Multi-Channel Publishing: A Case Study
Output in Multiple Media
Each of the books in the series is published in print form and as an ebook in three formats (PDF, EPUB, and Kindle). The base markup for all of the books is DocBook XML (while DocBook, or even XML, is not required for multi-channel publishing, it simplified reuse and reconfiguration), and all output formats were generated from one, single body of content. A set of open-source tools made those transformations possible, and they also made it possible for us to create an attractive format for each output.
By using structured, intelligent content, these tools can do much more than just create acceptable content for each output format-they can optimize for the strengths of each medium. For example, it becomes much easier to use higher resolution graphics for print output or make live links in online output.
Output in Different Configurations
In addition to the four formats mentioned above, the single-source content for the initial book in the series, The Language of Content Strategy, formed the basis for generating a website, a deck of cards, audio, and a database of terms that other books in the series can draw upon.
Every output form for this book uses different parts of the source content in different ways. For example, the print version of the book displays the basic parts of each entry in a different order from the ebook version. In print, the sections are: term, definition, importance statement, author bio, and essay, in that order. In the ebook, the author bio is moved to the end. We did this because it made the layout more appropriate for each medium. On the website, we include a reference section for each term that has links to further reading. We omitted that section from the print and ebook versions.