Digital publishing continues to get bigger and better. Worldwide, this industry has managed to amass a revenue of $22.05 billion, with over a hundred million users in the US alone.
That’s great news if you are a part of a publishing industry or are planning to publish an eBook soon. Not so great when you sit down to select one out of all the online publishing platforms out there!
Choosing the right eBook publishing platform is a critical decision. A lot of things depend on it. There is money involved, of course. Your content needs to reach the right audience. So, your visibility and, by extension, your reputation is at stake as well. How can you be sure that the publishing channel is right for you? Or that it would bring in the right revenue, attract the right audience, or give your book the exposition it deserves?
Well, while you have to find the answer yourself, we have created a brief guide to help you get there. Take a look at these seven steps and choose the right online content publishing platform for your work.
7 Important Factors to Consider before Choosing an eBook Publishing Platform
1. Compatibility (Device, OS, Browser, Formats)
It’s important to understand that the ultimate audience of any digital content is the entire Internet population. That’s 4.54 billion people as of January 2020-roughly 58% of the Earth’s population.
You can’t control when, or how, that vast audience band will interact with your content. They use different devices, operating systems, web browsers, software, applications, etc.
For instance, if an eBook looks and reads great on a desktop but not on a mobile device, you have a problem. After all, how likely is a reader to stick to reading a book only on their laptop/desktop and no other device? It’s simply not a practical choice, considering we live in a world of 3.5 billion active smartphone users.
Reasonably, adhering to varying devices, operating systems, formats, browsers, etc. becomes more critical. Therefore, you need to consider a lot of variables before choosing any eBook publishing platform.
The entire point behind choosing the right online content publishing platform is to avoid calling tech support guys every few minutes. So, it’s often better to go with a platform that allows easy customizability.
A user-friendly interface, with drag & drop widgets, design templates, icons, buttons, etc. make publishing easier. After all, not every author/publisher is efficient with codes. Plus, XML and HTML can be a nightmare to work with if you aren’t familiar with them.
Your eBook also needs to offer a unique brand experience to the readers. Ergo, you must be free to run with your ideas and experiment while publishing. Worrying about extremely technical aspects of publishing will only act as a hurdle and unnecessarily complicate the process. Therefore, go for a platform that’s easy to operate.
3. Content Formats
There’s quite a large pool of eBook formats in the market. The crowd is big enough to confuse you thoroughly. So, we’ll only focus on the most important ones and what they mean for your eBook.
The choice of a format significantly affects the eBook publishing platform that you pick. If you choose Amazon, for instance, then your eBook will need to be Kindle-compatible. It must support MOBI, AZW, or AZW3 format. If your content is text-heavy, you will fare better with a TXT or PDF format. If instead, there are a lot of interactive or graphic components in your eBook, EPUB will serve you best.
Formats can also vary by device types. Here are a few examples for reference-
- iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, Android, Sony, and most Other eReaders- EPUB or PDF
- Kindle Devices- MOBI, PDF, AZW, AZW3, KF8, KFX
So, before you choose an online publishing platform, do a bit of research and determine the potential reach and audience of your content. That way, you can decide on the formats that will benefit your conversions the most. Use that information to pick a suitable platform.
After publishing an eBook, content analysis and reader response become critical performance indicators. With the right data, you can determine how your book is being received and how it can be optimized for better results. In the end, it all works towards driving better conversions and sales for your business.
Take a more in-depth look at the analytics features for all eBook publishing platforms you consider. Rate them based on the following crucial parameters-
- View user engagement & monitor behavior in real-time
- Statistics like the number of unique visitors, impressions, frequency, etc.
- Locate the target audience on different social media sites
- Understand social media behavior and schedule posts accordingly
- Classify visitors on various parameters to create tailored promotional content
- Localize eBook content based on reader location
- Track user engagement and identify good/weak performing components
- Identify sources of traffic
Remember, powerful analytics translate into actionable insights. They can be used to guide your marketing attempts. They can directly impact your sales if used wisely. So, go for an eBook publishing platform that gives you a lot of analytics and categorized reporting to work with.
You can either
- Create a brand eStore where readers can buy your eBooks, or
- Create an eReader app for your content
Of course, selling on your eStore, as opposed to selling on other websites like Amazon, leads to higher royalties. You have the freedom to experiment with discounts and offers. You can define the buyer’s journey and personalize their experience. And, it gives your ebook access to global markets.
However, the decision to create an eStore must also be based on your target audience and their buying behavior. Plus, you will need to up your promotion game if you plan to gain a good revenue from the eStore.
Having said that, it’s better to choose an online content publishing platform that allows eStore & eReader creation. In case you plan to scale in the future, having that feature ready to go will come in handy.
6. Encryption Technology, Digital Rights Management, & LMS integration
The growing internet landscape has given way to several security concerns. Unauthorized use, piracy, theft, leaks, etc. are some of the primary ones that threaten eBook publishers. That’s why digital right management(DRM) becomes a necessary feature to have in online publishing platforms.
Any platforms with powerful encryption technology will ensure that your eBook is
- DRM locked
- Safe from piracy
- Accessible only to the authorized users
- Copyright protected
- Available for printing only by authorized users
- Distributed to the right people
In simple words, DRM adds an extra layer of protection to your content as well as revenue. So, it’s a must-have feature in the eBook publishing platform you choose.
At the same time, LMS integration and LTI compliance is also a great tool to have. As a publisher already using a learning management system, there can be many reasons why you wouldn’t want to switch. A platform that facilitates easy integration with your LMS or already existing eStore should be preferred.
Always. Compare. Prices.
Sure, we’ve already discussed six critical features that, if present, turn an eBook publishing platform into the stuff of dreams. But, that does not mean you should at once agree to the price structure.
Conduct a thorough price analysis and cost comparison between your top three to four choices. Go for whatever is more feasible. If they have options for yearly subscription and lifetime membership, choose the former. That way, you can switch platforms later if things don’t work out.
Also, if an online publishing platform charges feature-wise, try them out one feature at a time. It’ll allow you to access your eBook’s performance and change plans accordingly.
Things to Remember before Publishing an eBook
- Pick the primary format+secondary formats for you eBook
- Get the eBook correctly formatted
- Get a professional cover design for the eBook
- Register for an ISBN, if needed
- Set up strategies for pricing, distribution, pre-orders, discounts, and promotions
Remember, the publishing landscape changes just as frequently as most internet-based, technology-driven industries do. You need to be ready with all the prerequisites and pay attention to the shifts in the market to ensure a decent ROI. In such circumstances, having a reliable eBook publishing platform on your side can help speed up matters.
OneRead- The One Stop Shop You Need
At OneRead, eBooks are created with personalization, engagement, and interactivity in mind. At this online content publishing platform, we work in tandem with your objectives. Our solutions complement different styles with ease. With powerful analytics, multi-channel distribution, and uncompromised security, we elevate your content to an entirely new level.
Get all your needs met at OneRead. Get in touch with us at email@example.com.