Get Your Multimedia House in Order
“Our software developers are required to have experience with Microsoft Web technologies, including ASP.NET, VB.NET, [and] MSSQL Server. Experience with interface implementation—HTML/DHTML/CSS/browser compatibility—is also required. Deep knowledge of XML is a must, while knowledge of XSL/XSKT is a plus.”
Willingham also says she is always hiring. “We like to keep all work inside, because it provides us with better quality control and shorter schedules,” she says.
Trippe urges publishers to consider what digital offerings make sense for their markets. While he doesn’t believe everyone in editorial needs to be XML experts, he believes that including XML in a job description is helpful, especially for publishers with significant online potential.
“For instance, if I’m a medical publisher, someone needs to do XML for me,” he says. “The more my business depends upon electronic, the more I want to control that in-house.”
For Avalon, however, hiring has less to do with XML, and more to do with figuring out how to approach the Web with a traditional marketing lens.
“We are dedicated to staying on top of the ever-changing nature of the Web, and we want people who understand how to best take advantage of podcasting and blogs from a marketing standpoint,” Cox says. “We want to utilize all the resources that emerge from the digital universe.”
No question, “going digital” to some degree has become a necessity for most book publishers, but the transition need not be daunting. Many suggest that publishers first consider their digital market potential, begin training staff while also hiring new e-savvy personnel, blend responsibilities among all staff and, lastly, be prepared to spend more than you project. (See “Preparing for the Price Tag” below.)
In the end, they say, it will all pay off. BB
Sharon R. Cole is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer serving the print industry.