Job prospects for talented ebook developers aren’t great, in part because the rewards of such a career aren’t great, either. Laura Brady considers why.
Needless to say, editors, marketers and sales teams can’t be faulted for not planning for any of these things themselves. Their expertise lies elsewhere and is no less essential to the success of any given title. But the truth of the matter is that everyone loses out when production experts don’t have a seat at the table early in the publishing process—not least of all the ebooks that come out of it.
- plenty of artifacts on the proverbial cutting room floor that could add lateral depth to many digital products
- thinking ahead to keeping the color versions of images that will later be converted to grayscale for print so they can be returned to color for the ebook
- reminding editors that a yellow, low-contrast cover is going to disappear on an e-ink device
- ferret away descriptions of the commissioned illustrations that can be used later for the descriptive ALT text
- push the production editor to secure post-print image rights
- encourage typographical choices that can be maintained in the ebook
- developer will understand the glyph and diacritics needs of the content
- push fixed-layout projects away from trim sizes that will be letter-boxed badly on tablets
- keep archived versions of the artwork that preserve all the layers
- keep the expressive text as a separate layer, not flattened into the artwork
Print books are edited and produced in a production machine that has spent 400 years learning how to do XY content presentation on paper; and there are still lousy looking print books produced.
With the launch of Storia School Edition in September, Scholastic will transition to a streaming model for children’s eBook delivery. Our streaming service for families will be available in 2015.
Skills Required for Business
Skills Required for Digital Production
Changes to the Organization
A Note About Software
Australia, Canada, Europe, UK and the United States do not have any current protection laws for digital books. They leave it up to the publishing industry and resellers to determine how best to run their own businesses and to develop their own licensing agreements. With millions of eBooks, comics and manga being lost after purchasing on a worldwide scale, something needs to be done to augment the First Sale Doctrine, Copyright Software Rental Amendments Act and Digital Millenium Copyright Act to protect customers from companies indiscriminately removing purchased content or to save it from a company going out of business.
1. Metadata isn’t a new concept.
2. Metadata is the language of online selling.
3. Languages have vocabularies,
rules and grammar. Metadata does too.
4. You don’t have to be a techie or a data geek to understand the basics of good metadata.
5. You already know more about metadata than you think you do.
- Amazon just legitimized the model
- It’s not for everyone
- The pioneering startups are now on borrowed time
- Publisher financial models will evolve
- Publishers can control their own destinies
In a potentially major gain for the ebook-bundling concept, BitLit today is announcing its first deal with a Big Five publisher. HarperCollins US has entered what is being described as a pilot programme with the Vancouver-based BitLit to offer discounted ebook editions of print books that readers already own.
By way of demonstrating this bookshop-friendly stance, BitLit has teamed up with 13 prominent Canadian bookstores between Vancouver and Toronto in a Summer Reads programme that offers a selection of ebooks free to readers who buy the print editions. The applicable books are marked in participating bookstores with stickers that offer a “BitLit.com Free eBook with purchase of print book.”
In a prepared statement, HarperCollins’ chief digital officer, Chantal Restivo-Alessi, lays out the logic of the arrangement for the publisher in this pilot programme: “BitLit offers readers another way to engage with the books they’ve purchased so they can read in various formats as they choose. It provides added value to consumers at a discounted price, and additional sales for our authors.”
And when asked if we’ll see the day when the buyer of an ebook can then apply to BitLit for a discounted print edition of that book? Hudson: “Stay tuned.”