An in-depth look at everything digital at the show
MAY 2013

! S D A G e■ Charting the growth of e-book sales ■ Bill McCoy’s 7 digital myths ■ Where to find the digital vendors ■ An update on digital reading devices

The First-Ever Book Publishing Hackathon
On May 18, developers, designers and entrepreneurs came together for 36 hours to experiment in book discoverability.
The teams with the best projects were selected to advance to the Grand Finale at BookExpo America. A panel of leading venture capitalists, top publishing executives and tech experts will select the winning team and award them $10,000 and a breakfast meeting to pitch their project to Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor.

Join us for the Grand Finale on Friday May 31, 3 PM at the Downtown stage.
SponSored by:

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Want how to know as a ed to succe tart-up? ing s publish ls with publishing




MAY 2013

By Jim Milliot

The E-book Boom Years
The format moved from sideline to vital category in five years


-book sales of trade titles rose 44% in 2012 and have skyrocketed an astoundE-book Sales Growth, 2008-2012 (in millions) ing 4,660% since the format first began 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 YEAR to gain traction in 2008, according to BookStats, the book industry statistical $64.0 $291.0 $869.0 $2,109.0 $3,042.0 SALES program overseen by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study -354.0% 198.0% 142.0% 44.0% % CHG Group. The increase in units tracked not too far behind, rising 43% in 2012 to 457 million units sold, and jumping 4,456% since 2008. E-book Unit Growth, 2008-2012 (in millions) As with any new product category, e-books enjoyed their strongest gains, at least in terms YEAR 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 of percentage increase, in the first few years following their introduction. In 2008 and 2009, UNITS 10.0 36.1 125.0 320.0 457 .0 driven by the launch of the Kindle and later the Nook, e-book sales rose 354% and 198%, % CHG -260.0% 247 .0% 156.0% 43.0% respectively. As publishers began to make more SOURCE: BOOKSTATS print books available in digital formats, e-book sales surged from under $900 million in 2010 to over $2 billion the following year, adding E-book Trends in the U.S. $1.24 billion in sales in 2011. The slowdown in Showing % of book buyers who bought at least one e-book growth in 2012 was not unexpected as e-books that month (blue) and the % who say they read e-books have become a billion-dollar business, making daily/weekly (orange) triple-digit gains a thing of the past. What’s more interesting than the 44% increase in sales in 2012 is that in terms of dollars, e-books also grew at a slower rate in 2012 than in 2011, partly due to lower prices as well as lower unit sales, adding about $933 million in new sales in the most recent year. The increase in 2012 was still good enough to increase the format’s share of the book market to 20% in the year, up from 16% in 2011, according to the BookStats data. During the 2008–2012 period, trade sales overall rose a total of 14.2%, with the increase due entirely to the introduction of e-books. During the period, sales of print trade books fell 8.4%, from $13.1 billion to just over $12 billion in 2012. The BookStats figures docuSOURCE: BOWKER MARKET RESEARCH ment the important role adult fiction has played in the growth of e-books. In 2012, e-book sales in the segment 2012; after dipping a bit in the fourth quarter of the year, it rose 42%, to $1.8 billion, while sales of adult nonfiction bounced back in early 2013 and hit the 26% mark in February. increased 22%. Within the trade category, children’s/young The 2008–2012 period certainly qualifies as the boom adult had the strongest gain, with sales jumping 117%, from years for e-books, a period during which the format moved $215.9 million to $469.2 million. from something of a curiosity to a vital part of the publishAcceptance of e-books by the public has been a key for the ing industry. And while print sales declined in that same growth of the format, and surveys done by Bowker Market period, what the most recent trends indicate is that digital Research show the month by month growth in the percent- and print books can coexist. Over the next few years, everyage of book buyers who have bought at least one e-book in a one involved in the book publishing industry will be examinmonth. The 25% threshold was first reached in summer ing how that print-digital relationship plays out.  ■


Discovering the Digital Players 

MAY 2013

To accommodate the growing number of digital companies that are now exhibiting at the show, BookExpo America officials have revamped and expanded the exhibit area into a new Digital Discovery Zone. More than 70 companies can be found in the zone, ranging from software providers to online retailers.

3M Cloud Library ABOUT LIBRIFY Apex CoVantage

DZ2163 DZ2260 DZ2071A

INscribe Digital Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd. iPublishCentral/Impelsys Inc. Kindle Direct Publishing–Amazon Korean Printers Association MBS Direct Digital MDC Publishers (Malaysia) MetaComet Systems

DZ2157 DZ1868 DZ2167 DZ1757 2521 DZ2171A DZ2261 DZ1778

Anthology Inc. C1683 Aptara DZ1756 Aquafadas Inc. DZ2079A Arinos Infosolutions (P) Limited BEA Authors Studio Bluefire Productions Book Hub Incorporated DZ2079C DZ1780 DZ2071C DZ2265 DZ1860 Bindworx DZ1779C Book Connect DZ1875A BookBaby DZ2256 Bowker DZ2156 Braahmam Net Solutions Cameo ePublishing Services Chidopi Co. Ltd. Chinese Cubes (USA) Inc. Contentra Technologies Copia Interactive LLC Copyright Clearance Center Courier New Media DZ1965 DZ2066 DZ1771C DZ1966 DZ2062 2939 DZ2165 DZ1871B Brilliance Audio DZ1857

