On the heels of a fabulous BookTech East 2001, take pause to reflect on the new opportunities afforded by budding technologies
It seems somewhat redundant to say these are exciting times for the book publishing industry, when clearly this is not a new phenomenon. Technologies supporting the digital publishing process are virtually spewing from R&D labs like molten lava. There's a lot of hot stuff out there from which to pick and choose. And to raise the industry's temperature even higher, the business is abuzz with tales of publishers taking bold leaps of faith with new media business models.
Just a few weeks ago BookTech East descended on New York City's Hilton Hotel and Towers like a lightning bolt from above. The weeks leading up to the show were electric with anticipation as suppliers and vendors geared up to make a number of announcements, many of which are based on print-to-Web (or vice versa) convergence. Franklin Electronic Publishers released its content conversion developers' kit (CDK) for the Franklin Reader. The CDK (www.franklin.com/devzone/) enables publishers to produce e-books for the eBookMan multimedia platform based on proprietary SGML.
Indraweb (www.indraweb.com) made its debut at BookTech East, unveiling its new technology and service that allows traditional publishers to make S-books (aka Surfable Books) of their content. S-Books, note Indraweb officials, are targeted to the Web/Internet user who's willing to pay for extended deep searches driven by content in published documents, research materials and books. Already, Indraweb's announced a notable client. Its first surfable book, the World Book Ency-clopedia, can be seen at www.surfable books.com. The edition features more than one million Web links to more than 20,000 complementary topics.
netLibrary, known as an e-book and online content provider, launched its Global Print Sol-ution, a short-run digital printing service that allows publishers to make their content available to a secure network of digital book manufacturers, including Book-mobile, Dehart's Printing Service, Edwards Brothers, Integrated Book Technology and Matrix Digital Printing. The developer notes that the Global Print Solution combines its file conversion, storage and distribution capabilities with strategically positioned digital print suppliers. Publishers select job-specific printers from netLibrary's network, and manufacturers pull print-ready files from netLibrary, produce and fulfill the order.
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