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The process of proofing a book for publication has become much easier for print books and much harder for ebooks.

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Today’s devices – computers, mobiles, tablets and TV – demand new skills and new ways of thinking from software developers and designers. Some of these principles also apply to book publishers.

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For a publisher wanting to produce a book for e-readers, the production challenges are considerably more complex than for print. A familiar landscape easily navigated by experienced staff has become an unstable terrain guarded by new gatekeepers, and nobody has a reliable map. (Part 2 of Ebook (un)availability.)

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At the Adobe roadshow on digital publishing in Sydney yesterday, presenter Mike Stoddart enthused about the ability of Adobe’s latest software to allow designers to bring design principles, such as typography, back into publishing multimedia. (I certainly identified with his comments on the difficulties of conveying design principles to developers, who aren’t much concerned with white space and layout.)  Read the rest of this entry »

Executives not really understanding the difference between ebook readers and apps? Frustrated when you explain you need to produce different book files for different platforms? Having difficulty deciding in which format(s) you should be producing your books? This simple guide explains the basics of ebook formats and technology.
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A survey (reported in the Wall Street Journal) finds that “People who buy e-readers tend to spend more time than ever with their nose in a book, preliminary research shows.” The survey only covered the US, a country noted for its declining reading habits. Australia, by contrast, is a country of book readers, where independent bookstores still flourish. However, we have had very little access to ebook readers, our experience being largely limited to reading about them online except for those few gadget-happy jetsetters, so it will be sometime before there are enough ebook users to sample. That changed, for me at least, with the iPad’s arrival here in May 2010.

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