Tools for Easy Content Management and Repurposing
Content is still king in book publishing. The challenge to publishers today is to move, manage, exchange and manipulate that content in the most efficient and profitable ways.
In the age of new media, publishers must be able to accept content from external sources, traffic it through all the pre-publishing phases and then be agile in the way they output it, so that it’s cost-effective but also meaningful to readers.
As with any new technology, publishers should evaluate software solutions with these basic considerations in mind:
Functionality: What solutions out there have the types of capabilities your company needs? Once the field has been narrowed, dig deeper into the solutions—get a demo to see what else, beyond its core capabilities, the system may be able to offer.
Reliability: Does the software have a good track record among existing users? Will it require minimal downtime for implementation and routine maintenance? Are there any known bugs?
Cost: Whether considering an ASP model or a self-installed solution, does the pricing model meet with your budget? Are there any hidden costs for things like updates, training, additional users, troubleshooting, and so forth?
Developer reputation: Does the maker of the solution stand behind its product? Does the developer have a solid record for supporting its customers? Does it have a clear entry point to technical staff when you need them? Does the developer offer meaningful training? Is the developer known for fixing bugs in a timely fashion? Are updates free, and how frequently are they rolled out?
Flexibility: Does the solution not only address the publisher’s content needs today, but more importantly, is the solution flexible enough to grow with your business? Is it possible to grow the system with new utilities and functionality your company may not need now, but could possibly use in the future?
Book Business explored the book-publishing-systems landscape to find some of the latest and greatest digital software technologies—from simple manuscript submission and tracking solutions to more robust total publishing systems—to enable you to streamline your company’s workflow management and make the most of your content with the least amount of manual involvement. BB
ARIES SYSTEMS CORP.
North Andover, MA
Contact: (978) 875-7570
Clients include: More than 1,750 scholarly scientific, technical, medical (STM) journals worldwide, including The American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology; The British Psychological Society; and the American Journal of Cardiology.
Solution: Editorial Manager
Features: Editorial Manager is a Web-based manuscript-submission and management solution that’s offered as an Application Service Provider (ASP) model. It enables online manuscript submissions, and features a suite of customizable manuscript tracking and reporting tools. Authors are able to submit manuscripts via the Web, in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and RTF files, among others. Submissions are automatically converted to a Portable Document Format (PDF), and the editors receive notification that copy has arrived.
Reviewers receive the PDF document and are able to insert and submit their comments and edits electronically. The system tracks the iterative review process from submission to the final acceptance of the manuscript.
Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, the source files can be made available through the Web and downloaded to the publisher’s production systems.
Editorial Manager features “role manager,” “action manager,” and “policy manager” tools, which enable the publisher to modify the workflow on the fly. Management staff can use the solution to generate reports on every aspect of the review process, and import the data to a spreadsheet application.
Contact: +358 3 3681848
Clients include: Scholarly journal publishers.
Features: JournalPro is an online editorial assistant and manuscript-tracking and archiving solution with dedicated interfaces for authors, chief editors, associate editors, reviewers and publishers. Users can work from remote locations worldwide.
Contact: (301) 961-6033
Clients include: A variety of publishing businesses, including the Journal of Dental Research, Allen Press Inc., and the American Institute of Physics.
Solutions: Simple Review System (SRS); Complex Review System-Editor (CRS-E); Complex Review System-Associate Editor (CRS-AE); and the EJPress Peer Review System
Features: eJournalPress’ Simple Review System (SRS) manages the peer-review process from manuscript submission through acceptance. It’s designed for two-tier-model journals (editor and reviewer), where a single editor makes the final manuscript decision. Manuscripts uploaded to SRS are submitted to the eJournalPress conversion engine and converted to PDF files.
The Complex Review System-Editor (CRS-E) and Complex Review System-Associate Editor (CRS-AE) both manage the peer-review process from manuscript submission to acceptance. Both are designed for three-tier journals, but the first is designed for a situation in which an editor is responsible for making manuscript decisions, while the CRS-AE solution is better suited for situations in which an associate editor is responsible for manuscript decisions.
The EJPress Peer Review System manages peer reviews from submission to acceptance, but is designed for journal publishers that have more complicated workflow requirements.
MANAGING EDITOR, INC.
Contact: (215) 886-5662 or
Clients include: The K4 Publishing System has been implemented by more than 130 customer bases worldwide at magazine, newspaper, catalog, corporate and other publishers. In the U.S., 13 book publishers are reportedly using K4, including Harcourt Education Inc., Holt, Rinehart Winston, Pearson Scott Foresman and McGraw-Hill Education.
