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Luc Audrain, «This is how Publishing market will change in the next 5 years»

di L. Biava notizia del 6 giugno 2012

Editech is a two-days conference (21st-22nd June, Milan) of updating on technological innovations in the book publishing sector organised by the Associazione Italiana Editori (AIE) - Italian Publishers Association.
We asked Luc Audrain, Head of Digitalization Hachette Livre and speaker at Editech next 21 June, his vision about the future of the publishing industry.

What is the impact of digital products in your reference market?
In term of market share, impact is still small for the moment but it is growing as new e-retailers open in 2011 and as reading devices are available at lower prices.

Which are, in your opinion, the main challenges that publishing will face in the next few years? And which in particular referred to the digital products?
Dispertion of technology is the major challenge we will have to face as publishers in the future. From proprietary formats to non interoperable protection solutions, it will be more difficult to implement editorial processes that encompass the whole set of user access to content that the paper technology had solved many years ago. Synchronizing ebooks to paper publications at the same date has already required huge investments in production and distribution processes. New skill and new know-how had to be developed and acquired in order to provide simultaneous availability for digital version of each new title and this is what we are doing now. Thank to the IDPF, a large number of companies are working together to share a universal ebook format: ePub. Our challenge is here to participate in the adoption and evolution of this standard.

What is going to change in the traditional production process?
Going digital has a big impact on production processes as it impulses re-usability at creation level. For paper only, editorial creation can be seen as a page layout process where text rendering and image position has to be at best layout quality. The questions of structure and content meaning can be totally avoided. In this digital era, it cannot be this way anymore: text is information and its content meaning, its structure are more important than its rendering: the proof of this is that the layout serves the meaning, and not the reverse. Reusability comes then from the editorial creation itself and not from post production conversion. Digital reading systems can then apply any new significant rendering on the meaningful and well structured content to adapt to new devices, new usages, new formats.

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