Article: User Experience leads the way in the Digital World
Source: Publishing Technology
I feel like Richard Ridge, the author of this article, has a little…no, a big opinion on the publishing industry. The first couple sentences out of his fingertips are, “The book publishing industry has a history of creating products for a ‘customer’ that they never speak to, speak of, see, interact with, or consider. Instead, many publishing houses consider their authors to be their primary customers, with author services being one of the major components of the business.”
Maybe taking that out of context doesn’t sound too bad, because I do agree with him; he just seems to be a little bitter about it. It is true though. We are taught that the editor/author relationship is the most sacred and intimate of the relationships, but shouldn’t the publishing house/ reader be of at least the same importance? I mean, you can write an amazing book, but the reader kind of has to buy it. The publisher has to think of themselves as a reader, not as a publisher, and think up ways that can enhance the book, and how it could be improved, through technological means.
This article is based mainly on the education publishing system, they even use a study that they did with medical students, but the opinion still covers the entire market. Ridge has an issue with the fact that, although digital is becoming a big part of the industry, it still defines itself as a print medium, “To take an obvious example, a model predicated on publishing journal issues at regular intervals makes little sense in a context of real time site updates and RSS feeds.” You can’t keep up with a world that changes every three seconds if your depending on something that only happens twice a year (like, gee, I don’t know, the publishing seasons).
Article: Helping publishers easily produce HTML5 apps.
We all know that tablets are kind of a gray area in the publishing industry. We know (for the most part) that it’s a good step forward, but it is still a difficult technology to adapt to. Even more importantly, it’s a hard place for publishers to dump money when they can’t measure the benefits like they can on physical books. Creating apps is expensive because you usually have to outsource them, but have no fear, Poland can help!
According to this article, for about a month Poland has had a tool that can help publishers create their own apps. This is how it is described, “The process of creating the application is very easy and intuitive, and is done online. First you have to pick a template for your publication. Then you choose how your table of content should look like. Next comes the articles, which of course are linked with the table of content. Each article can be shown in one of 30 layouts. They can be either articles or galleries or simple pictures or videos or infographics. After choosing “publish” you will be able to enjoy your tablet application.”
So, it’s like using a template that you can mess around with, since you can actually go into the code. Sounds really useful, especially if you can’t afford to hire someone to make an app for you, considering the software costs about $180 Canadian. Currently the developers of Spoti Kreator are trying to figure out a way to allow publishers to use the software for a certain amount of time (ie for a couple of months on a one time purchase).
All in all, this sounds like a fantastic idea. It would open a lot of doors for small publishers, which in turn would mean a lot more coverage for writers. Unfortunately it is only available in Poland, which kind of sucks, but it probably (hopefully) won’t take too long to make its way across the ocean.