I've attached my draft of the white paper in an MS Word file named CopyEngineer_White_Paper_HowToPlanAWhitePaper_A4.docx.
The layout of the interior of the white paper needs to be reader-friendly, with plenty of white space, a relatively narrow horizon (text column) and appealing visual elements. Pages shouldn't feel cramped or cluttered. I've tried to include a large number of subheadings and pull-quotes to help break up blocks of text.
In the draft white paper, I've included some pull quotes in shaded text boxes that highlight key points of the text. I've inserted these in-line, somewhere after the point where they appear in the body text, just to indicate relative position. Please feel free to treat these quotes in whatever manner works best for your design concept (I just placed them in-line, because fussing with text boxes in Word tends to drive me crazy), and don't be afraid to discard any that make a page feel too cluttered.
Also, feel free to include any illustrations on a planning theme that you think will enhance the visual appeal of the white paper.
I would like to avoid wide columns of text. Studies of white papers have shown that readers are intimidated by or grow tired of reading broad columns of text. I would prefer to see fairly wide margins on the left and right, as shown in my draft, if a single-column layout is used. I am not adverse to the use of a two-column, as long as there is plenty of white space on the page.
I don't mind if the illustrations stretch across the whole page or if the pull quotes extend into the left margin. And I don't mind if we increase the page count by a page or two. I just want to avoid presenting the reader with a "wall of gray" that might create the impression that this will be a heavy read.
That said, I would like to keep the executive summary on one page. If necessary, I can edit out a few phrases of text to make that possible.
In the text of the white paper – on page 1 and again on page 6 – I use a blueprint metaphor in describing the subject (white paper plans), so I thought a blueprint image might work in a cover design(?). (I also use a "constitution" metaphor on page 6, but I can't imagine a cover design, based on this image.)
As far as concepts go, I don’t want to limit or direct anyone’s imagination. So I’ll just say that what I want is something that:
1. Looks polished, professional and interesting
2. Looks appropriate for the technology market
3. Should appeal to a marketing professional in a business-to-business environment
Please don't hesitate to ask for any additional information or source files you might need. I strive to be responsive and easy-to-work-with for both my clients and my suppliers, and I am anxious to build relationships with designers in case I run into clients who need design work as well as copy.