A Day in the Life
She also noted that the key differentiating factor of an uncoated free sheet is opacity. She said that sometimes supplementing a heavier text stock for a cover stock can save money and lessen the weight for distribution, but it only works domestically. International printers and publishers have other concerns. Referring to European standards, McCarthy acknowledged, "They value surface and brightness so much that they'll jeopardize opacity." She explained that by paging through a European-printed publication, images are visible from the opposite pages because the sheets are significantly opaque. "If you're doing a job here and decide to send it overseas, you'll have to go up one basis weight to get the same opacity," she warned. "And when you come back, you can go down one basis weight."
To "e" is human
As an alternative to traditional book production, others argued that e-books are promising. "All an e-book is—it's a PDF with rights assigned," claimed James Alexander, director of e-books at Adobe (www.adobe.com). Alexander, along with Texterity CEO Martin Hensel and Richard Nash, also with Texterity, addressed the fate of e-book hype.
"E-book is the poster child for networked publishing," explained Alexander. "By mid-September, there were books about September 11 that were only available as e-books. Nothing else can work so quickly." He said that by using the immediacy of e-publishing tools, users and manufacturers of e-content have the opportunity to harness the benefits of print-on-demand. It also causes traditional publishers to sit up, take notice and negotiate how to reconcile print deadlines to meet new expectations.
Particularly, educational publishers such as Oxford University Press are already utilizing e-book technology to repurpose content into multiple formats via Adobe PDF e-books. "If you're doing e-textbooks," Nash said, "having a desktop solution is very important. Otherwise, it's very expensive to produce a textbook and spit it out in various formats."