Editor's Note: Technology is...
When putting together a "technology issue" you have to first ask yourself, "Is there a modern task that doesn't involve technology?" The answer to that question in book publishing today is, "No." So when narrowing down what we'd cover in this issue we focused on the core technology for producing digital books and the technology-facilitated selling of books of all formats. This technology is paving the way forward for the book industry.
What makes the Book Business Buyer's Guide different from other buyer's guides out there is that it provides a great deal of editorial context for the technology listings. From "The Nut's & Bolts of Ebooks & Apps" to "The Ecommerce Imperative" we hope to provide perspective on how these technologies fit into the greater business strategy.
To some—the real tech gurus and those in the digital trenches—portions of this coverage may seem rudimentary. However, we felt it was critical to get the basics down. For example, defining the difference between ebooks, enhanced ebooks, and book apps is a crucial first step in deciding what solution is best for your needs and which provider might best deliver that solution. (And to be truthful, I often find industry folks speaking past one another when talking about apps and ebooks. I may be guilty of it myself.) It's all in an effort to normalize the vocabulary of the industry's tech conversation.
Speaking of vocabulary, we're thrilled to have Merriam-Webster as the subject of this issue's cover story. When you talk of a long-established publisher reinventing its content and business model, you might not be able to find a better model. Merriam-Webster's focus on mobile publishing, data analytics, and user experience is a great case study.
As always, we look forward to your feedback, even more so with this issue. The Book Business Buyer's Guide will be a living document online that will grow to be more comprehensive and evolve as publishing and book-selling solutions progress. Your input will make this tool better.
Denis Wilson is editor-in-chief of Book Business and Publishing Executive. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the publishing industry and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.