Klopotek DZ1961 LibreDigital DZ1967

Metrodigi, Inc. DZ1863 MPS Limited DZ2068 Newgen Knowledge Works Open Road Integrated Media DZ1979C 2251 Ninestars Information Technologies, Ltd. DZ1763 OverDrive 1438 OverDrive 1439 OverDrive DZ1957 P3D Education Ltda. Real Software Systems Ringgold Inc. Samsung Electronics Sony Reader Store DZ2171C DZ1864 DZ1964 DZ2067 DZ1867 QBend LLC DZ2060


Slicebooks DZ1771A SPi Global DZ2257 Supadü DZ1979A Tizra DZ1875C Victoria Productions NYC Virdocs Software Virtusales Publishing Solutions Vook Inc. Xentral Methods YUDU Media Zola Books DZ1871C DZ1767 DZ1971A DZ1971B DZ1771B DZ1875B 1139

CyberWolf Inc. DZ2064 Datalogics Inc. DZ1871A Datamatics Global Services Ltd. De Marque Inc. DiTech Process Solutions Douglas County Libraries and Califa Easypress Technologies Enthrill Distribution Inc. Hurix Systems Pvt. Ltd. DZ2056 DZ2071B DZ1971C 963 DZ2267 DZ1962 DZ2079B

Widbook Brasil Servicos de Internet S/A 2562

Flipick DZ1979B Innodata DZ1762


Booth #DZ1979C


prepress | conversion | apps | cloud

The Seven Deadly Myths of Digital Publishing 

MAY 2013

By Bill McCoy


-books may now outsell mass market paperbacks, but successfully selling digital editions of novels and other text-centric titles is only the first phase of a profound transformation of all segments of the traditional book publishing business. The immediate challenges in realizing the opportunities of e-books are many: navigating among the retail titans, placing your assets in the right hands and into the right channels, using Big Data effectively to optimize reach and revenue, and engaging directly with readers and building community. But we are poised for even more dramatic change as entirely new kinds of digital book reading experiences are enabled by the shift to tablets and smartphones, via HTML5 and ePub 3. As the worlds of apps, browsers, and e-books collide, and a new generation of digital natives emerges, a total transformation of education and reading is imminent. To succeed, publishers, authors, and other participants in the book industry clearly need to steer through the near-term tactical issues of today’s ecosystem. But it’s also critical to develop a longer-term strategy to exploit the next phase of the digital transformation. William James said “We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood,” and in digital publishing tomorrow is coming fast, and many of yesterday’s truisms are fast becoming misleading myths. Here are seven of the most dangerous of these “true lies” of conventional wisdom.

global competition is driving exponential innovation in tablets and smartphones. In two years, tablets as good as today’s iPads will cost $69, while high-end tablets and smartphones will be almost unimaginably improved.

Myth #2: Digital Reading Is a Solitary, Disconnected Experience (Like Reading a Print Book)
E-readers were, for the most part, not fully connected devices, so reading was a largely solitary use of stand-alone artifacts (with analytics jealously guarded by reading system vendors). But on tablets and smartphones, your readers are always one click away from the world. This implies very different expectations about connectivity and social integration of reading. This further implies new opportunities and trials for publishers and authors in engaging more directly with connected readers.

Myth #3: E-books, Apps and Web Sites Are Fundamentally Different Things

Myth #1: E-books Only Work for Novels and Linear Texts
The multi-billion-dollar U.S. e-book market has been driven by sales of novels and other plain-text titles. Sales of highlydesigned illustrated and enhanced digital books have, by contrast, remained low. And costs to develop such illustrated and enhanced titles have been prohibitively high, particularly given lower sales volumes. Conclusion: e-books are only viable, at scale, for digital editions of novels and linear non-fiction. But sales of dedicated e-readers using E Ink technology are plummeting, while digital readers are rapidly migrating to tablets and large-screen smartphones. E Ink devices, with slow black-and-white displays, were really only suited to plain text. But as the digital reading platform shifts from dedicated devices to tablets, all types of content—color illustrations, videos, interactivity—are becoming viable. And as support for the latest HTML5-based ePub 3 standard proliferates in authoring tools and reading systems, the costs of developing and distributing fixed-layout illustrated and enhanced content are dropping. Best practices for creating and structuring this content are emerging. And most of all,

There is an ongoing debate about whether to deliver titles as e-books, apps, or Web sites. Until now these channels have required significantly different approaches to content development, content management, and distribution. While all three may represent valid business opportunities for monetizing premium content, publishers generally can’t afford to reauthor digital content for many different platforms, so have had to make tough choices between these options. But now the Web platform—HTML5 and related standards—is evolving beyond Web sites viewed in browsers and becoming universal. The latest version of ePub, ePub 3, is built on HTML5, and increasingly, native mobile/tablet apps are built with Web technologies under the hood. So publishers can structure content, from simple text to high-design interactive content—to be delivered via ePub 3 as standalone e-books, readily deployed via Web sites to browsers, and where appropriate wrapped into native apps. And in an increasingly connected world, the boundaries between e-books, apps, and Web sites will only further blur.

