Lesson 7: Design To Be Shared

Design to be Shared

As part of the Commit or Kill campaign for Book Rapper, here’s Book Rapper Lesson #7.

Crucial Decisions

One of the early crucial decisions for Book Rapper was the format of the RAPs. I opted for Adobe’s PDF format. This had a couple of advantages.

  • I could design the RAPs in Adobe InDesign and then simply save them as pdfs – easy!
  • They also automatically shrink the files size. From InDesign to Pdf can be a 90% compression. This was vital given some of the early issues were sent by email.
  • Pdfs naturally lock the content. This was important for branding and ownership of what I’d created.

A Significant Issue

And, this also raised a significant issue. In the beginning Book Rapper was available as a subscription. Which meant if you wanted to receive Book Rapper you had to pay for it. The downside of using PDFs was that I couldn’t stop people from passing on copies to their friends.

A Fortunate Bonus

Was this a problem? I had a number of people who said it was.

For me, I thought it was a good thing! It was a fortunate bonus. Sure there might have been some leakage on subscriptions that cost me some money. And, in the longer term, I think it was better that people did pass Book Rapper on. If this meant they got better value from their subscription by sharing it and discussing it with colleagues – that’s ok by me! And, if a few more people became exposed to Book Rapper – then that’s a really good thing!

Design For Sharing

One of the great bonuses of digital content is that there is no cost to pass something on. The original stay in place and more copies merely share the idea further. And, in terms of content marketing and sharing your ideas further and wider, deliberately designing your content to be shared should be part of your strategy.


When you design your content consider how it is going to be shared. This make the difference between building a loyal audience or merely sending stuff out into the cyber wilderness. Designing Book Rapper in a format that made it easy to share was an important strategic decision.

See Book Rapper issue Smart Growth for more on designing your product to be shared.

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