Content and Digital Asset Management

NEW - Digital Directions: Your Digital DNA
June 1, 2008

I started working with digital content 25 years ago, developing interactive products for publishers and other content organizations in New York City. I worked in small media and technology development firms, without much to speak of in terms of infrastructure. I imagined that the larger publishing organizations for which we developed products all had robust systems for the management of digital content. Ten years later, a large textbook publisher hired me to lead a media and technology group and I learned otherwise. There was no systematic approach to the management of digital assets. Following the printing of a textbook, digital assets were stored on

Can Giving Books Away Pay Off? No Starch Press Publisher Bill Pollock on his decision to offer two of his key titles as free downloads.
March 28, 2008

Bill Pollock, publisher of No Starch Press, is taking a leap of faith that he hopes will pay off for his San Francisco-based company, which specializes in computing titles. After a long struggle against pirated versions of his titles appearing on peer-to-peer (P2P) filing-sharing services, Pollock made a decision last week to essentially give books away for free. He created an official publisher-provided torrent—an electronic file used in online file-sharing—of two of the publishing house’s key titles, author Leander Kahney’s “Cult of Mac” and “Cult of iPod,” available for free download on one of the world’s largest file-sharing communities, The Pirate Bay. As Pollock

How Thomson Nelson Cut Production Workflow by 50 Percent
June 15, 2007

Thomson Nelson, Canada’s leading educational publisher, recently partnered with Transcontinental Printing to utilize the company’s Job Assistant module. The module is a Web-based, self-service, title-management premedia solution designed for an automated prepress workflow that allows electronic file transmission and soft proofing [online approval]) through its Digital Workshop software suite. The result has been Thomson Nelson cutting its production time by approximately 50 percent. Book Business Extra spoke with Marnie Benedict, director of composition and prepress technology, Thomson Nelson, and Denis Beaudin, business development manager, Transcontinental Printing, about the partnership and how other publishers can learn from their success. EXTRA: How did your company

Google Working with Univ. of Calif. on Book Search
August 11, 2006

Google showed a renewed push in its project to scan the full text of book collections throughout the world this week as the company announced a new partnership with one of the largest public university systems in the country. The University of California joined with Google in its the Google Book Search Project, to help scan millions of books, the company announced Tuesday. The support of UC and its 100 libraries across 10 campuses is expected to reinvigorate a project that has garnered much controversy since being introduced to the book industry in October 2004 at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Since December 2004, Google has worked

Book Business EXTRA! Q&A -- Cofounder of iAmplify Speaks About Helping HarperCollins Provide Audio and Video Content Online That Go ‘Beyond the Book.’
August 11, 2006

HarperCollins new Digital Media Cafe ( opened for business earlier this week. The new online venture charges for subscription and on-demand audio and video downloads featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes snippets of the publishing houses’ top talents. The distribution platform tools for the venture were created by iAmplify, a two-year-old publisher of digital media, who began working with Harper earlier this year. iAmplify Cofounder Jack Hidary spoke with Book Business EXTRA! about the new venture for offering premium downloads that allow publishers to go ‘beyond the book.’ Hidary said he believes this enterprise demonstrates a more sustainable business model for the book industry.

Content Be Nimble, Content Be Quick
August 1, 2006

Patti Ward is the director of product management for Wolters Kluwer Health, a $900 million division of international publisher Wolters Kluwer. She joined the company in 1996 as a production assistant, but new responsibilities found her re-engineering business processes for the past five years. “We were no longer responsible for putting ink on paper, and paper in the mail. As the industry demands have shifted, so have our production technologies,” Ward explains. As has been the case with most publishers, the impact of digital media has been profound for Wolters Kluwer Health (, which serves professionals and students in medicine, nursing, allied health,

The Information Superhighway to Heaven
August 1, 2006

“It’s quite a different world for Christian publishers than it was even just a few years ago,” Barbour Publishing President and CEO Tim Martins says. Uhrichsville, Ohio-based Barbour began in 1981 as a small remainder-seller of other publishers’ excess stock, known as Book Bargains, and evolved into a publisher that has shipped more than 100 million books in its 25 years in business. Now, it’s developing supplemental methods of getting its inspirational books to an ever-growing readership by leading the faithful online. One of the biggest challenges Barbour and other Christian publishers are facing is the consolidation of the sales channels—the big-box mentality

In Search of a Publisher-Friendly Book Search
August 1, 2006

The most-used computer operating system in the world is revving up to take on the world’s most-used search engine for the right to claim title to the world’s most-used online book search. Microsoft’s game plan is to overtake Google in the book search field—by involving publishers instead of alienating them. The forthcoming release of Microsoft’s Windows Live Book Search—a search program that is scheduled for release later this year—comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding the introduction of Google Book Search, Google’s foray into book search. Google has taken a pounding since it presented its search in October 2004. Several law

Espresso Book Machine Brews Visions of New Distribution Model
July 28, 2006

With the push of a few buttons and a swipe of a credit or debit card, customers at the World Bank InfoShop bookstore in Washington have become among the first to use one of the first viable print on demand services since the Espresso Book Machine, a commercial book-making device, was first installed in April. With the three-month test run of On-Demand Books’ machine wrapping up earlier this month, its success leaves the question of whether the current distribution model may get turned over on its head if the concept takes off. By not only printing, but then binding the book on-demand, the $100,000-plus machine

Springer Goes Digital, Makes More Than 10,000 Book Titles Available Online
July 14, 2006

Embracing the promise of a bright digital future, the world’s second largest publisher of science, technology and medical titles recently introduced a new program allowing for unlimited electronic access to thousands of its titles. In June, Springer Science+Business Media announced the launch of its eBook Collection program -- an online collection of more than 10,000 -- during the American Library Association convention in New Orleans. According to Ray Colon, the global manager of Springer’s eBooks, the daunting task to digitize every title Springer publishes each year, as well as a substantial back catalog of thousands of titles, began in January 2005. “The position was taken at the