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This chapter is from the book

Tricks of the Publishing Trade

Publishing is about getting the right content to the right person at the right time at the right cost. Here are a few fundamentals of publishing that are relevant to everyone involved in managing or contributing to a Web site:

  • Publishing is about quality control. You will reject far more than you will publish. Less is more.

  • The reader is king. If nobody reads you, you're dead. The publisher who doesn't truly understand their readers—and publishes content for those readers—goes out of business.

  • "Time-to-publish" is critical. It's not enough to have great content if you don't get it to your reader before your competitor does.

  • A publisher should know what their content is costing to produce. They should also know which content is delivering value and which isn't.

  • A standard layout and design should be implemented through the entire website. This will increase the ability to find and read content. It also makes the website easier to manage.

  • A quality information architecture—classification, navigation, search, layout and design—ensures that content can be found quickly and read easily.

  • Metadata is essential for a website because it significantly increases the chances of the right person finding the right content.

  • Writing for the Web is about being concise and factual. When writing, think of your reader as impatient. The golden rule of web writing is: Keep it short.

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