35+ Tips for Quality and Streamlined E-Book Production
It's a great example of how conversion projects can be integrated into an overall publishing strategy. "E-books are basically here to stay, so, to us, it is part of publishing process," Brooks says. "How do you get the material out there that your customers need, whether [they are] professors or students? You have to [create] a pipeline for print and various forms of e-books, and it's better to synch and coordinate those than patch it up afterwards. In the beginning, in trade, when e-books were less than 1 percent of revenue, you could easily do a post-production process and be satisfied with that. But these days, there's no reason not to do it from the beginning."
For Brooks, the shift has as much to do with mind-set as anything else. "When do we start talking about e-books as books?" he asks.
This type of workflow integration, combined with formats that work as publishers need them to, could usher in a fully-mature e-book production cycle whereby the process can once again take a back seat to the product. "Beyond developing standards, what we really need is for the reading platforms to become more consistently capable," Cohen says. "Integrating EPUB 3's features into existing and upcoming devices and software would be a good start. That way publishers can move beyond the less interesting, 'How do we make this work?' issues, and focus on what we're really good at: publishing excellent books in innovative ways." BB