s communication needs. Their range of wonderful security options for our documents was the #1 selling point!

Alisha VanTiem, Sr. Benefits Administrator
Digital flipbooks have extensive privacy options

They used Flipsnack’s secure web-based platform to share private internal documents exclusively through a password-protected solution. The same solution can be adopted for other documents containing sensitive information such as employee benefits guides, or training manuals.

If you want to go a step further in protecting your documents; choose to set your Flipsnack profile to private, and publish flipbooks as unlisted. This way you ensure that no flipbooks appear on search engine results pages. And the only way someone can access your documents is through a direct link sent by you.

6. Digital flipbooks can be easily tracked

Another great benefit of digital flipbooks is direct access to built-in flipbook statistics. A great leverage for your business, since it allows you to understand the audience at a deeper level. Jennifer Sarmiento, Commercial Analytics Manager at Melissa & Doug, was positively impressed by how much her colleague checked analytics for their product catalogs:

I’ve seen Tracy become more in love with the data as well because she’s constantly looking at Flipsnack stats and discussing them with me, which is fantastic. Checking statistics is definitely addicting!

Jennifer Sarmiento, Commercial Analytics Manager

Checking statistics is not only addicting, but highly beneficial when it comes to optimizing your content for your audience’s interests. With access to views, clicks, average time spent reading your digital flipbook, the improvements you should do become clearer. Having your readers in mind when creating any type of online flipbook is what gets you closer to reaching any objective.

7. Digital flipbooks are responsive on any device

And lastly, digital flipbooks are amazing because they maintain their quality and layout. This principle applies regardless of the device you use to read them. Your clients may open your flipbooks on mobile devices and tablets. Therefore, the content needs to look the same as if opened on a laptop. 

When using tablets for in-store product showcasing, the catalogs Electrolux created in Flipsnack had the same visual quality and technicality as the ones opened on a computer. Here is what Fabiola Vidal, Digital Marketing Product Owner, has to say in regards to this benefit:

Flipsnack has a broader offer and a better mobile solution that fits our needs. They offer a good service that is always available and easy to interact with, willing to understand our needs and find solutions to support us.

Fabiola Vidal, Digital Marketing Product Owner

With a fixed layout like the PDF’s, it’s frustrating to constantly make adjustments or zoom in; depending on the device you use to read it. Leave this worry behind knowing that every flipbook you share; with your audience will display the same high-quality you see on your screen.

If these seven benefits of digital flipbooks haven’t convinced you to start using them for your business; then I don’t know what will. Once you implement them in your content strategy creation and distribution, you’ll uncover more and more layers of new benefits. 

Here are 5 templates to get you started

Flipbooks can take the shape of many different publications: catalogs, magazines, brochures, newsletters, and more. If making a flipbook from scratch seems daunting; or if you don’t have a PDF ready to upload, choose one of the following flipbook templates

Real estate brochure flipbook example

A lot of people might think that a brochure is just one or two pages. In reality, brochures can be as long as you need them to be. Thanks to this newly-found length, brochures provide the perfect medium for showing off in the real estate industry

Take a look at this real estate brochure flipbook example. Notice all the interactive elements you can include to enhance a static house presentation. Start by adding a virtual tour to fully immerse potential buyers, or clickable buttons for easier home view booking.

With this real estate digital flipbook idea, it’s possible to brand your materials; so that you really stand out in the industry. Simply insert your colors, logos, and contact information. This way, people know exactly who you are, and how to contact you.

Wholesale catalog flipbook example

Adopt an easy way to display your wholesale items with the inspiration from this wholesale catalog example. Instead of publishing and printing new catalogs every time you need one; flipbooks can be created, edited, and updated under the same link when they’re digital.

Add product tags, captions for each item, links to helpful content. Or spotlight images to help certain items really stand out, and much more.

Business presentation flipbook example

A really good digital business presentation can be spotted as early as the front cover. Personalize this business presentation template with your brand elements to create professional flipbooks every time. 

Remember that presentations are all about engagement and keeping the attention of the attendees. Flipbooks like the one presented here are the perfect platform for doing just that. Upload some photos, diagrams, charts or important statistics you need to include. This flip book idea is very easily shared privately with specific colleagues; who might request to read it more closely.

