There's Growth in Them There Stacks
Drake says that integrated publishing systems, such as K4 from Managing Editor Inc., and Smart Connection from WoodWing Software, extend Adobe's Creative Suite to coordinate collaboration and the overall workflow. However, Drake says many companies are unwilling to fully commit to soft proofing. His company developed its own soft proofing application in 2000, but the production staff largely resisted the move, favoring hard copy for final proofs.
"Completely accurate soft proofing (requiring precision monitor color matching) is not ready for prime time," he says. Many companies upgrading to a comprehensive workflow system will pay a price in new hardware in 2005. Publishers with older Apple Power Mac G4 computers will likely invest in G5s juiced up with lots of RAM and storage to satisfy new publishing applications on the market.
Investment in digital printers that provide more flexible production volumes will rise in 2005. Companies mindful of the dangers of the potential for over capacity in purchasing big iron offset printers will instead put their dollars into less costly digital print systems such as the Muller Martini SigmaLine.
Although e-book sales grew by 62 percent through September 2004, according to the Association of American Publishers, they continue to be a fraction of a fraction of overall book sales. Although the sales of e-books will likely grow again in 2005, the market's best hope is for the arrival of a compelling iPod-like device that creates a buzz about reading digital content.
E-books have also been held back because electronic works are not portable across devices, but the industry is starting to address the issue, according to Rajan Samtani, director of sales and marketing at digital rights management company ContentGuard. He says that Palm, Adobe and Microsoft "have to go from proprietary to interoperable" so that people can purchase an e-book and read it on any of their computing devices.
- Association of American Publishers
- Banta Book Group
- Banta Corp.
- ColorCentric Corp.
- Eastman Kodak, Kodak Versamark
- IBM Corporation
- InfoTrends / CAP Ventures
- Lightning Source Inc.
- Managing Editor Inc.
- Microsoft Corp.
- Muller Martini
- On Demand Machinery LLC
- People Magazine
- Quark Inc.
- WoodWing Software
- Xerox Corp.