Myth #4: EPub 3 Isn’t Ready
EPub 3 was rolled out as a standards specification in late 2011, promising support for rich interactive content and tighter integration of e-book standards with the full Web platform. Eighteen months later, while many reading systems support ePub 3, several prominent reading systems still sup-


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port only the older ePub 2 standard. And even the vendors that do already support ePub 3 don’t support 100% of its features. How can publishers use a standard if it’s not uniformly supported across the industry? There are two parts to resolving this dilemma. First, publishers can deploy ePub 3 content today that has enhancements that work on ePub 3 reading systems, but the content is also fully usable on ePub 2 reading systems or ePub 3 reading systems that lack some features. Every O’Reilly Media title published in 2013 is ePub 3, and in a Web post, the O’Reilly team explains how to structure content that is future-proofed as well as backwards-compatible. Secondly, realizing the need to “raise the bar” of full ePub 3 support ASAP, more than two dozen vendors and publishers have banded together to collaborate on an open-source ePub 3 implementation, forming last March the new Readium Foundation (for more on Readium, see p. 20). 

MAY 2013

collaborations between authors and publishers, with only a small minority of authors able to act as editors, art designers, typographers, marketers, etc. As illustrated and enhanced titles mutate in the tablet-powered digital world, content will become even more complex and collaboratively authored, with the publisher/editor role becoming akin to that of a “producer” of a video game or mobile app. And in a connected world, segment-specific publishers will be a natural focus for community-building that will typically (although not universally) transcend the “platforms” of individual authors while being narrower than e-retailer storefronts. Overall, in the new digital world the role of the publisher may end up larger than ever.

Myth #7: The Monopolists Have Won
In the U.S. and several other countries, one e-retailer represents a substantial majority of e-book sales. And because that vendor deploys content in a closed, proprietary format, consumers are locked in to that vendor’s systems. Sometimes it feels like it’s already game over, and that we are all about to be assimilated into the Borg, or at best be subject to an oligopoly of a handful of proprietary vendors. But we need to remember that market leadership is often fleeting, especially during disruptive transitions, and that we are in many ways only beginning the real transition from print to digital. There was a time when AOL’s domination of Internet access and online content seemed equally inevitable, but in hindsight the AOL era was only part of the prehistory of the Internet. Changing factors in the e-book market tend to favor a more open ecosystem. First, the migration of digital reading from dedicated devices to multi-purpose tablets and smartphones inherently weakens the ability of any one company to control content usage. Secondly, publishers and authors can use connected devices to directly engage with, and distribute to, readers, reducing the need for an e-retail intermediary. Lastly, the Open Web Platform—with HTML5 and ePub 3—is becoming the universal content architecture. With a level playing field for content standards, no one company will end up controlling the content format standard.

Myth #5: DRM Is About Reducing Piracy
DRM (copy protection) is often marketed as an antipiracy technology. Tor, the first major English-language publisher to experiment with DRM-free content, recently announced that after a year of selling e-books without copy protection, piracy had not increased. In fact, DRM is not about limiting piracy, as is well-known by savvy publishers; it’s about limiting oversharing. Ursula Mackenzie, Little, Brown U.K. CEO and U.K. Publishers Association president, was very direct about this when she told The Bookseller last year: “We are fully aware that DRM does not inhibit determined pirates or even those who are sufficiently sophisticated to download DRM removal software. The central point is that we are in favor of DRM because it inhibits file-sharing between the mainstream readers who are so valuable to us and our authors.” A key implication of the growing realization that DRM has nothing to do with reducing piracy is that lighter-weight forms of DRM—including watermarking and other “social” approaches that don’t technologically bar sharing—are more attractive than a quixotic arms race to deploy more and more sophisticated technologies that will only frustrate consumers and lead to them being locked in to proprietary platforms.

Myth #6: Authors Don’t Need Publishers
A number of individuals have found success selling e-books on a self-published basis, i.e., without a traditional publisher contract. Many are “hybrid” authors who in the past, present, or future had, have, or will have a publisher contract. This has led some to argue that, in the digital world, publishers are a superfluous intermediary. Clearly self-publishing is here to stay, and publishers need to focus on where they add compelling value; publishers can no longer count on being privileged gatekeepers, and the ability to get books on the shelves of bricks-and-mortar bookstores is less and less critical. And the imperative to “bankroll” print runs is also fading. But most titles are really

Conclusion: It’s Game On, Not Game Over
The next phase of the disruptive digital transformation of the book business will bring risks and threats as well as openings. But we can take comfort from the fact that in the first phase of consumer adoption, as e-books have achieved scale as a multibillion-dollar business, by and large, publishers and authors have continued to thrive. By charting a strategic course based on emerging truths, not yesterday’s realities that are already becoming dangerous myths, publishing industry participants can continue to thrive now and into the future. ■
Bill McCoy is executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum, whose annual conference is being held May 29–30 at the Javits Center.


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Digital Readers: E Ink, Tablets, Phones, and Phablets 

MAY 2013

By Calvin Reid


hile Amazon and Apple continue to dominate the digital reading marketplace with their respective devices, that hasn’t stopped other manufacturers from introducing new upgraded e-readers, both dedicated E Ink devices, tablets, and hybrids. Microsoft released the Surface Pro early in 2013, and a growing number of “budget-priced” high performance tablets— check out Archos and Acer below—are the newest trend in mobile reading. Probably the oddest phenomenon is the rise of the “Phablet,” a Frankensteinian amalgamation of phone and tablet that offers the consumer a smartphone with a screen nearly the size of a mass market paperback. Yes, it may look a little odd being held to your ear for a call, but it couldn’t be better when it comes to easy-on-theeyes reading time. In this updated guide to the digital reading device landscape we’ve added new and/or upgraded e-ink devices as well as tablets. Remember, in the brave new world of digital reading, it’s not only about the book you’re reading, but what device you’re reading it on.

