Streamline Your Workflow—and Maximize Your Content—With XML: Hachette Book Group's Phil Madans on the benefits of using XML to move from a print-centric to a content-centric workflow.
Beyond the printed book, many opportunities exist for publishers today to repurpose content in various formats and to increase exposure via online search marketing. However, if it is impossible to tag a book for search engine optimization, or adapt a book from a print to an electronic version, without copying, pasting and reformatting 100,000 words, then publishers could waste a significant amount of time and money in pursuit of these opportunities.
Initially preparing a book in XML makes that book a universal piece of content, tagged with the data and information necessary to translate it into other formats and applications. Phil Madans, director of publishing standards and practices for Hachette Book Group, advises trade book publishers to use XML instead of the old, error-prone, costly and lengthy process of adapting a printed book, after-the-fact, into a digital format. In his upcoming session, "XML Workflow Demystified," at the Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City, March 23-25, Madans will explain how using XML can help publishers reign in their content and seamlessly deliver it to consumers in any way, shape or form.
Here, Madans talks about the benefits of XML and how publishers can transition to a content-centric workflow.
Book Business Extra: Why should trade publishers move from a print-centric to a content-centric workflow?
Phil Madans: The major message is we should focus on the publishing and not the printing, because we are publishers and we publish content. Printing is [only] one form of publishing that content … . With what we see happening in the industry today, we have to start looking at these other formats. … We basically have a print-centric workflow in trade publishing where everything is geared toward printing that book, and we want move to a content-centric process where we're really looking at the content and the best way that we can get that content to the most people possible.
Extra: What are some of the myths or misunderstandings that book publishers might have about XML?
Madans: People get hung up on XML because they think it's hard to understand and it's [technical]. ... They think there's a lot more complexity built into this than there actually is. They tend to look at the XML itself instead of looking at what the XML can do for [them] … . It sounds intimidating when people try to explain XML and go into the structure of XML itself. … I think what trade publishers want to know is: "Why should I use this?" "What is this going to give me?" and "Is this going to make me more successful?" …