Publishers are always faced with the dilemma of which digital publishing platform to select for their publication. With so many digital publishing platforms available, publishers often find it difficult to choose one that best suits their requirements. The best digital publishing platform would be the one which ensures that you can create and publish the content easily, without any difficulty or assistance. It should be a platform that brings your vision to life by adding interactive elements, offering a responsive design, and eventually delivering engaging content for your users.
This blog covers all the features that you must look for while selecting a digital publishing platform. The rise in eLearning in recent years has also given rise to all the supporting industries which offer services like digital publishing, graphic designing, content creation, book conversion etc. Publishing platforms are competing with one another, claiming to offer the best services. Being aware of the types and features of various digital publishing software will help you make an informed decision.
So, here are some tips for you to select the best digital publishing platform for your publication:
Not every publisher is well-versed with coding languages. Working on HTML and XML codes could be a nightmare for many. You would probably need someone to help you work on such a platform. What’s the point in investing in a platform which you cannot operate?
There are companies which offer end-to-end ePublishing services, right from the conversion of the manuscript to the distribution of eBooks. The content creation interface must be designed in a user-friendly manner. Publishers must be able to create and publish their eBooks themselves, without any technical difficulty. This is possible only with an intuitive platform design. If a publisher has to keep calling up the tech support guys for every other step, it becomes a hindrance and is frustrating. So, one must look for a tool which has an easy to use interface, allowing smooth creation and publishing of eBook.
Check the Type of Content Layout That is Supported:
We know that when it comes to digital content, we have two types of layout- fixed and reflowable. Fixed layout is used when the content has a lot of images, and we use a reflowable layout for books that are text-heavy. Depending on the kind of content that you want to publish you need to make a choice between the two.
If you want to publish only novels, then you would have to go for a platform which supports the reflowable format. But what if someday you want to experiment with something new and create an eBook with images and diagrams? Instead of shifting from one platform to another, look for a publishing platform which supports both the layouts, so that you can select a format as per your requirement.
Check the File Formats That are Supported:
Now that you’ve checked whether the publishing platform supports fixed and reflowable format, the next thing you want to consider is the type of file that it supports. For example, does the publishing platform support multiple file formats like ePUB, Mobi, AZW? Or does it support only one file type?
We suggest that you look for a platform which definitely supports ePUB, irrespective of whether it supports other file formats or not. Because ePUB is a widely used eBook format accepted by most of the eReaders. It will thus, help you reach a wider audience and increase your readership. Hence, you need to have an option to publish your content in ePUB format.
Compatible with Multiple Operating Platforms:
iOS, Windows and Android are some of the popular operating systems used by most users. For a publisher, it is important for the software to work on multiple platforms. This will help you achieve wide distribution and develop a large user base. Even for a user, it is important that the content must be accessible across all platforms. If your content can be accessed on just one operating system, you lose out on the other readers. And people are not going to switch their devices only to read your eBook. So, look for a software which will help you publish on multiple operating systems.
Interactivities are a must in an eBook. That’s what makes eBooks more popular than regular textbooks. Look for the types of interactivities that the publishing software offers. See if it supports videos and audio files. Also, check if there’s a limit to the number of interactive elements that can be added to the eBook. The platform must support HTML interactivities as most of the Flash-based elements are moving to an HTML platform. See that the platform also provides an offline reading feature to provide users with 24×7 access to your eBook.
Interactivities make your eBooks more engaging. Having plenty of interactive elements will keep the users engaged in the content. Hence, this is one of the most important aspects that you should look for while selecting a digital publishing platform for your eBook.
Provides Statistical Analysis:
Apart from interactive elements, look for other features that the ebook publishing platform offers. Analytics is an important feature which lets you analyze the distribution and consumption patterns of your eBook. It gives you a detailed insight into the performance of your eBook. Having an in-depth report of your eBook’s performance helps you plan your distribution process, make changes, or create a better book next time. You can check how many users have downloaded your book, how many have read them through etc. All these statistics can be viewed in a comprehensive manner, if your publishing platform offers an analytics feature.
Offers Data Security:
Ensure that the platform offers data security. DRM is crucial for any eBook. Because it regulates your distribution and controls user access. Having an option to secure your file ensures that only people with appropriate access codes can read your eBook. It prevents your content from unauthorized use, theft, online piracy etc. Hence, make sure that your publishing platform gives proper licenses and access codes for your eBook.
Check the Pricing:
Once you’ve narrowed down on all the required features in a publishing platform, you need to look at the pricing of the software package. If you find a platform which has all the best features, but the price seems a bit too high, you could possibly think of it as an investment. You are getting the best product which would help you design a compelling eBook for your audience. Most of the companies offering digital publishing solutions allow users to try the software for a limited period of time, either for free or for a nominal fee. This will help you to get an understanding of how the software functions and if it suits your requirements. So, download a trial version and check which one you want to use for your digital publication.
Publishers want to provide their users with amazing reading experience. But in order to do so, they require a digital publishing platform which will transform their eBook from being just a learning material to an enhanced and digitally enriched learning experience for the users. In this blog, we have covered all the points that you must look for while selecting a digital publishing platform. Finding out the best publishing platform could be time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort. Because when you create a well-designed, interactive and engaging eBook, your readers will have a better reading experience.