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How to Manage an eBook Project

July 16, 2015

How to Manage an eBook Project

eBooks are a tried-and-true method for showcasing expertise. In fact, they’re so powerful, most B2B marketers rely on eBooks as the keystone of their lead generation strategies.

Publishing an eBook can also prompt your audience to engage with you — especially when stuffed with useful information and insights. But you need the right team to create them. It usually takes a combination of internal contributors and external experts working collaboratively. Your team must be able to grasp the details, yet still see the big picture, and discuss all of it to find solutions in the most efficient way. Using the right online collaboration tool can make this process flow smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll struggle.

Creating Content Marketing that Works

Carol is the content marketing manager for her firm. She knows efficient content creation and promotion processes is key to reaching her marketing goals.

Her team creates all the content for the company website — eBooks, blogs, videos, infographics, presentations, reports, case studies, white papers, podcasts. To operate efficiently, her team must be highly organized. They need to:

  • Easily find the information they need when they need it

  • Work collaboratively on different types of documents – making comments, corrections, additions – and having a history of revisions in case they need to backtrack

  • Store and access different kinds of files — images, videos, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, .mp3s, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.

  • Build up a repository of authoritative, reliable sources

  • Collect and organize links for credible citations

  • Give internal and external people selective access to information

  • Create and assign tasks with due dates

Without these capabilities, they risk missing deadlines and what’s worse, publishing mediocre content — all of which can kill their blog readership in the blink of an eye.

Carol’s current priority is an eBook on how to create case studies. For weeks she’s desperately sought a free online collaboration tool that would meet their needs. But when it comes to meeting those needs, centralizing all of the conversations surrounding their projects along with the content they create, has eluded her. Such conversations are scattered across email and instant messages. Not to mention the comments made in project management software or embedded in various document versions.

To compound matters, Carol's team also constantly shifts — adding people, changing tasks and priorities — and the conversations associated with a task, a file version, or an article are often lost because of those changes.

Finding the information, files, the research links, and understanding any backstories associated with a project and its assets, becomes virtually impossible because everything is scattered far and wide. It's frustrating and highly inefficient. Work is constantly being redone, costing time and money. Carol knows she has to put an end to this somehow.

Imagine Carol and her team’s delight when they found a secure, cloud-based contextual online collaboration tool that’s free. Her team has started to use it as the control center for managing their content projects. They’re especially thrilled that email hell is quickly becoming a thing of the past. And their external team members — copywriters, designers, and photographers — can access and use it too.

When Carol kicked off the pilot project, she used this online collaboration tool to create a page for the new case study ebook project. She placed the ebook outline and links to research articles and videos for easy access. Then her team added more resources, and made comments about them. When necessary, they brainstormed on the project together and made changes in real-time.

The app was easy to learn. It took almost no time for her team to get up to speed. They all jumped right in. And their most favorite thing about the app? Everything they need is online, centrally located on their project's page. No more email overload! No more hunting for files. No more wondering who did what, when, or why.

Team members post all project files and information to the appropriate project pages for fast review, quick input, and discussion. The tool’s desktop app lets them do online file collaboration – they can edit different kinds of documents in their native apps such as Word, InDesign, etc. and the tool tracks the history of all changes. They can also, with one click, go back and review changes made at any point in time.

Best of all, given that Carol’s team is mostly virtual, or rarely in the same offices together at the same time, they can still get their work done with the mobile app.

Deadlines are now being met. No more redos due to miscommunications. Carol and her team can breathe again. They've agreed that Samepage is now their online collaboration tool from this point forward. At last, true contextual collaboration has arrived.