The Evolution of Electronic Publishing: Michael Smith on his new role as executive director of the IDPF
Extra: What is your game plan for getting other publishers on board?
Smith: Our game plan is education. We intend to create a [“Frequently Asked Questions”] surrounding .epub best practices.
Extra: How long do you predict it will take to win over a majority of the industry?
Smith: We believe we have momentum now, and in some markets, we expect it will happen sooner. As you know, publishing is segmented; we have trade, education and many specialty markets. We expect in a market such as consumer trade, where Hachette does business, this will happen quickly.
Extra: Why should publishers be concerned with adopting these standards?
Smith: … Markets are built on industry standards. This is not an end-user standard yet, although .epub is used by Adobe Digital Editions, and we understand others may support it. The .epub standard is already demonstrating efficiencies, and publishers should be concerned and get more information. A good place to start is by joining or following the activities of IDPF.
Extra: What did you learn from your time with Harlequin that you plan to bring to your new role?
Smith: “Knowing your customer” is definitely my biggest takeaway I will utilize as executive director. I will reach out to IDPF membership and industry stakeholders, who should be reaching out to their customers, to better understand which “wins” are needed and what concerns need to be addressed.