Taking the first step into the digital space may sound daunting to publishers who have only ever worked within the print industry. However, digitizing your documents does not need to be a complicated, pricy, or convoluted task. Realview’s friendly and capable team, and all-in-one publishing solution, helps take the confusion out of this process.
With that said, understanding the most common mistakes made when going digital, and how to avoid them, will help you out vastly during the planning stage. Remember, you want to produce the highest quality content and reach the widest possible audience—don’t let easily avoidable mistakes hold you back!
1. Lack of market research
Don’t overcomplicate matters—while we completely encourage publishers to make use of the vast array of features that the digital space has to offer, make sure that you are doing so to advantage your publication, and not make it harder for your readers to engage with. Check your Google Analytics tracking account frequently so that you can identify which channels readers are going through to find and engage with your content. Know which markets you are trying to target and build to platforms that meet their needs.
2. Not updating your content for the digital space
What works for print doesn’t always work that well for online. Transitioning your content from print into the digital space opens up exciting new opportunities for you to re-evaluate your design concept, so make sure you take advantage of all the features we have to offer in order to produce the highest quality content for online. A common mistake we see publishers make is that they do not optimise their design for paragraph-heavy text. Instead of trying to fit all of your text onto a PDF page, use a callout (or ‘read-more’) to save some space for other more visually engaging design elements.
3. Forgetting advertisers
Most publishers will find that their biggest revenue stream comes from advertising, so do not forget to include them in your digital marketing strategy. The digital space presents a wealth of opportunity to advertise, unprecedented in print publications. Remember that with digital publications your advertisements are not confined to the space within a page. Think outside the box by also advertising on the zero page and banner area—both prime advertising spaces which are bound to catch your readers’ attention.
4. Forgetting SEO
After producing a stunning interactive digital flipbook the next step is ensuring that people can find it in their search engine results. Make sure to optimise your flipbook by including keywords and a meta-description to help boost its ranking. While forgetting to optimise your flipbook can be detrimental, overdoing your keywords can be just as bad. When picking keywords try to limit it to only around 10 terms or phrases to avoid web crawlers from marking your flipbook as spam. If possible, also avoid picking overly generic keywords as these will return millions of results when searched for, instead go with terms much more specific to your content.
5. Forgetting to supply a downloadable PDF
If you have decided that you would like to make available to readers a downloadable PDF copy of all of your issues then make sure to consistently supply these files, otherwise you will have a lot of frustrated readers unable to access your content through a channel they have come to expect.
6. Not preparing pdf correctly
Always make sure that your PDF has been correctly formatted for online. To avoid colour inconsistencies when your pages are converted, set your colour model to RGB and not CMYK when you export to PDF. When it comes to selecting a suitable font to use, it is highly recommended for epublishing that you steer clear of fonts that are either too small, too fine, too condensed, or too pale in colour. Body copy should be created at 12-14 point font. When picking a colour scheme keep in mind that contrast is important, especially when publishing for online.
7. Page size not consistent
Often very visually jarring, inconsistent page sizing can detract from an otherwise stunning flipbook and be cause for a poor reader experience. While the digital medium does allow for more versatility that print when it comes to page structure, keep in mind that a smooth and seamless user experience will ensure the return of your readers.
8. Not taking advantage of branding options
Building a strong and consistent brand identity across all print and digital mediums will help your products stand out of the crowd, increase company awareness, gain website traffic, and produce higher revenue streams. So make sure that you take advantage of all of the branding options available to you when you publish online, such as adding your linked company logo to the viewer toolbar, updating the hover colour on the viewer buttons, and even supplying your own customised viewer skin and background images.
9. Not engaging with your readers/ engaging with them too much
It is one thing to create a stunning, interactive flipbook, but to prevent readers from dropping off you will need to keep them in the loop by notifying them each time you release new content. Make sure to consistently send out ‘Reminder’ emails to readers when a new issue is released. At the same time, try to avoid sending out too many unnecessary emails as this may result in users unsubscribing themselves from the mailing list for good!
10. Not understanding technology
While Realview has largely streamlined the process required to publish your content online (all you need is a PDF) failure to have a basic understanding of the technologies that you are looking to publish to may result in selecting the wrong platform solution for your business model. Take the time to research the different technologies, platforms, and devices that are at the forefront of the digital publishing industry and decide what will or will not be compatible with your vision. Remember that our friendly team is more than happy to assist you with any questions and concerns that may arise for you before or during the publishing process, so do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call!
11. Not making use of interactive elements/too much interactivity
The digital space opens up a wealth of opportunity to enhance your content with interactive multimedia elements, unprecedented in print. However, make sure that you do not clutter up your publication with unnecessary or irrelevant interactivity that will not advantage your publication. At the same time neglecting to use any interactive elements at all may seem like a wasted opportunity to easily add extra value to your content and thus boost reader engagement. Identify the common themes and styles (visual, informative, social, etc) running through your publication, and then utilise interactive elements that are also compatible with your marketing strategy.
12. Leaving contents menu blank
Make sure to complete your contents panel for each issue, otherwise it will be left blank. Not only will your issue look ‘unfinished’ but it will also detract from the user-friendly nature of your online publication. Readers expect to be able to jump straight to content they want to read with very minimal searching required, so make sure you do not forget to fill out the contents panel for each issue.
13. File size too large
Keep in mind that one of the biggest benefits of publishing online is that it allows your readers to gain immediate access to your content, so try to avoid producing PDFs with an astronomical file size, as this will take longer to render online, especially if there are readers with a slow internet connection. Remember, if you are approaching 1GB for a combined issue file then it is too large. Similarly, since your downloadable PDF is meant to supplement your online issue, keep the file size as low as possible to ensure fast download times.
14. Not marketing your content once it goes live
Possibly the most detrimental mistake made by publishers is that once their flipbook goes live they do not back it with a solid marketing campaign. There are many steps you can take to ensure your flipbook reaches its intended audience by way of boosting its visibility. Electronic direct marketing campaigns will help you notify an existing database of the new and improved digital version. Make sure it is easy to find on your website by including a linked cover image. Since this image will dynamically update there is no need for you to worry about modifying the code on your website for each issue.
Don’t believe everything you hear. Check out these myths about digital publishing before you start digitising. Remember, there’s always an easy way to make sure your initiative is fool-proof: Realview to the rescue! Let us help you deliver your digital content seamlessly to millions of readers world wide!