Commitments and costs
CTP's eventual adoption made equipment manufacturers and software developers sit up and take notice of publishers'day-to-day needs. They began to see the purpose of serving an upstream market, finally able to reach content creators with their tools and technological solutions.
And the content creators, well, we were pretty jazzed, too (or at least some of us were) to finally get to cut out film costs and stripping charges, gladly exchanging these costs for those of a different nature—file transfer services, digital proofers and the like. And as they began to notice the revenue potential of tapping into us, they began to develop new tools just for us, at a price point that made in-house design to prepress a viable option. The same will be said of the e-book space, as the cost of content conversion and management tools decrease and consumer-acceptable price-point issues and marketing strategies are ironed out. In discovering the market's limits, we are beginning to also discover its possibilities.
CTP has had a profound effect on the print world. It opened the doors to new publishing channels and enabled us to create more high-tech, streamlined and environmentally friendly workflows. In a few cases, it's even lived up to its promise of condensing cycle time and cutting costs. CTP did change the landscape. It changed it more quickly for some than for others. But it's touched the lives of almost everyone, by now. E-books will change our landscape, too.
A revolution in the making
During a recent discussion of the e-book marketplace, a colleague recently noted: We've had more than 400 years to perfect print. We've only had four years to perfect the e-book. Give it time. We know from our past, major technological wave takes time to evolve. And during the course of that evolution, you can predict that there will be market upswings and downturns. There will be waxing and waning. And eventually, that technology will either sink or soar.