Cover Story: Publishers' Outlook 2012: The Industry's Next Bold Move
Howard: How do you see the print/digital divide evolving?
McMahon: We don't think it's going to be a binary answer. We're looking at what are all the different kinds of content that we provide and what are all the different ways in which we provide it. We provide lessons, … drills, … practice questions, … realistic practice and … videos. We do it in video format, audio format, online, apps, you know? One of the things that we're really trying to figure out this year is: Are there things that video does better than any other format? Are there some things that ePub does better than any other format? We want to develop a profile of the strengths and weaknesses for each delivery format so that we're always using the most effective format for each type of content.
Howard: That's got to be a big change from a workflow standpoint.
McMahon: Technology needs to be part of the process from the beginning. I think that people are used to thinking about technology as kind of an afterthought, like, oh, the business is going to come up with the project and the idea, and then they're going to go to technology and say, "Can you do this?" And what we're finding is that, particularly with ePub3, the developers need to be part of the brainstorming. They need to be part of the creative process from the very beginning.
Howard: What opportunities do you see with ePub3?
McMahon: We're doing a pilot program right now with the Book Industry Study Group [BISG] and the IDPF [International Digital Publishing Forum] where we're doing some testing with ePub2 and ePub3. We're taking the same content that was developed in ePub2, and we're adding the enhancements that ePub3 supports. And what we're actually testing is: Do students recognize and appreciate the difference?