Publish or perish

Publish or perish 24

As an organisation, you might be doing life changing work on the ground, have a superior product or service and yet remain unknown. This state of affairs definitely does not make for good business sense. And that’s where publishing comes in to help you share knowledge with others, be accountable, market your organisation, product or service, or lobby for a particular course of action.

Your options

Depending on your budget, content, or audience, there are a number of platforms readily available that can enhance your reach to potential clients, partners and other stakeholders with comprehensive information on who you are and what you do. These include books, newsletters, journals, reports, manuals and e-publishing.

  • Books: Books fall into two general categories; fiction and non-fiction. Loosely, fiction include novels and other prose forms based on imaginary characters and events. On the other hand, non-fiction literature is prose based on factual events and people. It includes autobiographies, biographies, textbooks, history and essays.
  • Newsletters: These are focused periodic bulletins targeted at a specific group audience or the general public. Newsletters are theme based and acts as mouth pieces and marketing tool for the particular organisation issuing them.
  • Journals: These are periodic publications targeted at specific professional communities, e.g. lawyers, scientists and doctors. Peer-reviewed, they serve to critique existing research or introduce new research for scrutiny in the case of scientific journals or provide commentary on emerging issues or topical developments in the case of law journals.
  • Reports: Reports can take many forms; financial reports, study reports on topical issues, strategic plans and so on. They are objective in nature and may recommend a plan of action based on their findings.
  • Manuals: These are handbooks containing a set of instructions for executing a certain task, say assembling a piece of machinery or operating electronics.
  • E-publishing: Variously referred to as digital publishing, e-publishing is basically online based publishing. E-publishing platforms include websites, blogs, e-newsletters, e-books and downloadable documents.

That said, there are two important aspects that goes into publishing- be it on paper or online- to make your publication an engaging one in a sea of other competing publications. These are copy editing and design. Copy editing ensures the content of your publication is free of errors of commission or omission while design is concerned with the aesthetics and packaging of your publication.

It is imperative that you work with professionals for your publication. This ensures that your publication is top notch while you also get invaluable professional advice such as on copyright, market standards and the like. In most instances, working with a publishing house, more so, when it specialises in both print and digital publishing, works to your advantage. This is so as they have a wide pool of talent and skill set to be tapped, especially when it comes to the differentiation of the design aspect of print or online publishing.

For print publishing, design elements to be considered include typography, layout, formatting, cover design- including dust jackets as appropriate, and binding; with the overall aim being to ensure accessibility of the material is eased to the reader.

For digital publishing, design elements to be considered- with a focus on websites and blogs- include: responsiveness, loading time, ease of uploading content, compatibility with multiple browsers, security, ease of integration with Social Media and functionality.


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