Gretchen A. Kirby

Rich Gold modestly takes the podium at BookTech West. His keynote task is challenging. The mission? To talk about reading. With this crowd of book publishers and manufacturers, it may have seemed a little like preaching to the converted. Gold is the director of the artists-in-residence program, RED (Research in Experimental Docu-ments) for Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), and three years ago, he was asked to choose a research project topic and enact a technological revolution around it. Gold chose reading. Rich in meaning Gold recalls that when he unveiled his chosen quest, his colleagues were a little underwhelmed. A few sarcastically asked,

Just as the print industry belabored over the CTP (computer-to-plate) dilemma for more than a decade, e-book debates will undoubtedly continue to wage for years. Indeed, the births of these two phenomena mimic one another in several ways. The evolution of a revolution As we look back, the dawn of CTP led to a great deal of speculation on the print producer's part. Many openly scoffed at CTP's validity; others simply avoided the topic, as if skirting its discussion would deny its very existence. It took several years—and the growing support of industry standards groups—to bolster an acknow-ledgement that CTP was our destiny. The

How the 30-year-young Alaskan trek turned to a new breed of substrate to document 2001 results or 30 years, the course, which spans 1,161 miles of Alaskan wilderness, beckons more than 60 dog sled teams, each hungry to conquer the title of Iditarod champion and the $50,000 first-prize purse. The trek is one of the most challenging, historically rich sporting events. Mushers (the sled drivers) from countries far and wide team with faithful canine companions to cross treacherous mountains, rolling rivers and miles of desolate tundra. Victory is sweet for winners of this highly anticipated sporting event, long ago dubbed "The Last Great Race."

Publishers are indeed facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles to remain profitable in financially unstable times. Added pressures of evolving technology both hinder and help growth. Recently, VISTA International unveiled the results of several years of intensive studies on traditional publishing operations. VISTA Internationaldoesn't simply challenge publishers to "harness new skills to market new products through new channels," in the study, it offers seven essential strategies for ensuring success. No. 1 Information. Many publishers suffer from inefficient and insufficient exchange of information across department boundaries. Even though numerous disciplines within the corporation require access to common information, often that information is created and recreated numerous

On the heels of a fabulous BookTech East 2001, take pause to reflect on the new opportunities afforded by budding technologies It seems somewhat redundant to say these are exciting times for the book publishing industry, when clearly this is not a new phenomenon. Technologies supporting the digital publishing process are virtually spewing from R&D labs like molten lava. There's a lot of hot stuff out there from which to pick and choose. And to raise the industry's temperature even higher, the business is abuzz with tales of publishers taking bold leaps of faith with new media business models. New stuff Just a few

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