The proliferation of digital devices in the classroom and the reinvention of education from traditional models to new, more interactive and individualized means of learning will change education publishing faster and farther than other segments, says executive director Bill McCoy of IDPF. “It is not just about ‘digitizing’ a print textbook into an equivalently monolithic e-textbook. It is about chunks of rich and enhanced content that support multiple learning paths and styles.”
There is now more content, more outlets selling physical and digital books and more retail opportunities for publishers than ever before, says David Taylor, senior v-p of content acquisition at Ingram Content Group, and group managing director of Lightning Source U.K. Ingram’s position and reaction to this diversity of readily available content, he adds, “is to use print-on-demand (POD) and digital distribution technologies to create content availability to the broadest number of outlets.”
On the other hand, the lines demarcating publishing departments are blurring, observes chief marketing officer Rahul Arora of MPS Limited, adding that “editorial, production, marketing and IT departments now play equally important roles in product development and delivery. Creating fewer yet more engaging and interactive learning products is the goal. And now, more than ever before, publishers are committed to understanding their end-users through richer analytics and market research.”
There have been more requests to compose content as individual assets along with the entire title, says v-p of sales and marketing David Bass of codeMantra. “Publishers are thinking about ways to customize content for their end users digitally in ways that they cannot do with print products, and they are using XML to ensure content functionality and display capabilities within e-book readers and browsers,” Bass says. “They want ways to develop a title one time, have the entire process producing different outputs for print and digital, and a single file to update and edit going forward. For publishers, it is all about improving operational efficiencies to create and distribute print and digital in a variety of ways.”
The following pages highlight what some companies are doing to help publishers meet their digital needs and what they will be discussing at this year’s London Book Fair.
It is all about business content at two-year-old bluebottlebiz, where new titles in both English and Spanish are added every week to its cloud-based platform. It also offers trade journals, research reports, case studies and videos. “We collaborate with more than 80 publishers,” says Jeanette Noble, director of content acquisition and partner strategy.
Bluebottlebiz’s free e-reader supports both PDF and ePUB, and allows users to highlight, comment, bookmark and add notes to specific selections of text while reading. Users can then share their activity in the book with friends and colleagues. All of these user activities and more are captured as reader engagement data and shared with publishers. “We give a free 20-day trial so that interested users can register—without any commitment—to discover the platform for themselves. We also offer discounts to businesses depending on the number of seats,” says Noble, pointing out that 55% of earned subscription revenues are shared with, and paid on a quarterly basis to, its publishing partners.
Noble adds that “it is important for Human Resources and training departments, often regarded as cost centers, to be able to quantify their contribution to an organization’s overall success. Integrating bluebottlebiz into their existing infrastructure is a cost-effective way to achieve this since our platform provides clear data on how users are engaging with the content, including which subjects are most read by employees. That gives valuable insight about areas where employees need more training.” Getting relevant content to busy executives is a challenge, she says. “So we offer a weekly newsletter—customizable to fit organizational needs—that provides a 15-minute reading recommendation on a given topic. We will soon offer Discovery Paths, a small collection of chapters, case studies, and/or videos put together by experts in a specific field or topic, that are free to subscribers or available for purchase on a one-by-one basis.”
For more information, check out partners.bluebottlebiz.com, or call Noble at +44 (0) 7539 291460 during the London Book Fair.
Crescendo, codeMantra’s newly launched XML-anytime composition workflow, takes the center stage in London. A powerful XML authoring and dynamic composition engine that imports, exports and transforms content across multiple publishing applications such as Word, InDesign and Quark, Crescendo can work with, or provide, XML at any point in the publishing production process. It also seamlessly integrates with a publisher’s existing workflow. “That means that no matter where, or how, your edits are occurring before you create a final page or file, Crescendo captures those edits and can create and store the current XML within the content at any time,” says v-p of sales and marketing David Bass, who will be in London to promote the XML-anytime workflow capabilities with his Italian editorial team.
