American Association of University Presses Presentation

8 Reflections on New Book Production Workflows:

I presented today as part of a panel at the American Association of University Presses Conference in Boston, as part of a panel on Editorial/Digital/Print workflows. I talked about our experiences working with traditional publishers using PressBooks, either for ebook production, or for ebook AND print production. I quoted Will Bergkamp, Publisher at Fortress Press, a PressBooks client which has completely replaced their InDesign workflow, using PressBooks instead to make print-ready PDFs and ebooks.

Here are the slides (and find below the text):

“8 Reflections on New Book Production Workflows ….from a Startup working with Traditional Publishers.”

1. Moving to a digital/XML workflow is a huge cultural shift.

2. You need support from the whole org:
– management
– production
– (editorial)

3.The primary driver is (and must be) economic.

4.There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Will Bergkamp, Publisher & General Manager, Fortress Press:
“Businesses have to put resources into the things that matter.

“For us the cultural shift was realizing that we no longercontrol many aspects of [book] presentation. PressBooksdoesn’t control them either. The consumer does. Theconsumer chooses font, size, format, device – almosteverything. This includes print output.

“You can take that as a loss, or you can take it as a chanceto get back to putting more resources into what reallymatters – creating outstanding content that is deeplymeaningful and important to your audience.”

5. You need to test on REAL projects.

6. Think of technology providers asPARTNERSnotVENDORS.

7. Make a real budget.
– Internal resources.
– External suppliers.

8. Give the people in your org testingout new things a real mandate.

9. Make your decisions based on whatis best for your business (which hinges on making your readers and authors happy)

Will Bergkamp, Publisher & General Manager, Fortress Press:
“Moving to PressBooks is a matter of being able to puttime into the parts of the business that really matter.

“When you do the math and calculate how much time anaverage publishing person (editor, etc) puts into thinkingand making decisions about things that add no concrete value to the business it is shocking.

“A tool like PressBooks, that efficiently and consistentlyoutputs the files you need when you need them takes amajor part of that waste off the table and allows it to berefocused on the things that really matter.”