The Well-Formed Document

Articles by publishing professionals


By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

The publishing industry seems to be confused about metadata. Metadata is commonly perceived as ancillary information necessary for marketing and distributing books. Consider ONIX (Online Information Exchange) for Books, for example, which, according to the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), is “the international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form.” Publishers provide ONIX data about their titles because it facilitates book sales. From this

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Digital Publishing: Efficiencies Gained

By Susan Doerr of University of Minnesota Press

Since the inception of our digital publishing efforts at the University of Minnesota Press, the work of making and selling ebooks has added to our traditional editorial, production, and marketing processes.

We have sought to alter our workflow and find digital tools to make the publishing process more efficient. Our thinking has shifted from a print-centric mindset, to book-in-many-formats mindset. In January 2013 we began looking for a vendor partner with the tools that would unify the manuscript

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Love the E-Book

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

Often, I hear people belittling e-books. These people, of course, prefer “real” books.

Please understand, I too love books. I read to expand my understanding of things, improve Scribe or my relationships with others, gain new insights, be inspired, or enter worlds that are beyond my physical reach. Quite literally, I owe my life to books. And getting lost in a book is one of my favorite activities.

As much as I love to be surrounded by bound volumes in my personal library, I realize that the form

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Learning as We Go

By Billie Jean Collins of Society of Biblical Literature

Realities of Being a Scholarly Publisher

My colleagues and I at the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Press are charged with publishing forty book titles and one quarterly journal per year. Our mission to foster biblical scholarship, in addition, means responding to the needs of our eight thousand members worldwide. So, answering the call for more e-books, open-access content, e-content for course packs, and online reference works was an exigency.

But how does a publishing staff of a mere five

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What I Heard at AAUP

By Mark Fretz of Scribe Inc.

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) convened their annual conference in Boston, June 20–22, 2013. As always, the program offered stimulating plenary and panel sessions, lots of informal conversations, and plenty to think about as we said au revoir.

It is always helpful to pay attention to events and conversations taking place throughout the publishing industry. While listening to these conversations, it is important to check both the accuracy of the information and how it squares

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Publishing Digital Products alongside Print Books

By Hope LeGro of Georgetown University Press

My colleagues and I at Georgetown University Press (GUP) continually ask ourselves how a publisher can create and release content simultaneously in print and digital formats. We are not alone in asking this question, but for us, digital encompasses far more than an e-book.

Our challenge is creating interactive digital products that complement or stand in place of print products.

As director of Georgetown Languages, a separately branded section of GUP that focuses on publishing foreign language

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Considering Publishing Conventions

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

Like many in the publishing industry, I arrived at my profession by somewhat of an accident. Sure, I loved books. But my interest was in classical history, with a deeper interest in the Roman Empire. Like others in that field, I studied Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Egyptian (mostly Coptic).

In my initial studies, I learned the value of good typography.

Though I was fairly adept at reading critical editions, I struggled with the originals. Though hieroglyphs point in a particular direction, often have

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Book Branding

By David Alan Rech of Scribe Inc.

Book branding is getting a lot of attention: Book Business Magazine devoted its February issue to branding. The 2013 Tools of Change conference focused on the topic in a number of discussions. Numerous blogs discuss branding, and even the editorial and production staff among our clients are mentioning it more frequently.

Before branding became all the rage, publishers created works distinct to them. In the history of publishing, there have been various terms—including “imprint identity”—to communicate

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