Google Drive v Issuu for sharing PDFs of magazines. What’s the best way to share these files?

A post by Joel Hughes titledTo PDF or not PDF…that is the question got me thinking.

This is a blog post where I may discover I’m barking up the wrong tree. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. It’s a place to see if I’m ever barking up the wrong tree.

Blogging is a way to put down your own ideas and experiences, share with others, and hopefully find out a better way of doing things. So here goes…

I’ve been using Google Drive for sharing PDFs of our magazine. It seems a nice easy way to share a typical 16-page edition online through social media. Once the magazine is printed the PDF is uploaded and you can pop the link on Facebook or in a tweet. Simple.

Then I spotted someone using Issuu

Issuu is free, and the best way to get your print online…Issuu is the leading digital publishing platform delivering exceptional reading experiences of magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. Millions of people have uploaded their best publications to create beautiful digital editions. When will we see yours?

I love newspapers and magazines and to me that means picking them up and reading them. We write, design and include photos in our magazines for them to be held and flicked through. But as it’s so easy to share this content online I want to find out how other people share PDFs of magazines.

What do you prefer or should I be using something else?

This is the link to open up Community News on Google Drive.

This is the link to open up Community News on Issuu.

The main problem (I guess) is with viewing PDFs on different types of devices. The two Community News links above were shared on Bron Afon’s Facebook and Twitter but is that odd?

I mean is it odd to share the same content on social media using different links?

2 thoughts on “Google Drive v Issuu for sharing PDFs of magazines. What’s the best way to share these files?

  1. Joel_Hughes

    Hi Ben,
    as I mention in my post (and thanks for referencing that); the thing is that I’m just not convinced about using PDFs being used this way. Basically you’re trying to send people to nicely formatted content; we can do that with HTML and web pages (when a little design panache is sprinkled on it; rather than just chucking text into a content management system).

    And if it’s HTML then it’s immediately more accessible to more devices (especially mobile), more people and better for Google. People don’t need to download the file and then open it and you don’t need services like ISSUU to try to replicate an embedded magazine within a HTML framework; sort of a weird hybrid.

    To put it another way; we’re completely redesigning the website Huw Jones advertising photography (current site:, the new site will have very much a magazine like theme. But we won’t just base everything on magazines as, if we did that, we don’t play to the strengths of the web & what it does well (e.g. links, multi-media etc).

    However, after all that, if you are having a magazine printed anyway and the only output the document author can give you is a PDF then you may as well make that available to your audience. It might be worth checking if the document author can give you HTML instead though as that might solve some problems.

    I don’t think I have answered your post in any shape or form.


  2. Ben Black Post author

    Cheers Joel. Thanks for the reply. Pesky PDFs. They bug me on my mobile when it’s not clear that you’re opening one. And here I am taking the easy way out 🙂


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