Issuu, a digital distribution and reading platform, has launched a new iOS app and announced a partnership with national literacy organization Jumpstart. Working with Jumpstart, which focuses on children in low-income areas, Issuu will distribute content for Read for the Record, a national celebration of reading.
On October 21, Issuu will digitally distribute Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells (Dial), a picture book that will be available on the company's platform, free, for 24 hours. Bunny Cakes will be accessible via Issuu.com, Jstart.org, or via the new Issuu iOS8 app. Issue allows publishers to embed Issue content in their websites and Bunny Cakes will be embedded in the Jumpstart site.
Launched in Denmark in 2006, Issuu has offices in Palo Alto, Calif., and Denmark. According to CEO Joe Hrykin, the platform attracts more than 80 million unique visitors each month. The company has about 60 employees.
While the platform is dominated by magazine publishers, book publishers also use the service, posting full catalogs, as well as excerpts and, occasionally, entire books. Issuu is coupling its new partnership with Jumpstart with the recent release of its iOS 8 app, as well as apps for Android and Windows 8. Issuu is hoping the effort will highlight is utility as a platform for discoverability and promotional sharing.
Issuu is not a sales channel. While publishers can link their publications to a retailer or to their own e-commerce platforms, Issuu does not have a payment system. Designed for discovery and sharing, the Issuu app can be used as a combination search engine and e-book reader. Users can list their interests, receive recommendations and search for specific content. The app is also designed to work closely with Apple Handoff, an iOS8 feature that allows users to read on one device and continue at the same point in another device.
Once content is found, the app offers Issuu Clip, a feature that lets the user click on a publication, an image, or a passage, in the book and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Users can also search for and mark content they want—users can even locate books and magazines by the color of their covers—and read it offline.
“Creators and publishers have the tools to share their content and create a buzz around it,” Hyrkin said. Book publishers—among them Penguin, Macmillan, Abrams, IDW and Random House—use the site to host catalogs, as well as excerpts.
“Catalogs drive content discovery,” Hyrkin said. “Every single publication is accessible on every digital platform, anywhere.”