Just thought I'd post back with what I found on my own: Megazine3 is not totally free in its current version (watermark and enforced backlink), but the old GPL version is still available on their site, and it works a treat.
My first recommendation would be to forget all about it.
Flip-page scripts are horrible to use when reading a document. If the layout is important and you don't want to create it in HTML, it's almost invariably better to use PDF.
All flip-page scripts work slightly differently, meaning that people have to keep learning how to use it all over again each time they hit on a new one. Adobe Reader is one of the most widely installed pieces of software in the world, and all but the most technophobic and technoilliterate can use it at least satisfactorily. Don't complicate the issue by making them learn something new.
Any such script adds considerably to download time and processor usage, making it slower and less responsive. And whereas people with certain brands/OSs of mobile phone can access PDFs (but not all), I doubt that they would be able to cope with a page flipper. If it uses Flash, for example, that's any Apple device out of the window for a start.
I don't know how those things are set up, if there is any crawlable or accessible text content, but I suspect that most if not all of them fail completely on accessibility grounds, as well as doing a very good job of preventing Googlebot and his mates from reading the site.
They're just horrible to use. I've never yet found one where the interaction worked just as I wanted it to and did anything better than Adobe Reader. There's just no reason to use them.
Agree on the previous post, i hate pageflips. You're reading something on a computerscreen, don't try to imitate the disadvantages of a magazine.
I offer a straight, printable PDF download for those who want it. This dual presentation also addresses objections 1, 2, and 3.
- They're just horrible to use. I've never yet found one where the interaction worked just as I wanted it to and did anything better than Adobe Reader. There's just no reason to use them.
I don't agree that flip scripts are, as a rule, horrible to use. (Even if an individual user finds them so, my dual presentation with PDF once again saves the day.) As to there being "no reason" to use a flip script, I think that kinda depends on what you're presenting. In my case, it's a children's book with optional read-along audio. If there's any way to do per-page audio with PDF, I'm not aware of it.
Something to think about: Even if something is a bad idea doesn't mean there is not a market for it. I hate flipbooks personally but have 3 clients who are interested and willing to pay. Who am I to say no to them when they have their wallets out already?