Technology Integration

7 Cool Tools for Experimenting With Online Publishing

These cool tools are best for online publishing.

Online publishing is an ever-growing industry in the digital age. Today we are all content creators. Look at everything from social media to blogs to websites. Each of them carries our personal identity and brand. We deliver our opinions and knowledge to readers all over the globe. However, online publishing doesn't stop there. Authors are taking advantage of self-publishing media to get their books and other work into the mainstream.

Are any of your students avid writers? Are they looking to publish their first big project? Maybe they just want to experiment with smaller online publishing ventures. If so, the tools in this list can help.

7 Online Publishing Tools for Budding Bestsellers

These tools are among some of the most popular ones out there. There are a couple we haven't seen before, and a few are old standbys. All in all, each one offers a terrific platform for online publishing projects. Students can take a look and see which ones they'd like to learn more about.


Atavist is a beautiful tool. It was founded in 2011 on the heels of what we once called the "death of longform." As you can imagine, it's highly visual. It's a drag-and-drop editor for creating beautiful online publications. You can view examples of what's possible here. And it gets better—check out Atavist for Education.

For the Students: Students have total creative design power here. They can submit assignments with visual flair. Get them doing presentations and online journalling with this tool. It also supports bigger writing projects. If they're feeling ambitious, they can promote and sell work if they wish.


If students are looking to do magazines, Calameo is the tool to use. It's an online e-magazine publishing tool that lets you add multimedia and personal branding to anything you create. With one-click publishing, you can share it instantly. Websites, social media, and more all integrate with Calameo.

For the Students: This is a great tool for learning about design and layout for magazines. It's perfect for smaller writing projects, like a brochure or flyer design. Students writing for the school paper can link to custom publications. They can even promote their own series of e-magazine using Calameo.


This is a creative publishing studio for young children. K–6 kids will love Tikatok. They can use it to publish digital and printed books of all kinds. Tikatok was designed specifically for the K–6 classroom. It's media literacy-oriented and aligned with Common Core. Take a look at their subscriptions page for plans.

online publishing tikatok

For the Students: Kids can upload their own photos and drawings for their creations. They can also take advantage of preloaded project templates for classroom lessons. Tikatok's digital library contains lots of ideas to get kids inspired.


It's hard to find anything else on the Web quite like Storybird. It brings your words and global artists' work together in amazing storybooks. Be sure to check out the section for educators. Storybird is at work in hundreds of thousands of classrooms all over the world. It's free for educators, now and forever. Take a look at what's possible with this tool.

For the Students: Students can create storybooks, long chapter books, and poetry books with Storybird. They also have a fundraising program for students to get into. This is a great way to use creativity for raising money for great causes.


LuLu was one of the first players that offered serious online publishing features. They established themselves in 2002 and they're still going strong. They've greatly expanded their interface over the last few years. Everything you need to know about doing online publishing is right here. They offer tutorials, resources, guides, and more to learn with.

For the Students: LuLu is a great information database for self-publishing. They can create all sorts of projects. These include print books, ebooks, photo books, and calendars. Check out this article on how graduate students are even using LuLu for publishing a thesis.


Flipsnack is a flip book creator. It's as simple as uploading a PDF file. It also supports PNG and JPG files. It renders shareable interactive creations that can also include multimedia. Flipsnack looks great across all online platforms and social media.

For the Students: This is a simple way to create and share a publication that has a unique look and feel. Flipsnack lets students upload 3 publications of 15 pages each on their free plan. Paid plans are quite reasonable and offer lots more features.


Online journalling is the focus of Penzu and it works well. Journalling is a great writing and self-reflective exercise. With a free online tool like Penzu, it becomes more appealing. The interface replicates an old leather-bound journal with lined paper. The basic formatting features are everything you need to get started. Upload photos to your journals too. You can also go pro for even more features.

For the Students: With Penzu Classroom, you can create class journals that can be graded and managed. Students can also submit diary entries by email. They can even receive comments from their teacher right inside the journal. Create and send assignments to students with a due date, grading scheme, and more.

Further Reading