After thousands of years of written content, digital content has now rocked the publishing industry. The sale of ebooks has witnessed extraordinary growth over the last decade. In fact, in 2011 Amazon declared that for the first time, it had sold more Kindle e-books than paperback books, at a rate of 115 electronic books for every 100 paperbacks.
While this establishes a growing culture of e-reading, it also means that the potential for mobile reading is enormous. In this scenario, publishers must go digital to remain relevant. However, going digital has its own set of challenges. Listed below are some major challenges and the way to overcome them.
Securing Digital Rights to Content
Since content is easily available and shareable on the Internet, it becomes very difficult to police the web and nab copyright violators. Digital Rights Management, or DRM, is a technology that focusses on protecting the copyright of content, making it impossible to steal it in the first place. DRM helps to control access to copyrighted material, such as proprietary software or hardware, or any type of content, audio, video music tracks, ebooks, games, movies, emails, documents, etc.
For example, a publisher can sell a DRM-protected ebook to a reader, which means that the ebook will be encrypted to protect the content itself. Secondly, it will have an authentication system to ensure that only the authorized user can unlock the ebook.
Improving the Mobile Experience
Digital technology is constantly evolving which means as a publisher, you can no longer remain focused on just creating great content. You also need to stay tuned to the latest updates in technology and ensure their content is accessible anywhere, anytime, in multiple formats and on all reader apps.
The latest data indicates that more and more people are now accessing the Internet on their mobile phones. Furthermore, more than half of all online content is already consumed using mobile devices. To successfully engage and interact with readers, you need to deliver a first-class end-user experience on screens of all sizes, including the mobile phone.
Implementing Responsive Design
While mobile-content may be the way forward, publishers need to ensure that their content, both existing and new, looks great and is easy to read on all screen sizes- the computer, notebook or mobile. Achieving this goal requires an effective combination of technology and design. Publishers can also consider creating a dedicated app with which to distribute their content to readers.
Engaging with the Audience
In the times of information explosion, publishers can no longer take their readers for granted. They need to engage and develop long-lasting relationships with their audience. Adding social media features can help to constantly interact with the readers, seek their feedback and ascertain their needs.
Publishers can then use these inputs to deliver content and style that resonates with their expectations. Besides, they should also develop a distinctive brand and remain true to it. One way to do it is to maintain a very consistent point-of-view that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Adopting new Technologies
Stay updated with the latest technologies and implement those that make great sense for the content and audience. For example, if you are publishing educational content, you may consider converting your textbooks into ebooks using ePUB technology.
ePUB stands for electronic publishing and is a digital book format which can be read on a variety of digital devices including smartphones, tablets, computers, and dedicated e-readers. With this format, you can also embed audio/video files and interactive links to bring the book to life and make it more immersive, interactive and responsive.
The digital publishing space has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Keeping the dynamic nature of digital publishing in mind, publishers need to use new ideas to create great content. Additionally, they should also sharpen their focus on new technology and reliable technological partners to ensure their content reaches the right audience in the format of their choice.
Over to you
Publishing an eBook is quite a complicated procedure and having best practices to use is a blessing. Do you use these best practices or do you have others you can suggest. Write them in the comments below!