Yes, we can help you create eBooks. Many people in the industry describe eBooks in terms of their functionality and talk about three types of eBooks (regular, enhanced, and interactive). In our work with Global 2000 clients, we find that these differences in functionality matter … but not as much as you would think. Instead, we focus on what your eBook is expected to accomplish as part of your overall content strategy. In this context, we find there are three distinctive types of eBooks that are being produced today:
Promotional eBook Development
A promotional eBook looks and feels a lot like a whitepaper. Except it is a whole lot more visual, designed to be skimmed, and ideally is crafted to fit into your lead generation strategy. Many of our clients are doing these kinds of eBooks. Great examples of promotional eBooks can be found all over the web. You can download one of ours on global readiness here. Note that this is a “regular eBook” with none of the bells and whistles you’d expect to see in an enhanced or interactive eBook. Virtually all of the promotional eBooks we see today are created with with this level of functionality. We developed our global readiness eBook to underline the fact that you don’t have to include video or other enhancements in your eBook to make it compelling. Regular eBooks – sans video or any other multi-media content – can be highly graphic and engaging, and, as such, have replaced whitepapers as the backbone of most lead generation programs today.
Knowledge Base eBook Development
Knowledge Base eBooks are designed to take a repository of knowledge and make it available to someone while she works in the field. Typically these types of eBooks are enhanced with multi-media. They often contain more interaction than an eBook designed solely for promotional purposes. Your objective with a knowledge base eBook is to make your field personnel more productive. Done well, knowledge base eBooks can even save lives, which is why you see companies like Boeing (not our client) transitioning away from paper-based “flight kits” – which pilots used to lug into the cockpit by the pound – to putting critical information onto iPads.
Take Dozuki, for example. Dozuki is a platform that enables non-technical authors to create knowledge base eBooks designed to provide multimedia, experiential instructions to field service people. Imagine being an auto mechanic and rolling under a car with your iPad in-hand. Rather than a static description of how to change the oil, perhaps with a picture or two, you can follow a video as you accomplish each step.
Many of the knowledge base eBooks we create on behalf of our customers are enhanced with video or audio. Some of our clients are making an early investment in creating interactive eBooks, targeting the iPad as the delivery mechanism of choice.
Commercial eBooks Development
The final category of eBook is designed for commercial distribution. The majority of commercial eBooks we get involved in are self-published. Why, you ask? Typically, when a publisher such as O’Reilly, Packt, or Wiley gets involved they handle the eBook production as part of their overall package of services. However, if your technology is more specialized, Wiley may decline the opportunity to publish “______ for Dummies” (insert your technology in the blank). That is one reason clients end up self-publishing eBooks. Another reason clients decide to self-publish is to emphasize thought leadership and/or branding.
One of our clients, a consulting firm, was among the first to publish a book and then make it available as an eBook. The topic, “The Art of Product Management.” was thought to have too narrow an appeal for a publisher to take on. Meanwhile, the title has been very successful both as an eBook and as a traditional book. You can purchase this book on Amazon as a regular book – or get the digital version here.
We can help you plan, write, illustrate, layout and convert content for your new eBook. For information on eBooks and Dynamic Publishing contact us at email@example.com or 408-395-8178 x 2.
A great discussion of the promise of interactive eBooks can be found here:
Interactive Ebooks Apps | Reinventing Reading and Interactivity
And on our blog here:
Is there an enhanced eBook in your future?