l SURFACE PRO PRICE: $899 SCREEN: high-res

10.6in. HD touchscreen
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 8 PROCESSOR: dual-core 1.7 GHz Intel Core

cro SD card Connectivity: Wi-Fi Hype: While they may not be built like an iPad, the Archos Titanium line of tablets offers three high-performance devices (there’s a fourth device that’s not on sale in the U.S.) in a range of sizes at startlingly reasonable prices.
l ACER ICONIA A1 PRICE: $169 (8GB), $199 (16GB) SCREEN: 7.9-in. IPS

CAMERA: front and rear facing cameras are

both 1.2MP. Titles/APPS: millions of for-pay and free e-books via Window 8 apps; about 120,000 apps via the Windows store. Battery Life: estimates range from 6 hours (Surface RT) to 7.5 hours (Surface Pro) Storage: Surface (32GB, 65GB); Surface Pro (64GB, 128 GB) expandable Connectivity: Wi-Fi HYPE: Microsoft gets in the hardware business with two cleverly designed tablets (running two different OS): the Surface RT, released in 2012, runs a scaled-down version of Windows 8; the Surface Pro, released in February 2013, runs the full Windows 8 OS.


Jelly Bean
CAMERA: front (0.3

MP) and rear (5MP) facing cameras TITLES/APPS: millions of for-pay titles and 700,000 apps via Google Play and e-book retailer apps as well as music and millions of free e-books PROCESSOR: 1.2 GHz dual core Mediatek Processor BATTERY LIFE: 7 hours STORAGE: 8GB; 16GB CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi HYPE: Coming to the U.S. market in June, the Iconia A1 is yet another “budget” tablet, a solidly produced device likely to compete with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.


in., and 8-in. high-res IPS touchscreens OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean CAMERA: front (2MP) and back (5MP) facing TITLES/APPS: millions of for-pay titles and 700,000 apps via Google Play and e-book retailer apps, as well as music and millions of free e-books PROCESSOR: 1.6 GHz dual core processor BATTERY LIFE: 5–10 hours Storage: 8GB internal plus expandable mi-

AMOLED high-res touchscreen OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean CAMERA: front (2MP) and rear (13MP) facing TITLES/APPS: millions of for-pay titles and 700,000 apps via Google Play and e-book retailer apps as well


as music and millions of free e-books PROCESSOR: 1.9 GHz quad core BATTERY LIFE: 8–14 hours STORAGE: 16GB internal, expandable micro SD CONNECTIVITY: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi HYPE: Hot, hot, hot, this is Samsung’s “it” phone of the moment with enough cool features—a screen the size of a small TV, eye-tracking, and air gesture functionality that lets users scroll content without touching the screen—to make even Apple’s Tim Cook a little jealous.
l HTC ONE PRICE: $550 (UNLOCKED), $100 (WITH CONTRACT) SCREEN: 4.7-in. Super LCD 3 high-res 

MAY 2013

BATTERY LIFE: a month using

STORAGE: 1,000 books expandable

with micro SD card CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi HYPE: B&N’s newest entrant in the illuminated e-reader race is an upgraded Nook Simple Touch.
l KOBO AURA PRICE: $170 SCREEN: 6.8-in. high-res Pearl E Ink


Jelly Bean
CAMERA: front and rear facing TITLES/APPS: millions of for-pay titles

and 700,000 apps via Google Play and e-book retailer apps as well as music and millions of free e-books PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.7 GHz quadcore processor BATTERY LIFE: 9 hours STORAGE: 32GB; 64GB, non-expandable CONNECTIVITY: 3G; 4G, Wi-Fi HYPE: Wildly praised by the technorati for its big brilliant screen, fast processor, and slick design, the HTC One joins the Galaxy S4 as a major Android competitor to the iPhone as both a phone and a digital reader.

touchscreen Titles: two million for-pay e-books, one million free e-books via Kobo BATTERY LIFE: 2 months STORAGE: 3,000 e-books plus expandable micro SD card CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi HYPE: Not to be left out, Kobo offers its own self-lit EInk device with a faster processor and higher price aimed at hardcore book readers.
l SONY PRS-T2 PRICE: $129 SCREEN: 6-in. 16-level grayscale Pearl

E Ink Digital Readers
l AMAZON PAPERWHITE PRICE: $119 (WITH ADS) $134 (NO ADS) SCREEN: 6-in. 16-level grayscale

E Ink touchscreen TITLES: several hundred thousand for-pay e-books and millions of free ebooks via Sony eBookstore BATTERY LIFE: 2 months STORAGE: 1,200 e-books plus expandable micro SD card CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi HYPE: Despite pioneering the digital e-reader field, Sony often disappears from view, only to resurface from time to time with upgraded devices that often offer too little too late in a super competitive market.
l TXTR BEAGLE PRICE: $70 EST. SCREEN: 5-in. Vizplex e-ink screen TITLES: see Hype BATTERY LIFE: AAA batteries STORAGE: five books at a time which

touchscreen with built-in light TITLES: millions of for-pay and free e-books as well as lendable titles via Amazon BATTERY LIFE: 8 weeks STORAGE: 1,100 books plus cloud storage CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi HYPE: Amazon now offers a higher resolution and higher contrast screen and a built-in light source that allows this e-ink device to compete with backlit tablets in the all-important read-unobtrusively-in-bed category.
l NOOK SIMPLE TOUCH GLOWLIGHT PRICE: $119 (NO ADS) SCREEN: 6-in. touchscreen with adjustable Glowlight tech-

nology that illuminates the screen TITLES: three million e-books via Barnes & Noble

can be replaced by owner CONNECTIVITY: linked by Bluetooth to the consumer’s smartphone HYPE: Tied to the e-books on a consumer’s smartphone, the Beagle is a dedicated e-reader that allows you to read previously purchased e-books. It launched to be a subsidized device (like a phone) offered via a new channel (mobile carriers); though originally projected to cost less than $20, it is rumored now to likely be about $70 when officially released in the U.S.