“We have designed Crescendo to be flexible enough to permit a designer, author, or editorial manager to intervene at any juncture of the publishing process. Whether it is for last-minute edits, design changes, or design that just cannot be done programmatically, Crescendo can handle it with ease,” says Bass, adding that the workflow integrates with cloud-based collectionPoint 3.0 [cP 3.0] platform—codeMantra’s flagship product—to store and distribute content to any digital retailer or printer.
Recently, the codeMantra team used cP3.0 to work on content from the IMF (International Monetary Fund), “where the documents were enhanced with an XML layer, allowing IMF to distribute their e-content across the Web for marketing purposes and drive users back to their e-bookstore and e-library. This enables them to measure marketing ROI and traffic trends,” Bass says.
For more information, on Crescendo and cP 3.0, drop by booth W605, or email email@example.com to join codeMantra’s 90-minute luncheon/discussion on April 9 focused on social interaction between publishers, industry trends and technologies. The company will also be participating in the XML Anytime Publishing Workflow session (April 9, 2:30 p.m. at the Digital Hotspot).
EPub3 adoption is progressing steadily, says executive director Bill McCoy of IDPF. “Japan’s e-book infrastructure, for instance, is completely ePub3-based whereas EduPub, ePub3 for e-textbooks and other education content, is taking off in a big way,” says McCoy. “Our workshop on ePub for comics and manga in Paris last month was a major milestone with over 80 participants, including major players from Europe, U.S. and Japan. And underlying everything is the accessibility support built-in to ePub3, which will ultimately drive adoption even for English-language novels that were already pretty well handled with ePub2.”
Segment-specific requirements are very important to McCoy. “Comics, for instance, sound simple but ‘motion book’ and other more advanced forms of interactive ‘sequential art’ need more work to be done to enable an interoperable ecosystem where authoring tools and distribution platforms are not tied together in closed proprietary silos. EPub is also being used for corporate publications and enterprise-wide documentation in corporations such as IBM. So ePub is not just about e-books any more,” says McCoy, adding that one IDPF key meeting at the London Book Fair will focus on “delivering the goods for accessibility. There is just no excuse that people with blindness and other print disabilities have no way to read a majority of the books and documents that are published.”
For McCoy, publishers and content creators are still on the upslope of HTML5 adoption and the overall Open Web Platform, which is the key enabling technology for delivering content, data and experiences. “EPub, the next-generation portable document format for the Open Web Platform, is part of that bigger story.”
Major announcements about ePub3 support will be coming in May and June with a lot happening at the IDPF Digital Book conference at BookExpo America (May 28–29).
The company’s recent acquisition of CourseSmart, combined with Vital Source, creates the world’s largest provider of digital course materials. “We are pleased to make another investment in higher education, strengthening our services in this market and furthering our commitment to helping publishers, institutions, educators and students navigate the shifting landscape of digital learning and helping them succeed by offering content in any format,” says the company’s David Taylor.
Known in the industry for the strength of its POD manufacturing paired with worldwide distribution, Ingram solutions continue to help publishers quickly and efficiently print and distribute a wide range of books. “POD provides great opportunity for publishers looking to keep more books in print and available for sale while finding efficiency in book manufacturing and the supply chain,” Taylor says.
One client, M-Y Books, uses Ingram services to make titles widely available without spending on costly infrastructure. Fans can access the late Barbara Cartland’s existing novels and 160 previously unpublished manuscripts because of Ingram’s POD and e-book distribution services. Another client, DeVry University, uses Ingram POD and digital solutions to provide education content for students enrolled at the institution.
Further development of the company’s Global Connect solution is ongoing. Global Connect expands the reach of publisher content to major book markets through relationships with leaders in bookselling and manufacturing. Ingram has deals in place with partners in Brazil, Germany and Russia, with further locations to be announced in 2014.
Similarly, Ingram’s CoreSource DAM platform enables publishers to easily reach markets in different parts of the world with e-books and through the company’s fast-growing self-publishing platform IngramSpark.
