Is ePublishing for You? A Q&A on This New Frontier

January 2001
by Mary Westheimer

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When Stephen King’s novella Riding the Bullet was downloaded by 400,000 people in a matter of days, it was news. Publishers, however, had special reason to take notice. What this phenomenon told them was that there are 400,000 people out there who know how to read eBooks, or are at least willing to learn. That revelation quickly added electronic production and delivery to the list of viable publishing options.

But what exactly is ePublishing? What are its advantages and challenges? First, let’s define the term: ePublishing is the digitizing of text, graphics, and photographs. In its digital form, an eBook can be downloaded to a desktop, a laptop, a palmtop, a handheld device, or some other sort of computer. The digitized version could be a complete book, a part of a book, supplementary or updated material, or a special edition created especially for this interactive medium.

There are clearly advantages of ePublishing. They include:

• Cost-effective production

• Ability to get the material to market more quickly

• Ability to update material more quickly, easily, and often

• Interactivity, including searchability, bookmarking, linking, etc.

ePublishing also is of special interest to publishers who want to test materials, even though interest in an electronic document does not necessarily indicate interest in a printed form. It also is an interesting option to publishers who do not want to compete with their traditi…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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