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from editorial to market

Digital Asset Distribution for Book Publishers: An Emerging Infrastructure

Why Every Publisher needs a Digital Asset Distributor (DAD)
As the leading international supplier of standard software and consulting services for publishers, Klopotek encourages the develop-
ment of emerging ideas, cutting-edge research and networking within the publishing industry. This conference is part of Klopotek’s
ongoing research and conference program that addresses publishing supply chain issues, “from editorial to market”.

Conference Information Presentations by:
21 June 2007 BiblioVault
Hilton Times Square codeMantra
New York, NY, USA CPI Book Bank
12 July 2007 HarperCollins/NewsStand
Goethe Institut Holtzbrinck/Macmillan Bookstore
London, UK Ingram
Random House UK
Don't Miss Out, Register Now! Value Chain International
Register at
or Moderated by:
for USA tickets call: +1.800.239.9254 Mark Bide, Rightscom Limited
for UK tickets call: +44.20.7716.5500 Mike Shatzkin, The Idea Logical Company

Hosted by:
John Wicker, Klopotek North America
Gregor Wolf, Klopotek AG
from editorial to market

Klopotek commissioned the White Paper ‘Digital Asset Distribution for Book Publishers: It was into this market gap in 2006 that
An Emerging Infrastructure’ and accompanying conferences to analyze the present we began to see a whole range of new
market and highlight critical issues for publishers to consider. The conferences will be vendors cropping up, alongside the small
significant events. For the first time, many of the companies investing in building the number of existing companies who offered
infrastructure intended to support the entire industry will share ideas and their vision services to publishers which can broadly
for publishing’s future. be described as Digital Asset Distribution.

Klopotek anticipates working closely with DADs and publishers to facilitate the flow These existing vendors come from a variety
of information through the supply chain. It has a key role to play in helping publishers of backgrounds. Several were large pub-
to examine their metadata integrity and to implement systems that allow integrated lishers who recognized both the need to
support of all publishing processes: from author contracts to production schedules; develop these services for themselves, as
from rights and royalties through order processing and financial management. well as the opportunity to amortize their
own investment by offering these services
to others. Other vendors come from a
An Introduction to Digital Asset Distributors more conventional “publishing services”
background involving printing and com-
position, where the management of digital
Why every publisher needs a DAD But now, suddenly, every book publisher files was the next logical step in their ser-
is discovering that digital content is repeat- vice offerings. Still others are from various
For some time, publishers have realized edly needed by different people, in dif- niches within the publishing industry.
that the physical distribution of books is ferent forms, in different places and at Some come from technology or technology
essentially a “parity function”, bringing different times, creating the need for a consulting backgrounds, others have ex-
only a slight competitive advantage if solution for distributing all of a publish- panded on their existing intermediary role
done well, but nonetheless a function er's digital content. as a wholesaler in the physical book distri-
that can sink a business if done poorly. bution chain, while another was a co-op of
This creates a whole set of challenges which smaller publishers, looking to join forces to
Through time, and more importantly is not just a matter of the multiplicity of overcome the investment and ongoing
through experience, publishers have come technical formats for e-books, although management challenges.
to recognize that efficient distribution that is a challenge that needs careful con-
involves massive economies of scale in sideration. Currently, there is the need to And so we recognized that a whole new
physical, technical and management make book content available for market- type of business was coming into place –
infrastructures. ing and search engine access (whether by the Digital Asset Distributor, or DAD.
Google or by Amazon and increasingly by
As a result, the physical distribution of Yahoo or Microsoft and, we can be sure, Different DAD Approaches
books has been primarily fulfilled by by coming vertical search offerings); and
larger publishers and third party aggre- there is growing potential for dis- and re- The range of backgrounds of these busi-
gated service providers. This pattern will aggregated content. These new demands nesses has created considerable diversity
also likely be repeated for the distribution sit alongside more basic digital manage- in approaches to the market and the offer-
of digital assets. ment requirements such as sending the ings they are making. Currently, there is
right digital files to your printers (whether only an emerging understanding with re-
The Emerging Infrastructure using conventional or digital printing gards to the specific services a DAD should
technologies) and for the effective be required to offer. At the highest ab-
Currently, only a small percentage of distribution of metadata through the stract level, the services that might be
publishers, primarily in the professional supply chain. offered by a DAD are illustrated in a
and academic sectors, have learned how graphic on the next page.
to deliver their content effectively in the There is nothing very exciting about digital Similarly, no consensus has yet formed on
digital form. These publishers have become distribution to a publisher. And like physi- what business models a DAD should pur-
increasingly adept at managing all forms cal distribution, it requires a high-priced sue. Many DADs are quite frank that, for
of digital content distribution. infrastructure as well as skills that are in them, this still has to be figured out.
short supply (and therefore expensive).
However, these sectors are typically domi- Publishers continue to want to retain From the point of view of “the publisher
nated by massive, international publishers ownership and control over these critical on the street”, this diversity is challenging.
who have invested the required money assets and over the distribution processes, In this new world, every publisher needs
and time in developing the sophisticated but for the most part they have neither a DAD; but which DAD is offering what
technical skills and capabilities to support the money nor the desire to do it for they need? Do they need more than one?
these new requirements. themselves. This was just the beginning of a number
of questions that began to occur to us as current practices and workflows in a the consolidation of DADs as inevitable
we continued to evaluate these issues: publishing house? as the consolidation of other interme-
 How much does a publisher need to diary aggregators in the content supply
 When (if ever) is it sensible for a pub- know in order even to be able to make chain? What role will the practices of
lisher to buy or build their own technical use of a DAD and how can smaller pub- those who receive files from the DADs
infrastructure fulfilling part or all of the lishers develop the knowledge and have in driving consolidation?
functions of a DAD for themselves? skills that they need?
 What are the risks of outsourcing Digital  How does online access to a publisher’s It was against the background of these
Asset Distribution? How can these be content change both processes and questions that we set out to undertake the
effectively mitigated? accountability for version management? research that underpins this White Paper.
 Which functions that publishers currently  To what extent have the leading edge Could we understand from potential cus-
manage themselves might be rendered professional and academic publishers tomers (Digital Asset Producers, or DAPS)
obsolete if they decide to outsource to been disadvantaged by their early entry what they believe that they need from the
a DAD? How would this change the cost into digital distribution as the full advan- DADs? What could we learn from the po-
and risk profiles? tages of the potential for increasing the tential recipients of the digital files (Digital
 What is the relationship between Digital “connectedness” of content become Asset Recipients, or DARs) about their ex-
Asset Management and Digital Asset apparent? pectations and experiences of working
Distribution? To what extent will out-  How many DADs does the industry need? with the DADs? And what could we learn
sourcing to a DAD force changes in How many can the market support? Is from the DADs themselves?

