While the project was completed on time early this year, Bryant was initially concerned about meeting the production schedule while testing a new technology. "We were working with a set of content that had a very high-quality standard and was at the same time an important product for our customers."
Dollars Made Sense
Bryant says he can't disclose the cost of changing the publishing process, but he anticipates that the company will recoup its investment in two to three years. LWW received an immediate return in the cost of producing the PDA version of the "Nursing Drug Handbook." Bryant says now that XML is used throughout the publishing process, LWW has eliminated most of the $20,000 it spent annually on converting Quark files to XML for the PDA product.
Creating the PDA version of the "Nursing Drug Handbook" usually took several months. Now the electronic content can be synchronized to be released along with the print version, providing an important time-to-market benefit and getting the most up-to-date information in the hands of medical professionals sooner, according to Bryant.
The XML Transition
The pilot program is paying dividends in creating new processes that will streamline editorial workflow. LWW has created scripts that automate creating PDFs, enabling editors to instantly preview how the XML content, such as a drug monograph or a chapter of a book, will be presented.
Having successfully leveraged XML throughout a major publishing effort, LWW is evaluating how best to expand the use of XML Professional Publisher to manage and publish additional content for other products. The XML content from the "Handbook" will be reused for a derivative product, the "Nurse's Essential Drug Guide," says Bryant.
Also on the agenda is to use it to format the medical terminology content for the Stedman's dictionaries and specialized word books where rapid turnaround is very important.