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Navigating the Digital Path 

MAY 2013
By Teri Tan


he year 2015 may be a landmark year for many educational publishers, says CMO Rahul Arora of MPS Limited. “Most of our clients have informed us that they have a committed program and leadership impetus toward transforming into a truly digital organization in three years’ time. Publishers also recognize that their in-house talent may not necessarily have all the skills and competencies required for this transformation, and so they plan to lean heavily on partners such as MPS to help them realize this transformation. As such, our conversations with clients have become more strategic in nature, where we are invited to share innovative ideas on how we can lead them toward a digital future.” At the same time, he finds that publishers are switching to digital-first workflows and trying to do it as fast as possible. “In the past, many have chosen to have separate print and media or Web production departments, but this is a luxury that is likely to disappear in the coming years. Already, there is an emphasis on training print project managers to also manage the production of media assets.” But most publishers are grappling with determining their needs for an integrated system and migration path for legacy systems and data. “Some publishers already have large XML repositories that have been built up at the back-end of the print production process. The challenge now is to build workflows to integrate these databases into a digital-first process,” adds Arora. Publishers also have to deal with other issues such as practical device restrictions on video, audio, math rendering, and Unicode compliance. “These are possibly as inhibiting to educational publishers as is the question of digital cannibalization,” observes Walter Walker, executive director of publishing services at codeMantra. “But whether it is about ePub 3.0 or any of the multitude of alternative formats, it is the educational publishers who represent the next major demand for digital services.” Recent months have seen the Common Core standards complicating the lives of those in the k–12 educational segment. “As an editorial vendor, our role is to create or revise content, or to do both, to meet Common Core standards as required,” says president Amit Vohra of Contentra Technologies. “Many clients that we work with are adding new materials or revising as needed to show that all Common Core requirements are being addressed and met. In some instances, just a few words are sufficient to do the job.” He points out that supplementary material publishers have also shown a keen awareness of the standard. Such awareness of industry formats and specifications coupled with increased internalization of knowledge about the digital production process have been increasing recently. As president Maran Elancheran of Newgen Knowledge Works points out: “Gone are the days when a book pub-

lisher might just ask its prepress vendors to provide XML along with the print files, and to suggest a suitable DTD for the purpose. Nowadays, a request to supply XML tends to be accompanied by exhaustive text-capture instructions for a customized incarnation of a particular version of a specific DTD.” The same clarity of prescription is emerging in requests for e-book formats as well, adds Elancheran, who finds it “a welcome trend for those of us who offer digital pre-press services, particularly when—as is commonly the case—we have been involved by the publishers in evolving these specifications. But perhaps even more welcome has been a consequent trend to re-examine existing digital workflows, a willingness to re-engineer workflows to accommodate the myriad new delivery formats smoothly, rather than simply to treat those new formats as appendixes to an established process.” Speaking of e-books, Oliver Holden of IBS Bookmaster Americas says that “many small- and mid-tier publishers have been reluctant to sell to consumers directly for a variety of reasons, including not offending the 800-pound gorilla. Yet, with the way the gorilla is dictating terms, small- and mid-tier publishers can feel like their profits are slowly sinking in quicksand.” By building their own direct-sales mechanism, principally through an active customer-oriented Web site that is tightly integrated into the back-end systems, these smaller publishers, according to Holden, “can add 30% profitability to every sale simply by eliminating the cut the aggregators take out of them. For every 3.3 copies of a title sold, it is tantamount to selling one more book on those Web sites, and without any overhead, too. Bookmaster and Rightsmaster suites of solutions would enable these smaller publishers to achieve just that.” On the following pages are highlights of what some companies in the digital space are doing at BookExpo America.

Solidifying its services and software offerings for the entire publishing chain has been the focus at codeMantra in the past two years. “Helping to drive a publisher’s workflow from manuscript to market is our mantra,” says Walter Walker, executive director of publishing services. “The integration of full composition and project management capabilities as well as new software modules in collectionPoint [cP], for instance, is aimed at offering customers solutions for asset composition, management, conversion, and distribution.” cP 3.0 is codeMantra’s trademarked Web-based digital asset management and distribution platform. “We have adopted powerful new XML tool sets and InDesign plug-ins to expedite full composition and pagination workflow,” says



