As the recession trudges on, you may have noticed that the bookstore you pass every morning on your way to work has hung the dreaded “Going Out of Business” sign in the front window. Even larger book-selling chains, such as Borders and Barnes & Noble, have reported declining sales, despite their large inventories, events and in-store cafés. Sales are moving online, and e-books and e-readers are growing increasingly popular. What does this mean for the future of traditional book publishers and the print books they produce?
Danny O. Snow
Special to BookTech by Danny O. Snow For centuries, publishers have wrestled with one simple but crucial question upon which their success often depends: How many copies should we print? On one hand, fundamental economics of printing encourage publishers to produce as many copies as possible to achieve better economies of scale and lower per-unit costs. Meanwhile, the cost of unsold copies can also erode profit margins. The sunny side of POD Print-on-demand (POD) increasingly offers today's publishers a good solution to this central dilemma. By allowing publishers to print exactly enough copies to meet market demands and no more, POD drastically reduces, or
A review of the technology today, and a preview of trends for tomorrow By Danny O. Snow This article: * reviews computer-to-plate (CTP) technology; * discusses its use in four-color printing; * offers tips on how to get the best results using CTP; and * previews future developments. The methods printers use to put words and four-color images on paper have changed dramatically in the past few years. New digital methods have largely replaced traditional processes that involved art boards, cameras and film. Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology allows the transfer of digital files from computers directly to printing plates. Most CTP systems
Microsoft's release of the Pocket PC with e-book reader software may mark a crucial step in the development of electronic books. Here's why. By Danny O. Snow In ancient times, alchemists sought in vain for the mythical "Philosopher's Stone," fabled to transmute base metals into precious ones. The lure of turning lead to gold was irresistible, but the Philosopher's Stone proved elusive, and the alchemists faded away after centuries of fruitless searching. In recent times, publishers have been equally tantalized by the potentials of e-publishing: a way to make books available worldwide without printing costs, without warehousing and inventory, without shipping, without returns, and
A Review of New E-Publishing Products From Adobe and Microsoft By Danny O. Snow New technologies may make publishers want to echo Robert Frost's classic lament, that a traveller can follow only one fork in the road at a time. Major new products specifically designed for delivery of online content have set the publishing industry abuzz, amid a flurry of controversy over earlier efforts to bring e-books more squarely into mainstream markets. Software industry leaders now offer e-publishers new strategies for the presentation of online content to readers -- but both systems must face the challenge of protecting intellectual property for the author and publisher. WebBuy and PDF