Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Paying for content online moves closer with Google FastFlip

16/09/2009 1 comment

Everyday there are steps made towards people paying for content online which they might have expected to get for free in the past. This is a good thing so that we keep the ability to read well researched articles and information.

The Daily Telegraph is also moving towards paid-for online content through its ‘e-paper‘ program.

Google launches Fast Flip news website – Telegraph


Is XML heaven or hell?

09/09/2009 1 comment
XML - Heaven or Hell?

XML - Heaven or Hell?

Last week was eye-opening in several ways. I attended two conferences in London. The second one I attended was about online PR and reputation management. If you ever wonder or care about what people are saying about you, your company, your brand or your products, and how that affects the future of them all, then the lessons from this seminar are something about which you should learn.

On Wednesday, I went to the ‘StartWithXML‘ conference which might sound like a tedious affair but it was quite the contrary. This three letter acronym (XML) signifies how the publishing industry is changing from a printed world which has, to a large degree, an attitude of “We publish and sell books” to a digital publishing world whose attitude is “We are distributors of information”.

To quickly explain the benefits of XML, if a publisher starts the book publishing process when they receive a manuscript from an author in Microsoft Word or as an XML document, the ability for the publisher to efficiently turn that into not just a printed book but other products like an eBook, or an online reference tool (if it is guide, for example), is greatly increased. Not only that, the publisher can make the book searchable so that potential customers can find it and read about it in more detail before they buy it.

The benefits of starting the publishing process with a book in XML format are not only good for the publisher, they are good for the customers and the authors. Customers will buy more products and authors will get more royalties.

Most of the large publishing houses are fully aware of the benefits of XML to their businesses. They are in the process of getting their production teams skilled in XML and digital publishing. But it’s the smaller publishers that really need XML. By starting their publishing process with their manuscripts in XML, they can become extremely efficient and competitive in a crowded market.

For example, Snowbooks is a “feisty” publisher made up of three people. They produce all of their books using XML which are held on a database. Each book has all of the information about the title held in XML as well as the book in digital format so that, literally, at the click of a button, they can produce 48-page catalogues about their lists, feed their web site and make versions of each book in different formats. Anyone who has ever tried to put together a catalogue in a conventional way will know that it can take weeks and weeks to do this.

So, if you are in publishing and in production and you don’t know about XML, then you might be thinking it sounds like hell. But, if you do know about XML and its benefits then you could be about to secure your job. You role may well move from the production team into the IT team but, as they say, “if you don’t like change, then see how you feel about irrelevance”.

For more details from the StartwithXML conference, you can see the slide decks used by the speakers here.

Categories: business, publishing Tags: , ,

The Eleven Axioms of 21st Century Publishing

Publishers are changing to become 21st Century information distributors

Publishers are changing to become 21st Century information distributors

This is an interesting post by Kate Eltham about how publishers might need to evolve their ways of thinking about their industry in 21st Century. For example, publishers will need to think of themselves as “information engines, not producers of objects“.

Kate also links to another interesting blog called ‘Book Oven’ from which the axioms derive.

The Eleven Axioms of 21st Century Publishing – Electric Alphabet

Will people pay for content online?

Spotify has thousands of new subscribers per month but fewer paying subscribers.

Spotify has thousands of new subscribers per month but fewer paying subscribers.

You would think not based upon all of the online companies, such as YouTube and Spotify, who seem to be heading towards a business built on burning money rather than making it. Rupert Murdoch is trying to change his business which is also in the middle of seeing ‘printed pounds’ turn into ‘digital pennies’ in many of his publications. He wants to charge for people for online publications. Any why not?

This is an interesting article about the huge debate which is happening now in the publishing world.

Is free content really the iron law of the internet? – Telegraph

Digital skills in a changing publishing industry are increasingly scarce

Digital skills gap in publishing is critical

Digital skills gap in publishing is critical

This is an interesting article in The Bookseller which highlights the skills gap challenge within the publishing industry. The understanding within experienced, middle management about the possibilities and strategies on how to use digital technology are weak and the creative skills to turn that into fresh, effective and tactical realities are often not there because higher paying sectors make publishing less attractive to enter.

Digital skills gap now ‘critical’ for publishers |

Will speaking on BBC Radio Lincolnshire about cloud computing and online job seeking

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Here is the latest recording with the BBC where William Wright (@mrwilliam) and I talk about security issues, paid for content, cloud computing and how large businesses are using services like LinkedIn to recruit people for specific jobs.

Print on Demand, Self Publishing and Digital Stitching

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Print on Demand is not a new initiative. It has been around for a number of years. But recent news that more new titles are being printed through Print on Demand (PoD) than through traditional printing methods shows how the PoD industry has come of age. It allows out of print books to become available again. It allows authors of new books to publish them themselves without risk and for custom books to be printed quickly to respond to demand.

Digital photography is prolific and free software enables people to create panoramas and 3-D worlds easily by stitching their photographs together quickly and easily.

Will was recently on BBC Radio Lincolnshire with William Wright talking about these technologies. To listen to the show, you can play or download the podcast by clicking the link above.