“The smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world.” Karl Lagerfeld.
While we don’t disagree with Karl, the fragrance of this thought is on its way to evaporating in the digital age. What bookshelves are going to be doing in the front rooms of our children’s generation is an interesting thought, but today we are talking about the challenges and solutions for today’s digital publishers.
Self publishing – here to stay
The explosion of e-publications is in step with the move to tablets and mobile devices, whether they are dedicated e-readers such as Kindle and Nook or iPad, Nexus, Galaxy or Hudl. After ‘tablet Christmas’ when Santa popped over 3million into the nation’s stockings, this, according to YouGov, took UK tablet ownership up to 19million!
Once considered the last resort of authors, self-publishing – also called vanity-publishing – has rapidly become the modern world’s favoured choice for magazines, newsletters, brochures, catalogues and everything else. Just as the internet sent the music industry reeling and gave talented, but unknown bands the ability to produce, create and promote their own music, the digital age has transformed publishing.
But that doesn’t mean it is by any means an easy ride. Despite the spectacular achievements of a handful of self-publishers, many of you choosing to publish online face major challenges. One of the biggest is ensuring you get quality page design without it costing the earth in design fees
There is a solution – a pre-designed and fully customisable publication template
Designers amongst you may wince at the thought of people using pre-designed templates, but the fact of the matter is it’s cheaper, faster and often just as effective as hiring a bespectacled guru to do it for you. If anything, it’s MORE effective, as it empowers the publisher.
Online publishing should be all-access, easy to use, simple and cost-effective. If you want to take your company publications digital, the last thing it wants to be is difficult. Even for absolute beginners.
Template features – a shortcut to success
Customisable templates allow users of all design-skill levels to create sleek and sexy publications in a matter of minutes.
Here is one simple effective template, created in less than one hour!
You can overlay or insert text, drop images in, add a video or two for good measure, and you are good to go – it really is that simple. For those of you just starting out, a template can act as a ‘checklist’ for the content you need. For example, you may have templates for a contents page, a welcome section and an intro video page – but you had not considered these options. Online publications are all about engagement and interactivity and inclusion of these elements will result in a more professional and better-rounded end product.
Managing your publications’ identity
A well-designed template gives you access to a host of advanced techniques for building and maintaining your publication’s identity.
A template can be as static or fluid as you need it to be but if you want to build a strong visual identity for your publication, you may choose to stick to a particular structure – in which case, once you are happy with your template, you can repeatedly use it for subsequent issues. That’s a single design process and you could be set-up for years. Or you could go for a more evolutionary approach – as your publication matures, so too does its appearance.
Online templates are always accessible, adaptable and editable. In fact, there should be no limit (beyond the edge of the pages) to how much you can alter. And whatever you end up creating, you’ll want it to sing and dance with strategic interactive elements. Want to know what your staff or customers are thinking? How about an interactive survey? Want to drive traffic to your website or social media channels? You can have share options on any page you like. Interactivity drives engagement and it can be as austere or frivolous as you like.
Make it your own – easy branding
Any template worth its salt will take into consideration your need to follow branding guidelines. Once you have established the correct company identity on your template, it will be CI compliant from that day forth.
Definitive colour palettes, logos and company fonts can be pre-built into the template design design, to ensure all the corporate boxes are ticked. And, if the rules change, the template can easily change with them.
The power is in your hands
Want to go digital? Yes. Need a flashy designer’s Mac? No. Need a degree in design? No. Need to be an online whizzkid? No. Need a big budget? No. Need to splash out on your start-up template? No. So what are you waiting for? Why not grab a tempting template today and streamline your self-publishing journey!