Solution: K4 Publishing System
Features: Managing Editor is the U.S. integrator for K4, the publishing system that integrates Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy with an open and scalable SQL database. K4 organizes the work of page designers and editors, and controls the production process. The solution administers users, publications, access privileges, production components and workflow status.
MODULO SYSTEMS CORPORATION
Contact: (617) 234-4414
Clients include: not available
Solution: Concerto and Quark Publishing System (QPS) Classic
Features: Concerto is a publishing and content management solution that organizes publications from creation to production. It is integrated with both Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress workflows. Publishers may use either application, or both, on any platform, including Mac OS X.
Concerto is designed to enable quick approval cycles, accelerate routing processes, and reduce revision errors. The solution is based on open industry standards and a relational database. It supports both Mac OS and Microsoft platforms, and may be integrated with existing Quark Publishing System (QPS) installations. (For information on QPS, see listing for Quark, Inc. on page 34.)
PARAMETRIC TECHNOLOGY CORP.
Contact: (781) 370-5000 or
Clients include: Legal and STM publishers worldwide, including Harvard Business School Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, Reed Elsevier and World Book.
Solution: Arbortext Enterprise Publishing Software
Features: Arbortext enterprise publishing software enables the automation of page-layout processes while providing the ability to manually touch up publishing documents when needed. The solution imports data from multiple authors to a common XML structure, allowing the publisher to reuse content, as well as style elements and templates. Arbortext facilitates publishing to print, PDF, the Web, CD-ROM and DVD-ROMs.
THOMASTECH SOLUTIONS, INC.
Contact: (800) 872-2828
Clients include: Directory, journal and book publishers, including Elsevier, Inc., Sosland and Thomas Publishing.
Solution: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system
Features: ThomasTech’s publishing systems are based on Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools that automate the publishing process from content creation to production and delivery. Publishers are able to manage multiple content formats and delivery outputs; facilitate collaboration between authors, editors and other contributors; and manage rights.
Contact: (303) 894-8888
Clients include: not available
Solution: Quark Publishing System (QPS) Classic
Features: Quark Publishing System (QPS) Classic is a total workflow solution that manages content from submission to production and output. It enables users to manage, control and track editorial and page layout files, as well as archive, delete, transfer and assign them. Its key components include:
QuarkDispatch: QPS’ database server component, this module manages and maintains information, including metadata, workflow, preferences, users, privileges, versions, revisions and more.
QuarkDispatch Administrator: Features tools to configure the workflow, define users, specify privileges, establish revision control and implement routing procedures.
QuarkDispatch Manager: This module enables administrators, production managers, traffic managers and managing editors complete tasks such as archiving, replicating, transferring files and project monitoring.
QuarkDispatch XTensions: Enables tracking and assigning of page elements and text to editorial teams using QuarkXPress. Multiple users can work on different components of a QuarkXPress project at the same time—for example, designers can make changes to a layout while writers and editors simultaneously author and copy-edit.
QuarkCopyDesk: The key module used by editors and writers, it allows users to see how copy will fit into a layout. They are able to “write to fit” from the start of the project, and see how text is displayed through multiple views—galley, full screen or WYSIWYG.
QuarkConnect: Enables workgroup members to work remotely while using familiar authoring applications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Contact: (434) 817-2040
Clients include: STM journal publishers.
Solutions: Manuscript Central; Production Central; and 1st Edit
Features: ScholarOne’s Manuscript Central features a customizable workflow system for online manuscript submission and journal editorial management. The ASP model is designed to make the solution relevant to any size publication. The Web-based solution enables authors to submit manuscripts online and comprises tools assignments, notifications, reminders and reporting. Publishers can archive and track all versions of manuscripts and associated correspondence, and analyze journal performance with quickly generated reports. Manuscript Central accommodates six user groups—authors, editors in chief, associate editors, reviewers, administrative staff and board of editors—enabling them to collaborate on publishing projects.
Contact: (717) 764-9720
Clients include: Fortune 1000 companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, technology, publishing, government, health care, pharmaceutical and education. Elsevier Inc. and McGraw-Hill are among its publishing clients.
Features: Vasont’s Content Management System for Multi-Channel Publishing can manage all types of content, from basic text and graphics to multilingual text and multimedia clips. The system’s Universal Integrator extension allows authors and editors to access Vasont’s functionality from the tool bar menu of their XML authoring/editing tools.
Vasont’s Client/Server Model is relevant for organizations of all sizes that must continually update, reuse and repurpose content. Vasont’s Remote User Interface enables remote and global offices to manage content and collaborate.
Vasont is also available as a subscription-based ASP model.
Gretchen A. Peck is a freelance author who writes about the international printing and publishing industries. She welcomes comments at GretchenPeck@Verizon.net.