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The Transformation Of Print Publishing

The Transition of Publishing To The New-Age eBook: Is this the end of print publishing?

Publishers take note: the iPad is altering the very concept of a ‘book’ ( Naughton 2010)

I want an iPad. Why? Well, where do I begin? I could go out and buy a broadsheet newspaper and navigate my way through pages of articles before I find something that catches my eye… OR, I could read my weekend newspaper on an A4 sized tabular screen, held in both hands, and navigate through its contents by barely lifting a finger. Not only am I getting the articles, I’m provided with access to other related media such as videos and photos that evidently enhance my reading experience.

The Australian was the first newspaper in Aus to have an iPad application, making the paper available online without having to purchase the print issue. Is it time to say goodbye to print as well? (The Australian, 2010)

Similarly, if there’s no space left on my bookshelf for an Austen classic, why not just buy the eBook version?  The commonality between both scenarios is not just the advantages of new-media and demise of print, but the way the products are published. Publishing is “the process of production and dissemination of literature or information – the activity of making information available for public view” (Wikipedia).  But it not only refers to books and newspapers, it includes electronic resources, like eBooks, online newspapers/news sites, videos, games, and even blogs.   

“This is the end of publishing and books are dead and boring. No longer can it be said that we like to read. My friends and I, we don’t like the way books feel in our hands”. (Penguin Group USA 2010)

We’ve from evolved from  woodblock prints, to Guttenberg’s printing press, to modern-day printers, and now, digital versions.  Books or newspapers without the actual use of paper is no longer impossible. Guardian journalist John Naughton is an avid fan of ‘The Economist’ magazine, priding itself on its readers “make a weekly “appointment” with the magazine – time that they set aside to read it”.  (Naughton 2010) But having now downloaded the iPad application, the physical copy lays lying unopened on his table.  

Every Thursday, the “Read” button changes to “Download” and suddenly your iPad acquires the entire content of the current edition – in seconds. The second surprise is that it’s easier and more pleasant to read than its printed counterpart and much nicer than the Kindle edition of the magazine. The iPad has delivered a genuinely “immersive” reading experience. (Naughton 2010)

The key element to understand is that digital publishing is an entire different field to print publishing. As Judy Sims says in her blog post “Keep the Print Guys Away From the iPad App”, print publishers would want to lay out an electronic newspaper the way a physical copy is designed, and charge a lot for articles. This is the wrong approach. What will work is getting “great developers, a product manager, a smart ad sales person and some enthusiastic digital editors and designers” to create the electronic version. (Sims 2010)

Publishing’s many subdivisions, such as newspaper, book, and academic publishing have witnessed a change from print to digital for different publications. But there is always a desire to have a phyiscal copy of a Jane Austen classic in your hands, the experience itself promising. The message is, is that publishing that goes into both books and eBooks are unique to their own forms. eBooks change the concept of the book, but have not ended it. Watch the video where the following quote is taken from, and see where the Future of Publishing lies.

” It’s not true we don’t like the way books feel in our hands. My friends and I, we like to read. No longer can it be said that books are dead and this is the end of publishing . (Penguin Group USA 2010)

References

  1. Naughton, J 2010, ‘Publishers Take Note: the iPad is altering the very concept of a ‘book’ , theguardian.co.uk, 19 December 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/dec/19/ipad-publishing-kindle-books-apple, accessed 7 March 2011
  2. Sims, J 2010, ‘Keep The Print Guys Away From The iPad App’, blog post, SimsBlog, http://simsblog.typepad.com/simsblog/2010/01/keep-the-print-guys-away-from-the-ipad-app.html,  accessed 7 March 2011
  3. Penguin Group USA 2010, Dorling Kindersley Books, Khaki Films, ‘The Future Of Publishing’ , YouTube Video, accessed 7 March 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Weq_sHxghcg
  4. The Australian, ‘The Australian On iPad’, image, accessed 10 October 2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/help/theaustralian-ipad 
 

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