To say that most aspects of our daily lives are “going electronic” is an understatement. In fact, it’s wrong – we’re already there. Creative industries ranging from content marketing to creative design have moved their platforms to electronic formats. However, from time to time we still hear people argue that electronic content will never replace the good old-fashioned ability to pick up a book or magazine and connect with it on a different level.
This may be the case, but in the world of publishing, taking such a narrow view can hurt not only your revenue, but it may also be hurting your clients. Publishers should be thinking beyond the mere simplicity electronic print can bring, and consider what additional benefits consumers can receive through electronic publishing.
In this article we provide an overview of electronic publishing, or e-publishing, and discuss a few of the advantages of e-publishing for both you and your clients. We want to help you to start thinking outside the box, and recognize that e-publishing is here to stay – and that’s a good thing for those that know how it can be leveraged to maximize for readers and publishers.
What is E-Publishing?
On the surface, e-publishing is fairly simple. E-publishing is the electronic means of publishing content to an electronic form. At its most basic level, this includes the digital publication of books, magazines, and other types of literature. Digging a little deeper, it also includes the development of digital catalogs and libraries. This can include publications such as reference and technical publications, as well as encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Taking a step back from more complex publications such as encyclopedias, e-publishing also includes the publication of short stories or other simple collections. Essentially, e-publishing means that any work can be distributed electronically. And this can be extremely valuable for writers ranging from high school story writers to universities and corporations.
Better Reader Experience
Arguably the greatest advantage of e-publishing is that it provides the reader with a much better way to experience the content they’re digesting. To start, e-publications are convenient for readers. All of their desired reading material can be stored and organized digitally, meaning those shelves and nightstands that are overcrowded with books and magazines can now become a thing of the past.
Additionally, e-publishing affords readers the ability to share content with a wide audience, instantaneously. Students, teachers, corporate training offices, and many others can distribute the same content to peers or employees, and these readers can electronically search for the content they require. And not only can it be shared instantaneously, it can also be done in more secure manner.
Interactive and Current
In a similar category to creating a better reader experience, e-publishing can provide elements for the reader that hardcopy print simply cannot. For example, e-publishing allows publishers to be more creative with their designs, and even insert components such animation, audio, video clips and hyperlinks. The latter, hyperlinks, can be used both within the material itself, or even take the reader to another document or to relevant content online.
The ease of editability of e-publishing also means that content can always be current and up-to-date. As opposed to hardcopy, electronically editing can be completed with a few strokes of the keyboard, keeping readers current on any changes or updates to material their viewing. Moreover, the notion of electronic editing also means that mistakes can be more easily avoided, and if they are made, easily corrected.
The last advantage that we discuss related to e-publishing is a big one for publishers. By using analytics to track reader behavior, publishers can analyze and better understand how readers are responding to your content. Publishers can track open rates, readership, and clicks by platform and application data. This means that publishers can make data-driven decisions to improve content as well as marketing strategies. This type of data gathering just isn’t possible with hardcopy publishing.
Overall, e-publishing offers a more interactive, current, and overall more dynamic and simple reading experience. It also provides opportunities for publishers to gain further insight into their clients, and transform their organization into a modern mobile enterprise.