Is ePublishing for You?A Q& A on this “Brave New Format”

August 2000
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…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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