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Top 10 Tips for Capitalizing on eBooks & New Media

Transitioning to digital-first content production

1.Know Your Readers

     
  • Who are they — education level, gender, age, languages spoken?
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  • Where do they read — at work, in bed, on the train, outside, etc?
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  • What do they read on — their preferred electronic and mobile devices?
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  • How well will your content display on those devices?
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  • Will they want to interact with your content (links, rich media, etc.), and in which ways?
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  • Are there laws in their country that will impact the type of content you are providing?

2.Know Your Content

     
  • Its length.
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  • Whether it has lots of pictures and illustrations, equations and graphs.
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  • If videos or 3D graphics are appropriate.
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  • How cross-references and/or links to external content will be addressed.
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  • 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).
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  • If it’s current or legacy content, and whether it requires updating to continue to provide value.
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  • Whether you have electronic files for all of the images.
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  • 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.
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  • If it works best in color or in black and white.
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  • Links to rich media and applications versus embedding content in the book.
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  • Whether licensing agreements allow for use in new formats/platforms.

5. Think Digital – Think Multichannel

     
  • Plan for multiple output channels, not just one.
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  • Use XML now so you can repurpose content later without paying for conversion over and over—saving time and money, and preserving quality.
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  • Consider options for bundling channels (e.g. free eBook with print purchase or access to a companion book website).
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  • Know which delivery formats are supported by the electronic devices you are targeting.
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  • 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.
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  • Know how many channels you are converting content for in a particular production run.
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  • Understand all of the delivery formats that you will require.
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  • Will you will be converting the content yourself, or working with an expert conversion partner?
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  • Consider which languages you are supporting:
           
    • Does your conversion partner support them?
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    • Do your tools support them?
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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  • Tell the world that you have arrived!
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  • Integrate social media in your plans (e.g. Twitter feeds or Facebook fan pages).
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  • Revisit your plan after launch to consider new opportunities.
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  • 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.
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  • Plan how it can be enhanced with rich media (audio/video/interactivity).
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  • Look at what others are doing in the entertainment, instructional and interaction design fields.
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  • Consider providing multiple versions of your content for different audiences/markets.
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  • Plan for your second edition.
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  • Think about going beyond simple page turners.
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  • Provide enriched search capabilities (e.g. internet links, dictionary lookup, etc.).
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  • 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.
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  • Does your content lend itself to user interaction (e.g. quizzes, re-ordering of content, augmented reality, social networking, gaming, music, 3D graphics, etc.)?
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  • If so, will you develop it yourself or work with a design partner?
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  • 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.