Services offered by DADs
A high level view of services that may be offered by DADs. Some DADs are
also offering comprehensive consultancy services to DAPs to help them
prepare their content for digital distribution – others are simply assuming 7. Distribution
the necessary level of technical capability in their customers. (Note: this is
to consumers
a conceptual diagram not a system architecture!)

7. Retail
3. Meta-
st store Outp
Inge ut

1. Delivery 2. Pre-ingest 4. Post- 7. Distribution
output 5. Distribution
from DAP processing to DARs to consumers
st put
3. Content
store 6. Search
and retrieval

6. Controlled
access by DARs

DAPs (Digital Asset Producers) DADs (Digital Asset Distributors) DARs (Digital Asset Recipients)
= every publisher and producer of content = maintains and distributes DAP's digital content – = a “user” of DADs work – for example:
in digital form see speaker list for some specific examples Google, Amazon or netLibrary

1. Content and metadata about that content is the content, some minimal metadata is essential 6. One special application relates to controlling
delivered by the DAP to the DAD. for the management. However, there are many search – where DARs may be given access to full
different types of metadata and different DADs text archives for managed search and retrieval.
2. This may require some degree of pre-processing take a differing degree of interest in the creation This is seen as providing greater security to DAPs
before the content and the metadata can be and management of that metadata. than releasing the full text files directly to the
stored. That pre-ingest processing may be mini- DAR.
mal or may be as involved as the scanning and 4. At output, content may be required in a different
conversion of printed books. format. This may be undertaken “on demand” or 7. Another specialist application is a retail interface
“just in case”. (either white label or branded) to allow con-
3. Content and metadata must be stored and sumers to purchase files in appropriate formats.
managed securely. Content may be held in a 5. The appropriate files are delivered to the right These are not intended to act as “stand alone”
single, common format or in multiple formats DAR then on to consumers through various retail stores, but to be integrated with DAP
(generally PDF and XML variants). In addition to channels. websites.
from editorial to market

Klopotek commissions research that we believe will benefit the entire publishing industry
and provide publishers with the knowledge to make more informed decisions within this
highly dynamic industry.

We are pleased to have worked on this research with independent consultants Mark Bide,
Mike Shatzkin and their associates.

Mark Bide joined Rightscom in March 2001, following nearly 10 years running his own
consultancy. He has 35 years experience in the publishing industry having been a Director
of the European subsidiaries of both CBS Publishing and John Wiley & Sons.
Subsequently, he developed one of the most highly respected independent publishing
consultancies in the UK, with particular expertise in the impact of network technology
on the information valuechain. At Rightscom, Mark has undertaken projects on behalf
of many clients including the European Commission, the British Library, the Publishers
Association, EDItEUR, UKOLN, the JISC, the Publishers Licensing Society, the Copyright
Licensing Agency, the Recording Industry Association of America, the International DOI
Foundation, the European Publishers Council and the World Association of Newspapers.

Mike Shatzkin, Founder and CEO of The Idea Logical Company, has worked on supply
chain and digital change challenges in book publishing for nearly four decades. The Idea
Logical also provides a sales data reporting service, Supply Chain Tracker, to publishers
in the US, UK, and Canada. Mike has organized conferences on the future of book
publishing in New York, London, and Frankfurt. He is also the author of several books
about baseball and the owner of, the largest online aggregation
of narrative writing on baseball history.

The conferences are hosted by:

John Wicker has over twenty years experience in the publishing and software industries.
He is President and Chief Executive Officer of Klopotek North America, Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of Klopotek AG. Prior to joining Klopotek, John was the Executive Vice
President for VISTA International where he had worldwide responsibility for all sales and
marketing. During his time at VISTA, he was a member of the VISTA International Board
and also served as a Board Member of the Book Industry Study Group.

Gregor Wolf joined Klopotek when the company was founded in 1992 and became share-
holder in 1993. He has held several management positions in the Klopotek Group in
Germany and the UK. In 2005, he was appointed Chief Technology Officer and member
of the Executive Board of Klopotek AG. In his position as CTO, he is responsible for
research, technology standards, and software development. Gregor’s studies in Berlin
focused on applied informatics and software engineering, and he graduated as a computer
scientist. He co-wrote the software development method PetS before leaving academic
research to join the software industry.

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