Pdf catalog (or magazine) into a web catalog

So, I looked into this years ago when I worked at Quiksilver and now I need to find a resource once again where I can take a PDF and create a digital version that operates more like a magazine then just going to a pdf online.

Anyone with experience, feedback, advice, etc would be awesome!!

I think what you’re looking for is a flipbook. Try searching for web flipbook. There are a lot of resources out there.

Calameo, Yudu, Fliphtml, Issuu… They all do the same thing. If you just want to put it out there, they all offer free versions. The trade off is that they will overlay their own advertisers next to your content. They don’t do that with their premium versions. You’ll need premium if you want to link to your online ordering or include video in the catalog.

Yeah - flipbooks, that’s the ticket. :wink: thanks @Steve_O

I’m mostly curious on what people think of them, any experience they may have, etc…

We will need it to be no advertising, no watermarks, hopefully allow links, and I think the whole flash/html5 will be a thing. Our consumers run the whole gamut so they can be on old browsers to the most updated :wink:

@Mojo thanks for those options – I’ll look into those, I have seen Issuu.

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Okay, you asked.

Nearing 10 years ago, it was marginally understandable how there could be manager types who’d see the on-screen flipbook thing and think it was so nifty that it’s unquestionably must-have.

If that same scenario still happens today, I’d say it’s a sorry commentary on how far we’ve not come. Personally, I think the things are an insidious gimmick; a waste of time and effort for both the originator and the target audience. Over that same 10 years, rich, lustrous UI design fell out of fashion in favor of flat, lifeless circles designed to invite fingertips to the touch screen, yet a meaningless, often inconvenient, simulated page-turn somehow endures. I don’t get it. I remember an analogy from somewhere suggesting that the idea of a device screen used for simulated booklets is kind of like unplugging a power saw to use it for slicing bread.

It has an appearance of being more “professional” or slick versus “download this pdf”. I know it sounds stupid, but for many consumers it often seems these things do matter. :wink:

My supervisors have looked at the numbers and they know it doesn’t lead to any additional sales, but they think it looks cool. So it stays. IMO it adds a little stickiness to the catalog, but in an unproductive way. The attention is on the effect and not the content.

I think best practice is to offer the catalog in multiple formats. Users go to the catalog page of my client’s website and they can choose from:

  1. View the flipbook version, which has links to product pages in online ordering
  2. Download the PDF, which has links to product pages in online ordering
  3. Download individual sections of the PDF, with links…
  4. Subscribe to the print catalog which will be delivered by USPS mail
  5. Go directly into product pages and online ordering, which is smartphone friendly

For what it’s worth, just a few moments ago I was reading a book on my tablet. Yes, it was a fake flip book treatment, but I choose it over a standard flat treatment. I don’t really know why — it just feels better. I have no data to back it up, but I suspect if people were polled, more people prefer it than not, which makes it a good reason to do it.

Pretty much it comes down to knowing our place in the market. We are a small cog in a large machine and last year the distributors felt they wanted to see more marketing materials from us. (hence why I was hired). There is a large tradeshow coming up for our industry and our CEO wants to show the distributors we can create the marketing materials they will need to sell our products to the dealers and shops.

The debate now is that he feels they won’t spend the money to actually print the catalogs so he wants a professional looking presentation (like competitors and the distributors already use) to show off the catalogs I’ve been working on these past few weeks.

I guess one man’s hokey is another man’s professional :smirk:

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