Multi-Channel Publishing: A Case Study
Since we had just created an extensive glossary, we created a database of terms and definitions. Authors of other books in the series draw on that glossary to create their own back-of-book glossaries. All they need to do is flag a term in their book as a glossary term, and the software grabs that term and definition from the database and adds it to the glossary for that book.
The methods we used to support multi-channel publishing yield benefits in several dimensions. For us, the primary benefit came from the repeatability of our processes. Now that we have produced stylesheets to create PDFs and ebooks that have our desired look and feel, we can apply those same stylesheets to new content with no additional effort. In fact, the most recent book in the series, Kevin Nichols' Enterprise Content Strategy: A Project Guide, required no extra stylesheet development; the production process was turnkey.
The larger the scale of your operation, the greater the cost benefits with this approach. We plan to apply our entire production process to a new series, which will further leverage the productivity gains from The Language of Content Strategy and the Content Wrangler book series. And if we add a new output format for the new series, we can easily go back and create deliverables for that format from the content for the original series.
The other important benefit came from the shared elements in the series. In addition to the glossary described earlier, we shared other elements including boilerplate text on the copyright page and common text such as the Colophon and an information page about the book series.
Looking at the overall project, there is no question that we could not have accomplished what we did without these multi-channel publishing techniques. For us, as for many publishers, there really isn't a choice. The market demands a multi-channel approach, and the combination of intelligent content and single-source publishing are the current, and only practical, approaches for implementing that approach.
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