The Web Revisited
While e-mail is superior for shorter documents, long documents such as manuscripts, databases and large images can also be sent electronically. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is usually the method of choice for distributing large files. FTP is used by many companies to download and upload pages that require editing and changes, but it can also be used to place materials on the Web for transfer to collaborators or customers. A user can download specific materials by going to a specific Web address that need not be linked anywhere. FTP programs such as CuteFTP and WinFTP for Windows or Fetch for Mac are generally priced around $40 per copy.
Business at warp speed
The advent of the Web has all but abolished long days spent at the local library doing laborious research. The medium allows users to conduct focused research in a shorter amount of time. Kurt Wright of CPM Publishing [www.clearpurpose.com] took full advantage of this when researching markets for his book Breaking the Rules. He believed that his book was applicable to business schools, so he contacted 800 professors. Twenty percent of them requested review copies. Not only was the response rate high, Wright saved a considerable amount of money not having to pay for long distance.
The Web also makes it possible to conduct inexpensive focus groups and hone product offerings. Book marketing expert John Kremer got a fantastic marketing insight online when he was about to release the fifth edition of his popular 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Kremer posted four cover designs at www.bookmarket.com, then asked the members of his publishing mail list to let him know which one they preferred. Of the two hundred publishers who replied, 90 percent selected a cover he had not intended to use. Doing similar research without the use of the Internet would have been costly in both time and dollars, perhaps making it prohibitive.