1.Know Your Readers
- Who are they — education level, gender, age, languages spoken?
- Where do they read — at work, in bed, on the train, outside, etc?
- What do they read on — their preferred electronic and mobile devices?
- How well will your content display on those devices?
- Will they want to interact with your content (links, rich media, etc.), and in which ways?
- Are there laws in their country that will impact the type of content you are providing?
2.Know Your Content
- Its length.
- Whether it has lots of pictures and illustrations, equations and graphs.
- If videos or 3D graphics are appropriate.
- How cross-references and/or links to external content will be addressed.
- If managing the content in smaller chunks will allow for repurposing.
3. Know Your Source
- The file formats of your source content (PDF, hard copy, InDesign / Quark/ Microsoft Word, XML).
- If it’s current or legacy content, and whether it requires updating to continue to provide value.
- Whether you have electronic files for all of the images.
- If there are requirements for future periodic updating of the content.
4. Know Your Content’s Technical Parameters
- If it will render on a small display as well as on a large one.
- If it works best in color or in black and white.
- Links to rich media and applications versus embedding content in the book.
- Whether licensing agreements allow for use in new formats/platforms.
5. Think Digital – Think Multichannel
- Plan for multiple output channels, not just one.
- Use XML now so you can repurpose content later without paying for conversion over and over—saving time and money, and preserving quality.
- Consider options for bundling channels (e.g. free eBook with print purchase or access to a companion book website).
- Know which delivery formats are supported by the electronic devices you are targeting.
- To maximize XML’s automation, streamlining and cost savings potential, re-engineer your publishing process to support the new paradigm of creating, managing and delivering XML content components.
6. Understand Your Conversion Options
- Know which storage format gives you the most flexibility in output options.
- Know how many channels you are converting content for in a particular production run.
- Understand all of the delivery formats that you will require.
- Will you will be converting the content yourself, or working with an expert conversion partner?
- Consider which languages you are supporting:
- Does your conversion partner support them?
- Do your tools support them?
- Do the formats and the devices you plan to use support them?
7. Define Quality Upfront
- Understand what quality means for your content:
- Tolerances and margins for error.
- Acceptance criteria and exception processes.
- Determine if you are using a controlled vocabulary.
- Consider utilizing a content quality checking tool.
- Test the delivered content on all devices targeted for distribution.
8. Get Some Buzz
- Develop a marketing plan that addresses all channels being targeted.
- Tell the world that you have arrived!
- Integrate social media in your plans (e.g. Twitter feeds or Facebook fan pages).
- Revisit your plan after launch to consider new opportunities.
- Make your promotional content easy to share so it can be promoted virally:
- Provide embed codes and hyperlinks for users of social networking sites.
- Provide an easy way for users of bookmarking and rating sites to share links.
- Provide your customers with mechanisms for leaving feedback, ratings and reviews.
9. Re-imagine Your Book
- Work with your authors to brainstorm possibilities.
- Plan how it can be enhanced with rich media (audio/video/interactivity).
- Look at what others are doing in the entertainment, instructional and interaction design fields.
- Consider providing multiple versions of your content for different audiences/markets.
- Plan for your second edition.
- Think about going beyond simple page turners.
- Provide enriched search capabilities (e.g. internet links, dictionary lookup, etc.).
- Make your content sharable (Tweetable)—make it easy for others to sing your praises and promote your books.
10. Build-In Interactivity
- Involve authors and SMEs early on—they are best suited to provide any supplemental content.
- Does your content lend itself to user interaction (e.g. quizzes, re-ordering of content, augmented reality, social networking, gaming, music, 3D graphics, etc.)?
- If so, will you develop it yourself or work with a design partner?
- Test, test, test for guaranteed performance!
To request a call with a production expert on re-engineering your workflow from print- to digital-first, click the Request Information button at the top of the page.