McHenry, IL -- June 22, 2009 -- Follett Digital Resources, a member of the Follett Corporation family of companies, today announced that ten additional publishers have signed major eBook distribution agreements with the company. With these agreements, a total of more than 52,500 K-12 and public library titles are now available for purchase online through…
Content and Digital Asset Management
Digital content enables distribution on a massive scale. A few examples: (1) the ability to inexpensively and instantaneously spam the known universe; (2) the ability to distribute video content to audiences that a small cable network would find attractive; and (3) most importantly, the ability for Ashton Kutcher to keep a million of us abreast of his every move in real time (via Twitter).
It has been several months since Google’s preliminary out-of-court settlement with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors Guild regarding Google Book Search, and the dust has yet to settle. The agreement’s true impact will only become apparent over time, as its terms are put into practice. The devil will be in the details of execution. This is a watershed event nonetheless and marks the beginning of a new era in content distribution. A few themes have emerged that will characterize this next phase.
To varying degrees and rates of speed, publishing companies are transforming themselves into digital organizations. While the vision varies from organization to organization, the essence of the transformation is the adoption of an approach in which content is created and transformed on a common digital platform, and in which the publishing life cycle itself is supported by a data-driven system.
Implementing a new content management system (CMS)—whether a traditional CMS, a Web CMS (often called a WMS), or both—is, to say the least, a daunting task. Integrating past content and anticipating future needs, all while trying to meet the requirements of present constituents, leaves the process riddled with potential for missteps. It’s no wonder experts in CMS implementation stress the need for adequate preparation.
As Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive and president of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), said last spring at IDPF’s annual meeting: The world of digital books is expanding, and there is a steady flow of major publishers and technology providers adopting the .epub standard. What we’re going through now is a ramping-up stage during which it can’t be either/or—nobody is saying that we will accept or deliver only in .epub. Accepting only .epub formats is likely to be the first move that’s made, because the advantage to publishers is that they will have only one electronic book version with one ISBN of which
Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), outlined a strategy for the future of the Web in a series of papers and articles published between 1998 and 2001. He observed that while there was a wealth of information available for people to explore on the Web, computers had difficulty extracting information from it. The Web consists largely of free-form text, and computers have great difficulty understanding human language. While search engines can index the Web, a human being is required to interpret the search results. You may be able to surf the Web, but your computer can’t. The value of the
In a letter to its publishing partners, dated May 23, Microsoft announced that it would be ending its Live Search Books Publishing Program and closing the Live Search Books Web site. Microsoft, which launched the program at the end of 2006, worked with publishers to digitize their books and make them available and searchable on the Internet. “Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer and content partner. For example, recently we announced our strategy to focus on verticals with
I started working with digital content 25 years ago, developing interactive products for publishers and other content organizations in New York City. I worked in small media and technology development firms, without much to speak of in terms of infrastructure. I imagined that the larger publishing organizations for which we developed products all had robust systems for the management of digital content. Ten years later, a large textbook publisher hired me to lead a media and technology group and I learned otherwise. There was no systematic approach to the management of digital assets. Following the printing of a textbook, digital assets were stored on
Bill Pollock, publisher of No Starch Press, is taking a leap of faith that he hopes will pay off for his San Francisco-based company, which specializes in computing titles. After a long struggle against pirated versions of his titles appearing on peer-to-peer (P2P) filing-sharing services, Pollock made a decision last week to essentially give books away for free. He created an official publisher-provided torrent—an electronic file used in online file-sharing—of two of the publishing house’s key titles, author Leander Kahney’s “Cult of Mac” and “Cult of iPod,” available for free download on one of the world’s largest file-sharing communities, The Pirate Bay. As Pollock