Wednesday, 16 July 2008

HIT ME! How to get your business to punch its weight on line

It's not very often that a project comes your way that challenges you to find innovative solutions, pushes you to flex your creative muscles while educating you on how to improve your own business. The HIT ME! eBook, which we are just putting the finishing touches on, just so happens to be one such project.

The Brief was simple and very open: Fresh Business Thinking asked us to create an eBook from a series of interviews with several renowned Internet Marketing experts about specific aspects of online marketing... that was it. No Title. No preferred format. Just a deadline and a budget.

First up, we asked ourselves, what exactly is an eBook? There doesn't seem to be an established format. There's Adobe Digital Editions, Mobipocket Reader and Microsoft Reader which are all software interfaces to manage/read downloaded "eBooks" – but no default/industry standard, like the ubiquitous 'pdf'.

The second consideration was that the content of the interviews for the book were all about the internet and internet marketing. Logically any eBook produced, would need to be internet based and marketed using the techniques outlined in the eBook.

So we needed a suitable supplier to help us create our eBook. We recommended to Fresh Business Thinking.

We first came across Yudu publishing last year when we were working on Welcome 2 The Fun House book with Terrence Brake from TMA. At one point during that project TMA proposed publishing an on-line version of The Fun House, but upon reflection they decided against – their preferred delivery method for The Fun House was a hardback.

But with HIT ME!, there would only be a digital edition.

Having never published with Yudu before, we were initially weary of their promises that creating digital editions was simple, straightforward etc. Their online examples were very persuasive, their trial even more so. In fact, we're so impressed we would be hard pressed to be convinced to used any other supplier for a project like this. Not only is the end product interface attractive and easy to use, actually constructing the online edition is relatively simple too; the only caveat being that you need to have a basic understanding of publishing/layout etc...

That aside, the process is really simple. Create your book in your usual layout package, ie InDesign or QuarkXPress. Output the document as a pdf. Upload to Yudu via the account login area and then follow the instructions. Once there, you can move pages around, add AV content and create links out to relevant websites. Then publish. So simple it deserves to be the industry standard.

As for HIT ME! The book itself is full of useful advice and tips about how to improve your business online and it's not just for e-commerce businesses. The lessons within can be applied to all types of businesses. We've applied them ours, and have learned many useful tips which we can now pass on to our clients.

So, thank-you to Fresh Business Thinking, and best wishes for a successful launch of HIT ME! We hope it will be as positive an experience for you and your client as it was for us.

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