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Walker. “At the same time, our offshore production facility [in Chennai] uses a systematic XML conversion at the precomposition stage to optimize elements and components for easier digital conversions in the post-production phase. Clients would see cost savings through the new workflow as well as a substantial added value in terms of improved timeto-market.” The company’s strategic alliance with ePubDirect, an international full-service e-book distributor, has also enabled codeMantra “to offer customers access to an indirect reseller for their content—one that can place their content with hundreds of smaller retailers worldwide,”. Walker points out one of the surprising ways in which digital workflow affects publishers’ bottom lines and product decisions. “Take one recent project from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Its publishing division has long wanted to preserve and make possible the recreation of its many high-quality—and out-of-print—art monographs and show catalogues. However, the original production files for many of these titles date back to the 1960s and have long since disappeared. So our team used high-resolution nondestructive scanning processes to reproduce the POD files with remarkable fidelity. Then, working together with Acme Bookbinding, Yale University Press, and the Met, we set up protocols and processes to provide direct-to-consumer POD sales, as well as the shipment of finished monographs. The 

MAY 2013

Met has since reported very encouraging sales on many of its out-of-print titles.” For more information on cP 3.0 and other codeMantra solutions and services, please contact Walker at wwjwalker@

Contentra Technologies
Known formerly as Planman Technologies, the new name, Contentra (and its colorful logo), represents the company’s renewed focus on content transformation services and service expansion. With at least half of its business coming from the U.S., BookExpo America is the perfect venue for president Amit Vohra and his team to spread the word about Contentra’s new identity and goals. “As a trusted partner for the book, library, and news industries, we plan to take our services to newer markets and industries. Our view is that all organizations in every industry are content publishers, with unique content life cycles and extraordinary amounts of content to be created, repurposed, and distributed. Through our partnership with these publishers or content creators, we have broadened the scope of our services, and, as such, the new name is reflective of our new capabilities and specialized offerings in transforming content.”


MAY 2013
The company’s end-to-end delivery—from authoring to conversion—will bring substantial savings in terms of cost and turnaround time, adds Vohra. Naturally the team has plenty of projects to showcase its capabilities. New to Contentra’s portfolio (and a bonus to U.S. educational publishers) is its capabilities in, and expertise on, the Common Core standards. “We have developed numerous language arts and mathematics titles in Common Core, for which we have written specific materials including assessments to meet the standards. The math standards are more challenging because of the way the concepts are presented and the requirement to continue the presentation throughout the grades.” Then there was the iBooks Author project for middle school and high school textbooks that in total covered 12,000 pages, 13,300 illustrations, and a huge number of math equations. Another project on psychology requiring animation using HTML5 had the team creating static assets for all digital object storyboards, producing both Flash and HTML5 versions of the animation, and making the HTML5 animations compatible with both iOS and Android platforms. To find out how Contentra can help with a publisher’s next print or digital initiative, or assist in tackling problems in standards such as Common Core, head over to booth DZ2062.

DiTech Process Solutions
Radical yet evolutionary is STUDYeBUDDY, a one-stop solution for aggregating academic and reference content from publishers worldwide for students on the Indian subcontinent. Created by DiTech founder and CEO Nizam Ahmed, STUDYeBUDDY supports both B2B and B2C models—the first of its kind in the Indian digital marketplace—while also enabling offline sales of ancillaries. “Currently, we are the only aggregator of multi-publisher digital content in India that is focused only on academic content for curricula and reference.” Among the 50 participating houses are large and well-known names, including five from the k–12 segment, two medical, three engineering, and two test preparation and exam companies. With the number of Internet users expected to grow from the current 100 million to 237 million by 2015, the potential market for STUDYeBUDDY is huge. “Now that digital reading is rapidly gaining acceptance, there is visible enthusiasm among institutions and universities to convert and monetize their huge repositories of print content. The digitizing, which involves scanning and embedding search mechanisms and other enhancements, will lead to the creation of numerous virtual libraries,” one of the main factors that prompted

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Ahmed to create STUDYeBUDDY, which addresses the lack of affordable paperback editions of international titles and the urgent need for such content. The portal’s February 8, 2013, launch in New Delhi has since garnered a lot of interest from academic publishers looking into distributing their content in India. For Ahmed, the portal is a natural evolution of the digital services that his team has been providing to publishing clients worldwide. “DiTech offers end-to-end solutions from content creation to content sales. Our goal is to partner clients in creating and developing content as well as championing their book sales through our digital platform STUDYeBUDDY. So we are a pre-press supplier, a technology company, and a content aggregator rolled into one,” adds Ahmed, who will be at booth DZ1971C to showcase such projects as one done for an STM publisher that involved total project management of books and journals with print PDF, ePDF, and XML deliverables, as well as another turnkey legacy digitizing project for one major publishing house. For Ahmed, the creation of STUDYeBUDDY enforces his idea that it is crucial to view purchasers of content—in the form of e-book, app or learning module—as brand champions. “In that sense, we need to develop products where the consumers can interact directly with the creator of the content, thereby making the reader or consumer a part of the content development process.” 

MAY 2013

solutions aimed at alleviating these headaches with a comprehensive suite of software to manage all aspects of the distribution process.” The latest release of Bookmaster completely integrates Web-to-customer ordering for fulfillment and delivery of digital products. “Regardless of the delivery method, whether for e-book, authorized access, or subscription, Bookmaster provides for customers to enter orders and view real-time information on prices, temporary promotions, inventory availability, and catalogue data. The fulfillment of that title is immediately processed when the customer clicks Submit,” adds Holden. Rightsmaster, offered as both a stand-alone and an enhancement module to Bookmaster, will make its debut at BEA. Head over to booth DZ1769 for a demo or make an appointment with Laurie Iseman at for more discussion of Bookmaster’s fit to your set of issues and priorities.

