An eBook probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about product promotion or sales detailing. But for launch-critical items like product monographs, annotated PIs or key studies, an eBook can be a fast, easy way to deliver digital assets to sales reps, speakers and KOLs that they can use while messaging and promotional materials are still working their way through the system.
There are 3 formats for eBooks: PDF, ePub or iBook. All formats allow you to import content from a word doc as a starting point. Functionality ranges from basic static content to robust dynamic features, like: audio, video, animation surveys, and more.
PDFs are the most compatible eBook format. They can be viewed on almost any reader app or launched from a web browser. Of course, functionality is extremely limited. You can link to content internally within the documents or to external resources; but that is about the extent of it. PDFs are not responsive which makes them very difficult to navigate on smaller mobile screens. And they do not support audio, video or other interactive features.
ePub files are a more advanced format for eBooks. ePub files can be read in most reader apps, and they are responsive so elements scale based on the screen size the eBook is being viewed on. There is an opportunity to enhance ePub eBooks. With the help of a web developer, you can include audio, video, animation and more. Although ePub files are supposed to be compatible with the iBook reader app on iOS devices, they can be buggy. If you plan on using an ePub file on an iOS device, we recommend you test the files extensively after they are published.
If you are looking for advanced functionality, iBook files provide the most versatility. iBook Author, the authoring program, outputs files in PDF, text or iBook format. You can choose between a responsive and a fixed layout which can be useful for regulated content where line breaks need to stay consistent. iBook Author offers widgets that can be used to enhance iBooks with audio, video pop-ups and more. When you update existing versions of iBooks, the reader app will send push notifications to your readers. The one drawback is that iBook files can only be viewed using the iBook reader app on iOS devices.
Which brings us to compatibility. There are a few factors that can affect the compatibility of your eBook. The device it is viewed on and the reader app are two main factors. For example, the iBooks reader app for iOS devices supports PDFs, iBooks and ePub files. But certain features in ePub files don’t function properly in iBooks, like text modification.
For this reason (and a few others), we recommend using a web or creative agency to develop your eBook.
- Partnering with a skilled professional lets you tap into advanced capabilities of eBook authoring programs so you can enhance your eBook with audio, video or animation.
- An experienced professional is likely to have the publishing licenses and advanced software you need to get the project done right.
- Finally, it is a good rule of thumb to perform quality control checks at every stage of eBook content development. This is especially important with highly regulated content like product monographs or PIs. An experienced agency who understands the life science regulatory environment will factor this critical step into their timeline.
Creative MediaWorks offers custom web development, graphic design and print solutions to the Life Science industry and their agencies with a focus on quality, deadline and accuracy. We achieve our quality standards through defined workflow processes direct access to on-staff project talent, proofreading and quality assurance expertise backed by an uncompromising commitment to the most responsive customer service in the business.