Archive for March, 2010

Creative Suite 5 is coming

The next version of Creative Suite – CS5 – is coming on April 12, 2010. Make sure to join us at the online launch event on April 12 for the first look at what we’ve been up to in InDesign CS5, including improvements to the EPUB eBook export … and more. 

Sign up to view the launch at http://bit.ly/cs5signup_d

cs5_launch_banner_728x90_EN.jpg

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9:34 AM Permalink

Create EPUB eBooks with Adobe InDesign

I haven’t mentioned this on this blog before, but wanted to point out the resources on Adobe.com on how to create EPUB eBooks using Adobe InDesign.  We’ve produced some guides on creating eBooks in InDesign, including an overview of the EPUB workflow in the software, answers to commonly asked questions, and how to work with images.  These how-to EPUB authoring guides are available on Adobe.com.  While you’re there, check out the tutorial videos on Adobe TV that explain how to create EPUB, information about the EPUB specification, and where to find information about eBooks elsewhere on Adobe.com (like the InDesign help pages and the Digital Publishing Technology Center)

EPUB authoring resources:

Also – I’m looking at developing more guides on creating EPUB eBooks and would like your feedback.  What topics would you like to see covered?  What is most challenging about authoring EPUB for you?  Leave a comment on this post and I’ll review it for possible inclusion in our next set of guides on how-to create EPUB.

create_epub.jpg 

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10:47 AM Permalink

ABC includes digital magazines in circulation figures

The Audit Bureau of Circulations today released new
guidelines for what counts towards “paid and verified” magazine circulation –
including how to account for digital magazines. In its news release and digital circulation
guidelines
, ABC notes that the digital
edition of WIRED
will be included in the
magazine’s total “paid and verified” circulation.

Specifically, the ABC notes that digital magazines like
WIRED will count towards a “Digital Edition – Replica” category that is
subsequently included in total circulation. This replica category comprises digital magazines that
represent the full editorial and advertising content of the publication. No longer, however, does the content
have to be presented in exactly the
same layout as in print.

Okay… so what does this mean? Well, it has implications for publishers, readers, and
advertisers.

The new guidelines mean publishers
can include digital copies in the rate base circulation figures they guarantee
to advertisers. With this
inclusion, magazines can (1) more accurately represent the reach they deliver
to advertisers and (2) capture that value through increased CPM rates.

For readers, it
means an even more engaging digital magazine experience. Magazine publishers will increasingly
make more content available in immersive, interactive digital formats because
they are able to attract advertisers to it.

Finally, advertisers
are able to audit the number of readers publications connect with on
emerging tablet/smartphone devices. This means advertisers can count on digital platforms to deliver reach. The promise of digital is not only to
deliver reach though, but also engagement. With the new interactive advertising formats
applications like WIRED offer, advertisers are able to involve readers directly
at a deeper level – without leaving the magazine content experience.

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5:47 PM Permalink

EPUB and iBooks

Apple notes on its iBooks page today that users can add “free” ePub titles and sync them to the iPad using iTunes.  As I interpret this, “free” means you’ll be able to load ePub without content protection (like eBooks in the public domain) onto the iPad.  Like I’ve said before, we welcome the decision Apple has made to support the ePub format because it will further grow the eBook market and reduce the file formats to which publishers must output.

There are some things that readers should be clear about though – one good and one not-so-good. First, the good. Today’s news that users can load “free” ePub onto the iPad means that you’ll be able to export an eBook using the “Export to Digital Editions” feature in InDesign CS4 and read it on the iPad as well as one of the nearly 25 devices that support the Adobe eBook Platform.  To be clear, however, eBooks protected by Apple’s DRM (like those you purchase within iBooks) are locked-in to Apple devices. This means these books won’t work on other eReader devices or smartphone platforms because Apple’s DRM is incompatible with other systems.  Nor will eBooks purchased from any other online bookseller work in the iBooks application. Before investing in a library of paid eBook content in iBooks, consumers should consider how they’ll be able to access their content across the range of devices they will use – smartphones, tablets, and desktop apps – on a daily basis.  Read more on this from the Financial Times article “Walls close in on e-book garden

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3:20 PM Permalink

Content + Experience

I’m back from the FIPP Digital Innovators Summit last week in Berlin, Germany where a variety of international publishers presented their strategies for monetizing digital content. If there’s one thing that was clear from the conference, it’s that there’s a lot of confusion on what a “digital strategy” means.