“Ingram is uniquely positioned to seamlessly connect physical and digital content to points around the globe. Through our solutions, we fully integrate distribution, technology, logistics and manufacturing so that tens of thousands of publishers and millions of books reach retail, library, school and distribution outlets worldwide,” concludes Taylor, whose team can be found at stands H400, V655 and Y525.
The latest from Publishing Technology is a digital-only installation of its Order to Cash sales, marketing and e-commerce application. A part of the advance enterprise system, this module is for publishers looking for the ability to create and distribute digital content without replacing their print fulfillment systems. “Our advance enterprise suite, which covers back-end processes from rights, royalties, permissions, product management and distribution, can accommodate any kind of digital media or business model. But for publishers with established technology who now want to package, promote, sell and deliver digital content, our stand-alone Digital Order to Cash solution will integrate with existing customer relationship management, production management, DAM, finance and fulfillment systems,” says U.K. marketing manager Emily Taylor Gregory, who will be at the fair to demonstrate other Publishing Technology’s industry-specific solutions, including pub2web custom hosting platform for digital content, ingentaconnect turnkey hosting solution and Publishers Communication Group (PCG) sales and marketing consultancy.
In recent months, Publishing Technology has launched the new semantically-enriched AIP Scitation portal on its pub2web platform (hosting nearly a million articles from a dozen member publishers), created the digitally-native global fulfillment system for Turpin Distribution through its advance
platform, signed new PCG sales representation agreements with IET in Europe and ISPG in India, and undertaken a digital subscription research study for the U.S. Book Industry Study Group.
For more information on Publishing Technology, head over to stand R550, or get the latest on the industry from new CEO Michael Cairns, who will take part in “In Conversation: IET Digital Library—A Next Generation Publishing Platform” on April 8, and “CEO Panel Debate: Beyond Open Access—What’s Next for Academic Publishing” on April 9. Both events are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at The Faculty@LBF. Or attend “Why Open Access Means a Rethink for OECD’s Digital Strategy” (April 10, 11:30 a.m, The Faculty@LBF) and “Business Models—Experimenting for the Future” (April 10, 11:45 a.m., BIC Supply Chain seminar) and hear from COO Randy Petway and executive v-p Jane Tappuni, respectively.
The cloud-based platform MPS Insight, one of the first to be COUNTER 4-compliant, is a natural choice for publishers looking to understand their customers better. “Publishers’ sales and marketing department can access this dynamic platform in real time to analyze usage patterns in order to develop richer content, make intelligent pricing decisions, focus on specific distribution channels, and configure overall marketing strategy,” says chief marketing officer Rahul Arora, whose team did a complete overhaul of the MPS Insight user interface last year.
The core business at MPS is now about platforms across different facets of publishing. Cloud-based MPS Trak, a workflow management platform, for instance, powers the overall publishing process, and it has affirmed its leading market position by winning two significant awards in 2013. The Peer Review module of this platform, having passed the early development and testing stages, will be implemented for a U.K.-based publisher sometime this year.
According to Arora, MPS’ DigiCore system continues to allow publishers to realize savings and reduce time-to-market in the content production process. “We have also been busy conducting several pilots with publishers using DigiEdit, our intuitive online editing platform with underlying XML,” says Arora. “The success of such platforms is dependent on the publishers’ ability to absorb and adopt innovation and change. On our part, we are committed to redefining how content is managed, and we continue to develop more products to make life easier for authors, editors, production planners and publishers. Our platform survey results are showing that the user-group including authors are welcoming a platform-enabled workflow.”
Currently, 90% of the content that MPS produces for publishers is for digital consumption. Adds Arora, “Our production processes are driven by digital-first workflows that come to life through DigiCore—our smart, cloud-based editorial and production platform.”
Head over to booth T505 for more information, or go to Tech Theatre 1 on April 9 at 11:30 a.m. for MPS’s interactive session on “Reducing Time-to-Market for Publishers.”