Multi-channel eBook production as a function of diverse target device capabilities
Publishers have a history of managing data for the long-term. In the past this meant warehouses of proof sheets. As the publishing process became electronic, assets were archived on tape or disk in the event of a need to re-release (perhaps due to a popular subsequent movie or other event). However, the challenge shifted from storage of materials to file compatibility and management of software versions. Then along came XML, which offered a vendor-agnostic format in which to, at a minimum, archive data if not becoming the format in which the data was authored. Now that publishers find themselves in the midst of an eBook boom they find themselves, yet again, dealing with managing different formats and, to complicate matters, dealing with different implementations of the same standard. This paper will discuss the current state of the trade, textbook, and journal publishing industry as it pertains to creating eBooks for current and backlist resources. It will also discuss the challenges faced by publishers as the technology continues to move forward toward “enhanced eBooks” at a pace faster than the standards can be updated.
A sample project will be presented which presents the challenges of producing eBooks in the current environment as well as demonstrates how current standards might support the next generation of eBooks.