MPS Limited
The biggest news from MPS in recent weeks is the definitive agreement that it has entered into with Element, under which MPS will acquire the Florida-based full-service k–12 publishing player, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. “Educational publishers will benefit from the wider range of services that Element will now be able to offer by leveraging on MPS, and we will support Element completely from our multiple business units to create compelling solutions for k–12 publishers,” says CEO Nishith Arora. The only major publishing-services company listed on India’s stock exchanges, MPS has made significant progress with technology platforms since the last BookExpo. Says CMO Rahul Arora, “In addition to our e-book distribution portal, ContentStore, we have launched ScholarStor, a platform for journals and reference content, which has a manuscript submission and peer review system. Most significantly, we have upgraded the MPSTrak workflow management platform from one restricted to journals to an integrated system for journals, books, and major reference works.” MPS’s DigiCore platform, in particular the online editing component, DigiEdit, has also undergone considerable upgrading. “This system allows authors to make changes online to content while protecting the underlying XML layer. The same content can then be auto-paged by the DigiComp component, boosted with rich media features in DigiEnrich, converted to various mobile formats with DigiCon, and distributed via ScholarStor. The entire workflow is managed intelligently via MPSTrak,” Rahul Arora says. Another platform, MediaSuite, now supports HTML in addition to Flash and delivers a variety of mobile formats. “We are making rapid inroads into the higher education space with our integrated print and digital asset production model, leveraging our established relationships with publishers and our vast portfolio of book production services. We continue to thrive and grow in the STM market as well as in

For Sweden-based IBS (International Business Systems), its business is providing solutions for publishers and distributors to manage the integration of systems for both digital delivery and the more traditional channels of print and print on-demand. Its Web-to-consumer integration capabilities, for instance, are able to match the rapid delivery demanded by today’s consumers and businesses. IBS recently announced Rightsmaster, a complimentary software suite to its flagship product, Bookmaster. “Many publishers are being forced to change their business processes in the face of a rapidly evolving licensing environment,” says sales director Oliver Holden of IBS Bookmaster Americas. “They are finding that royalties and rights management is adding a level of complexity for which they are not prepared. With Rightsmaster, publishers can manage copyrights, royalties, and permission processes in one go. They can see a payback in as little as six months while improving the accuracy of their records. It simplifies the entire process while providing a real competitive advantage.” Publishers and distributors, adds Holden, “are finding it tough to manage everything in one integrated system especially when faced with demands of digital, print, and POD deliveries at the back-end as well as direct-to-consumer, business-to-business, and aggregator order fulfillment at the front-end. So our Bookmaster division has come in with


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our strong legacy journal production business,” says Rahul Arora, adding that the surge in content production resulting from open access has certainly benefited his company. Millions of pages are converted at MPS every year to a variety of formats as publishers seek different ways to present their content. For further discussion on platforms and the future of publishing, head over to booth DZ2068, or contact the MPS technology team at to arrange for demos of DigiCore, MediaSuite, MPSTrak, ScholarStor, and other platforms.

the final manuscript. “Mind you, 10 years ago, we might have been having a similar conversation about the feasibility of 10-month schedules.” With other clients Elancheran is “looking at new solutions for publishing enhanced journal articles that better address the needs of researchers, developing accessible content as part of the workflow for undergraduate textbooks, extending our advanced editorial automation to handle European languages, and typesetting trade books in the cloud within a few seconds.” Last year, increased demand for mobile products drove two large projects at Newgen. “For one journal client, we took 20 journals onto the iPad via Adobe Publishing Suite, reformatting the print product for optimum display on a tablet. This trial proved so successful with subscribers that the next tranche of 100 journals is being lined up for mobilization. For another publisher, we digitized the bulk of the frontlist for mobile distribution in a custom application.” This year, Newgen expanded its existing portfolio of development work in professional and academic law and medicine publishing with the acquisition of Connecticut-based NETS, a full-service provider of k–12 materials for teachers and students. NETS offers editorial, art and design, composition and pre-press, and interactive media services—the latter an excellent fit for Newgen’s Cloud Matters division in

Newgen Knowledge Works
If 2012 was the year of service extension and experimentation for Newgen, then 2013 is one of simplification of digital publishing workflows. “It is a theme that we are pursuing in our conversations with clients and industry bodies,” says Newgen’s New Jersey-based president, Maran Elancheran. “But because we have a maverick side, too, we also appreciate our clients’ openness to experiment with new formats and new approaches—whether in digital publishing, with one-off book or journal apps and cloud-based content-management solutions through our Cloud Matters division, or more generally.” At the moment, Elancheran and his team are bouncing BEA_Contentra_Ad_for_Print.pdf 1 5/13/13 6:43 around ideas with one client about how Newgen can PM publish academic books within two weeks of the author submitting



a PLANMAN group company










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Chennai, which spent 2012 building cloud-based solutions and mobile applications for publishers. For more information on Newgen’s products and solutions, please contact Elancheran at 