Many publishers only use their Web site as part of their digital strategy. Of this group, some companies are using the Web to drive traffic to additional monetized services (i.e paid job listing boards for newspapers; wedding mag TheKnot.com has an entire strategy around wedding services). Some other publishers are using a premium paid content model (The Economist). Still others are trying to monetize via iPhone apps (or expecting to monetize via iPad apps). None are placing their bets on increased CPM rates from ads.

The challenge in monetizing digital content lies in the fact that content has become a commodity. Given the confusion over monetization at the Digital Innovators Summit though, it was clear to me that publishers don’t just need another monetization model. Fundamentally, we need to increase the value around content by transforming it into a content experience. It is this content experience that provides differentiation and allows publishers to monetize more effectively.

What is a content experience? One way could be an application like we’ve produced with WIRED magazine that allows increased reader engagement and interactivity with both content and ads. Instead of passively sifting through articles online, readers navigate through the magazine in innovative ways, interact with photo slideshows/video snippets, and engage with advertising content (like through 360 degree object rotation). These interactive features, combined with the tablet form-factor, allow publishers to reach readers in new ways and provide a differentiated option that creates value. Instead of just another monetization model, we need to think about what readers actually want from the content they consume.  Increasingly, readers will want a connection with their content in new and innovative ways – a content experience.

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11:37 AM Permalink

InDesign turns 10

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Adobe InDesign, the professional publishing and page layout software.  As part of the celebration, check out the InDesign 10th Anniversary Web site and view the commemorative book (PDF, 9MB).  While InDesign has come a long way as a page layout tool, what’s most exciting to me is the future of publishing that the book highlights in the final chapter — including the possibility to transcend the traditional “page layout” metaphor and publish to a wide range of media. 

From the commemorative book:
“In this new [publishing] world, ‘page layout’ is no longer the best term to describe the use of InDesign. Adobe President and CEO Shantanu Narayen offers that it is simply a layout program, in that it aggregates
content into a designed document, no matter the medium in which it is
published.”

This concept of a publishing tool that outputs across media will be increasingly important — and we’re seeing the importance of this with the myriad of devices emerging on the market.  Since CS3, Adobe InDesign has supported the open EPUB eBook file format through the “Export to Digital Editions” feature.  This means that book publishers using InDesign can create eBook content for eReading devices like the Barnes & Noble nook and Sony Reader  without extensive retaining of design staff.  Additionally, our collaboration with WIRED to create a new digital magazine concept uses an Adobe InDesign-based workflow to streamline the content production process.

AdobeID10th.jpg

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9:21 AM Permalink

Times Reader on HP Slate

Yesterday, the Flash Platform team posted a video of the HP slate device and how it enables a range of media experiences. In particular, check out the demo of the Times Reader AIR application at 3:46. This application enables The New York Times Company to reach digital readers in new ways while simulating the design, layout and typographical experiences of the printed medium. Especially as slate devices emerge during the coming year as a new form-factor for digital media, we’re investigating ways that more publishers can use news reader applications similar to the Times Reader to engage their reader base. Stay tuned as we work to roll out the details.

To highlight some points Alan made in his demo, at Adobe (and in particular the Digital Publishing group in which I work), we’re focused on enabling publishers to reach their readers across a variety of devices and screen types. Because Adobe AIR runs across operating system types, publishers like the New York Times can deliver content experiences across emerging device types — including the HP slate — without having to create a native application for each. This reduces production costs for publishers, and allows them to focus resources on developing content.

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10:53 AM Permalink