Finding the best digital publishing software isn’t easy. You have to browse through various websites and compare features of different publishing tools. This is a necessary step as you are investing in something which will determine the final output of your eBook. Your initial excitement to bring forth a compelling eBook could be marred by disappointment if the software you chose does not provide the desired output.
As publishing software tools are used not only by seasoned writers but also a number of indie writers who want to go the digital and cost-effective way; companies are vying to offer the best possible features to meet the needs of every publisher, whether big or small. Even a number of traditional publishers are moving towards digital publishing to meet the needs of their new audience who spend most of their time on the digital space. In this blog, we have simplified things for you by listing out all the features that a digital publishing software must have. So, while selecting a software, you can crosscheck with this list to see if it matches all or the maximum number of features.
So, here’s a list of Top 10 features of the Best Digital Publishing Software:
1. PDF Conversion:
This is the first thing you must look for in a digital publishing software. The tool must be able to convert your PDF files into an eBook format that is accepted by most digital reading devices. There are various eBook formats that you can choose from. AZW, Mobi, ePub3 are some of the popular ones. ePub3 is one of the widely used eBook formats, which can be read across various devices and operating platforms. So, ensure that the tool allows PDF to ePub3 conversion.
2. Cloud-Based digital publishing Software:
A cloud-based digital publishing software lets you store everything in a virtual space from where you can access the content anytime and anywhere. Compared to storing files on your local drives, cloud storage provides more accessibility. Even if you do not have your personal laptop or phone with you, you can still access the content from a different device. Along with providing any-time access, cloud storage eliminates the risk of losing data. You can be assured that your data would be safe even if your system crashes.
3. Inbuilt Authoring Platform:
A digital publishing platform that comes with an authoring tool is an added advantage. Not many software packages provide this feature. With an inbuilt authoring tool, you can create content directly on the publishing platform. This way, you can start writing your content on the publishing tool itself, without having to upload an external file.
4. Layout Selection- Fixed/Reflowable:
Check if the tool allows you to create your eBook in fixed and reflowable layout. A fixed layout is used for content that has a lot of images. Whereas a reflowable layout is used for text-heavy books. Go for a software that gives you both these options. This way, you won’t have to switch between software if you want to publish your next eBook in another style.
5. TOC Creator:
Some publishing software tools create the table of content on their own. In this case, you do not have to manually create a TOC by finding out and aligning page numbers with each title. The automatic TOC creation option captures the titles, along with the corresponding page number and creates a TOC within seconds.
6. Analytics Report:
A tool that gives you analytical insights into the performance of your sales and readership is most beneficial. With detailed analytics report you can view the accurate numbers of eBooks sales made, number of people who read your eBook, etc. It will help you measure your revenue and make calculated decisions about your future sales strategies.
7. Supports All Types of Multimedia Enrichments:
Whether you wish to include multimedia in your content or not, your digital publishing software must be able to add enrichments. Check if you can include videos, images, audio files to your content. If you are creating an eBook for students, it might do well to add some digital enrichments so as to keep the eBooks engaging and interesting. Check for the file types that it supports, such as MP4, AVI, MP3, JPEG etc.
8. Allows Interactive Elements:
Interactivity in the digital space means the ability of the computer to respond to the user’s input. An eBook is said to be interactive because it allows users to interact with the online content. With tools like highlight and pen tool, users can add markings and notes to the content. Some of the common interactive elements allowed by most digital publishing platforms are annotation, quick page rendering, page zoom, bookmarks, thumbnail etc. Interactivities also include HTML elements where you can add go-to-page, search, drag and drop widgets etc.
9. DRM Protection/Secure Publishing:
Everyone fears for the safety of their content. Misuse and theft of digital content is prevalent in almost every field of work, be it music, design, artwork or written content. The only way you can save your content from being subjected to piracy and theft is by ensuring that the publishing takes place via a secure channel. Ensure that the software creates appropriate licenses for distribution so that only those with the access code can access your eBook.
10. Cross Platform Accessibility:
Will your eBook be readable across all platforms and devices? If not, you could be at a loss as you are losing out on your reader base. As we discussed earlier, publishing your eBook in ePub format will guarantee a wider reach as it is supported by most of the eReaders. Similarly, if the tool allows you to publish your eBook on different operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows, it will give users more options to access your content. So, check if the tool lets you publish on multiple operating systems.
These are some of the features that will make the best digital publishing software the one in the market. If you happen to find all or most of them in one tool, then we suggest you go for it, as this tool will enable you to create a compelling eBook. A publisher could have different requirements every time a book is to be published. Therefore, purchasing software that can meet their needs every single time would be a cost-effective and feasible option. The purpose of digital publishing software is not just to publish an eBook, but also to enhance the overall reading experience of the user. So, take the above-mentioned points into consideration when you are looking for the best digital publishing software, and create a compelling and engaging eBook for your readers.