Print Habits Die Hard

print digital ebook production workflows publishingIt’s difficult to fault publishers for focusing their production workflows around print content.

For one thing, it’s a reflection of the current market. With ebook growth slowing down and print holding strong, “typesetting for print is still a primary skill-set publishers need to maintain,” says leading ebook developer Laura Brady.

But ebooks too often suffer from production practices that aren’t flexible enough to generate digital outputs of equally high quality.

The solution isn’t necessarily a full-scale production overhaul. “The key to agile assets,” Brady writes, begins with “cleanly formatted print files.”

Here are twelve tips for getting there.


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Does ‘Dark Reading’ Mean a Bright Future for Ebooks? (LSE)
One industry watcher isn’t deterred by news of print’s persistence and an ebook plateau: “The tea leaves, even now, are hard to read, but I’ve come to believe that part of this cloudiness is because there’s much more dark reading going on than the stats are showing. Like dark matter, dark reading is the consumption of (e)books that somehow isn’t captured by current forms of measurement.”

A Comeback for Vendor-Management Inventory (The Shatzkin Files)
The process by which distributors rather than publishers make stocking decisions governed the post-war boom in mass market paperbacks before ebbing from the book industry. But vendor-management inventory (VMI) is returning to the scene. Here’s why, plus seven things publishers should be thinking about as it does.

Do Readers Notice Amazon-Publisher Spats? (Good E Reader)
During Hachette’s standoff with Amazon last year, the question arose as to whether the increasingly public and acrimonious tenor of the dispute would impact customers’ perceptions. Now that HarperCollins appears to be digging its heels in against Amazon’s proposed contract terms, those conversations are making the rounds again.

Publishers Support Anti-Discrimination Push in Indiana (Pub Lunch)
Penguin Random House and Hachette voice support for legislators to revise a controversial Indiana measure permitting businesses to withhold service on the basis of sexuality and gender identity.

Amazon Attracts Ebay Sellers (Bloomberg)
Amazon has only about 2 million merchants selling through its platforms to Ebay’s 25 million, but the e-tailer is said to be luring some of them over. Experts cite the e-tailer’s formidable logistics operation and the “new gold standard” Prime has set for online shoppers as two key reasons for Amazon’s growing appeal.

Free Webcast Today: Trends and Tactics for Children’s Publishing (DBW)
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve already heard we’re sitting down today with researchers at PlayScience to dig into the latest data on kids’ and families’ e-reading habits. All who register—even those who can’t listen in live at 12pm EST—will receive an exclusive discount on the premium report this afternoon’s conversation is based around. Here’s where to sign up.

First Glance at New Kobo Device (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
According to leaked information purporting to detail Kobo’s forthcoming Glo HD e-reader—one of two the device maker is said to have in the works—the device will reportedly feature a six-inch screen and a $149 retail price-tag, putting in on a footing to compete with the Kindle Voyage. A launch is expected shortly.

Translation Glut Blues (Pub Perspectives—Podcast)
One expert in literary translations worries publishers are flooding the market with such titles, leading to weaker sales. Listen to that argument in this recent podcast.

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