Company report flipbook template

With this end of year report template, you take your business and other project reports to the next level. Adding interactivity such as videos, links, GIFs, or statistics and laying it in a clean way; really draws in the attention you need. Your data will be displayed in an easy-to-digest way, so everyone will be able to quickly understand.

Once you finish personalizing this digital flipbook with your content and visuals; it’s time to share it with specific people from your company. Send this company report via email or password-protect it if necessary before sharing it anywhere.

Medical medical magazine template

Flipbooks aren’t restricted to pure business. Sometimes professionals can use for medical knowledge and education. Take this medical magazine template as an example. Using the digital flipbook design, you can easily integrate all kinds of helpful content to keep your patients informed.

Adding interactivity in your medical brochure means that you can insert videos, images, and virtual tours of your medical facility. This interaction can help new patients easily navigate when they come to visit you. And adds that extra level of care that many people are looking for.

Take your medical brochure to the digital world to quickly edit and update information as it comes out. Instead of having to recreate a whole new magazine (like you would have to do if it were printed); make the edits, and have them updated in real-time. There is no need to resend any links, update any embeds, or send out another mass email.

With just a few easy steps, you can create a flipbook from essentially nothing. They are such versatile and powerful tools that have quickly become a staple for many people, business and non-business related. 

Frequently asked questions about digital flipbooks

Digital flipbooks have been an easy solution for tons of people in a variety of industries. But, if you still have a few questions, then take a look at a few of our FAQs.

How does a flipbook work?

Think of a flipbook as a normal book, just in digital form. The pages turn the same, and you can create whatever kind of content you want for any purpose.

How to create a flipbook video?

With Flipsnack, you can create a flipbook and download it as an MP4 format. Share it on social media for an interactive preview of your actual publication.

How to make a digital flipbook with photos?

With Flipsnack’s Design Studio, you can upload any images you want, and drag and drop them directly into your flipbook.

How to make a flipbook animation on the computer?

Flipsnack is the fastest and easiest way to make a flipbook animation on your computer. Within minutes, you can go from nothing to an interactive masterpiece that engages your audience.

How to make a flipbook online free?

Flipsnack offers a free trial for all new users. Freely create, edit, and test a load of incredible features that will help make your flipbook truly one of a kind.

What specific file formats, other than PDF, can be converted into a digital flipbook using Flipsnack?

Flipsnack is primarily designed to convert PDFs into digital flipbooks, but you can also upload JPG files. While PDF is the main format supported due to its compatibility and layout preservation, users can enrich their flipbooks by embedding various multimedia elements such as images and videos directly within Flipsnack’s editor.

How does Flipsnack handle data privacy and security for sensitive content published in digital flipbooks?

Flipsnack ensures the privacy and security of content through several options. Users can make their flipbooks private, unlisted, or password-protected to control access. The platform also adheres to standard data protection practices and offers additional security measures like single sign-on for enhanced protection of sensitive information.

Get started and create a digital flipbook today

What can we say about flipbooks except that they are extremely useful? They come in all shapes and sizes to fit your business objective. Make business reports, create a catalog for your retail business. Or design a magazine to discuss topics you’re really passionate about.

All-in-all, flipbooks have gone from something that was simple entertainment 150 years ago; to something that businesses rely on to reach audiences faster and more efficiently. 

Use this article as a guide to how to create a digital flipbook; and feel free to reference it whenever you want. Take your business ventures to new heights, ditch the static PDF, and look good while doing it – with Flipsnack!

The truth is, anyone can find a good reason to use a digital flipbook. Flipbooks can help you save money, they’re easy to make, fast and free to edit. And the sharing options are seemingly endless. They are the perfect solution for any business, small or big; looking to make any sort of content online or offline.


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    • Jani May 6, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Thank you for mentioning us your article!

  2. Davi June 30, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

    great example to create a digital flipbook.

  3. Lucia November 12, 2017 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Hi! Could it create a mix-and-match flipbook?

    • Jani November 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Lucia, you can create a flipbook from scratch with Flipsnack, so you can add whatever you like on pages.

  4. Flip Book August 20, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    I’m looking to get a magazine done tonight, thanks for this suggestion as I’ll put it to good use. Visit Our Site Magazine Maker

  5. Pattie W May 28, 2020 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Is there a way to pay to not have the name on the document?

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