Should I Give My Members Printed Publications or eBooks?

Published by Sara Olbrantz | Topics: eBooks, Online Publishing

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With iPad, tablet, Kindle and smartphone sales continuing to rise more association members are requesting their standards manuals, reference materials and course books in an “eReader-friendly” format. Association professionals are being forced to explore the option of offering their educational publications as an eBook.

By publishing your associations’ educational publications in an
eBook format
(ePub or Mobipocket being the most popular), your members are getting certain advantages they wouldn’t otherwise receive from printed publications or PDF files. (Not that we are condoning the printed book, but we want you to be educated on this new format.)

5 Advantages of Publishing eBooks vs. Printed Publications

  1. Linking Text to Figures and Tables
    With a iPad or Kindle, you are able to easily link text in your educational content out to specific figures and tables embedded in the eBook so members don’t need to turn to page 10 to see your pie chart.
  2. Linking Citations to Passages in Text
    Citations are linked directly to the information cited in your publication. Again, this prevents members from having to flip back and forth between the text passages and the last few pages of citations in your manuals. All they need to do is click on the link.
  3. Optimizing and Resizing Images, Tables and Equations for Appropriate Display
    Unlike PDF files, which are a direct representation of your printed publications regardless of the screen size members are using, an ePub or Mobipocket file will make sure the tables and equations in your course manual look good on any device from desktop computer to smartphone.
  4. Adjusting Image Resolution for eBook Viewing
    If your print publication uses images, they will be created at a high resolution according to the print needs, but you don’t want to force your members to download that huge file on their mobile device. Instead it should be made into a thumbnail version that can then be zoomed into to see the details.
  5. Linking to External Websites for Additional Information
    With printed publications, if members want to reference an outside source such as a dictionary or the Internet they can only provide the URL and hope the user will type it into their browser. eBooks allow associations to conveniently include links to additional resources or information in the text, meaning the extra knowledge is only a click (or finger tap) away.

eBook or Printed Publication?

To answer the big question, give members their course books and standards manuals in a printed publication and an eBook. Don’t deny anyone the experience they want – by providing both content delivery solutions you’re ensuring your members and your eReading members are happy.

What other advantages have you found to publishing association eBooks?


About Sara Olbrantz

Sara has worked for Omnipress in the past as our Marketing Communications Coordinator. She has contributed a great amount to make our blog what it is today and has been published in association publications numerous times.

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