MAY 2013

Providing a platform where publishers can create and brand their own presence in the e-book world is Qbend’s focus. “In the long term, publishers want to have control of their e-book strategy while connecting directly with their consumers,” says COO Kaushik Sampath, adding that Qbend’s customized e-bookstore platform enables selling by chapters, rentals, custom publications, and subscriptions. “Such features are offered at no upfront cost, thereby eliminating a major entry barrier to e-book retailing.” Qbend’s main theme at this show is selling direct. “We help publishers understand what the needs of the consumers are, and then use our e-bookstore platform’s various sales models as well as our patent-pending robust publishing engine S.N.A.P. [Search, Navigate, Assemble, Publish] to deliver the content—on-demand—in the right format,” says CEO Kris Srinaath. “At the same time, our built-in robust analytics tools provide in-depth behavioral patterns, purDIGITAL_SUB_HALF_Layout 1 5/17/13 6:52 PM Page 1 chase trends, discounts, marketing campaign performances,

and other critical analysis to enable publishers to fine-tune and streamline their marketing activities.” In-depth analytics, adds Sampath, are something that publishers do not get from traditional retailers. “As a rule, consumers often do not explicitly state their needs, thus making it difficult to understand them or their needs. This is where consumer behavior analytics come into play. Qbend helps publishers derive behavioral patterns that show what consumers want, and tailor the offerings accordingly.” Currently, publishers from more than 15 countries use Qbend’s platform to power their e-bookstores, most of which are localized in terms of languages, currencies, and payment methods. “We also allow publishers to have different e-bookstores in different geographies with different product pricing—again, at no extra cost,” notes Sampath. This summer, Qbend extends its host of e-retailing features by allowing consumers to put together customized publication from a publisher’s content repository. “This feature is most beneficial to researchers and students who often require content from different titles from the same publisher. On the other hand, it will provide an attractive revenue stream for publishers who are able to de-chunk their content and allow customized e-books,” Sampath explains. For more information about the different ways Qbend can help to accelerate your e-book business, drop by booth DZ2060 during BEA. ■

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An ePub 3 user extols the virtues of the digital publishing standard and an industry effort to widen its adoption 

MAY 2013
y icah B owers

The Readium Foundation Revs Up B M


arch 25 marked an important step forward in the evolution of digital publishing: the introduction of the Readium Foundation, a membership-based nonprofit formed to develop commercial-grade, open source e-reading software. The components developed by the foundation will accelerate adoption of ePub 3 by the publishing industry. There are more than 25 initial members of the new Readium Foundation—which includes publishers, retailers, distributors and technology companies worldwide (among them: Baker & Taylor, Kobo, Firebrand Technologies, IDPF, Eden Livre, Hachette Libre, and Sony). The founding members are collectively contributing significant financial and development resources to the organization’s first two key projects: Readium Web and Readium SDK. Both of these efforts are focused on helping the digital publishing industry as a whole realize the full potential of the ePub 3 e-book file format. ePub 3 is the latest version of the ePub 2 standard that was initially standardized in 2007 as a successor format to the Open eBook Publication Structure or “OEB,” which was originally developed in 1999. The new standard embodies the industry’s hopes for rich, interactive books of all kinds that can be easily read on a broad range of desktop computers and mobile devices. ePub 3 incorporates the evolving HTML 5 standard and adds support for important core elements, such as the inclusion of embedded audio and video, page numbering, mathematical equations, improved accessibility, and many other enhancements to the ePub format. was originally launched in 2012 by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) to support the development of an open source ePub 3 reading system that runs in Web browsers. This project matured into a popular Chrome browser extension (available on the Chrome Web Store) that enables users to read ePub 3 e-books in their browser. The project will now fall under the wing of the Readium Foundation as “Readium Web,” which is being extended to work with all modern Web browsers. Readium SDK is a new open source project focused on the development of a Software Development Kit (“SDK”) that can be used by developers to create native code desktop and mobile reading applications that support the full ePub 3 file format. It’s important to note that you’re not likely to see a “Readium” app in the future—instead, you’ll see a number of different apps that were created by a variety of companies that all utilize the open source Readium SDK code libraries. Think of the Readium SDK as an ePub 3 reading application

engine. It will purr under the hood.

Why Open Source?
As my company, Bluefire Productions, dove deeper into adding more robust ePub 3 support to our e-reader applications, we found that the spec is open to a considerable amount of interpretation. We also recognized that publishers will need to know that the books they publish will look great and function as intended no matter which reading application is being used. So we started talking to other like-minded industry players. What evolved was a collaborative effort to build a robust, open source ePub 3 application engine that each of us (and others in the industry) could use to build commercial-grade applications. This group now has a name: The Readium Foundation. The founding members recognize that coming together to jointly create a single open source ePub 3 application engine will be more efficient than each company separately developing proprietary solutions, and will create the momentum necessary to expand the digital publishing market. The goal is to raise the bar for ePub 3 support across the industry so that ePub maintains its position as the standard distribution format. Open markets require this kind of standardization. Publishers cannot be expected to develop unique files for multiple proprietary reading systems. The Readium Foundation will be separate from IDPF which focuses on developing and promoting standards. Development of commercialized technology is optimized when the adopters are the drivers. The IDPF will continue to oversee several open source projects related to promoting the ePub standard, including “ePubcheck” for validating ePub files and the “EPUB Reading System Test Suite.” The Readium SDK will support file-level DRM extensions, but will be DRM agnostic and can be deployed with or without DRM. Bluefire plans to create an Adobe Content Server (ACS4) enabled solution that will allow retailers and publishers to distribute protected ePub 3 e-books on tablets, smart phones and desktop computers. We don’t expect the Readium SDK to be a silver bullet, and it is unrealistic to think that every e-book platform in the world will utilize this engine. However, we do believe that the use of common, shared code components across a wide spectrum of large and small companies will be an important step forward for us, our customers, and their customers. ■
Michah Bowers is founder & CEO of Bluefire Productions.