The Book Business Buyer's Guide is a technology primer for book publishers: It's not meant to be comprehensive but rather offer a reference on significant and emerging technology that is paving the way for the future of the book industry. The guide is broken down into four major categories that increasingly require publishers' attention: Ebook & App Solutions, Digital Conversion & Workflow Services, Marketing Automation & Analytics Tools, and Ecommerce Solutoins.
In the early days of the digital revolution, vendors were often the only ones who knew how to do that work. As they struggled to make the transition from print to digital, publishers had to rely on that. It worked then and it still does. It's how the vast majority of digital publications are made.
Although digital tech has been transforming the book industry since the CD-ROM hit the scene, publishers have yet to master digital books the way they have printed pages. Because the digital book form continues to evolve, publishers are in a perpetual state of experimentation, testing out app products or introducing interactivity into their ebooks. The industry is still discovering which digital products resonate and how best to produce them.
While it may be a bit soon to say the ebook business has matured, it's definitely true to say it's finally outgrowing its awkward adolescence. Today, ebooks as we have come to know them are taken for granted. But the more important news is how many of our assumptions about them are being challenged. Here are a few of the highlights.
EPUB 3 is a tremendous asset for publishers of all sizes in most market segments. Yet the level of data quality in publishers' EPUB titles continues to be both inconsistent and surprisingly low. This seems to be true regardless of whether the EPUB is generated in-house or through a service provider.
Today the reference industry is undergoing another transformation -- a shift from large desktop screens to small mobile displays. Reference users expect dictionary access on their smartphones and within their ereaders, which has spurred Merriam-Webster's meticulous development of dictionary apps and ebooks.
Jerry Fan, founder and CEO of serial fiction publisher JukePop, believes he can find the next Great American Novel -- with the help of the internet. Like other publishing startups that use crowdsourcing, JukePop hopes to inject a measure of democracy into the editorial process.
Mary Rhodes' experience serving publishers has given her an outsider's view of the inside of the publishing industry's ongoing realignment. Rhodes sees an industry rich with tradition being forced to evolve and reinvent outdated ways of doing business. Here she shares her thoughts on what publishers must do in order to thrive today.
Originally a small crime and horror publisher out of Kent, England, Caffeine Nights Publishing has since evolved, developing a robust hybrid app and a dedicated reader base. Unlike most publisher-branded apps, though, the Caffeine Nights app allows users to make purchases of Caffeine Nights books as well as around 30,000 titles from other publishing houses.