In an early series of blog posts, I set out the workflow Cambridge currently follows in developing a book. As mentioned in these posts, it is a linear process from author to editor to typesetter (with a bit of back and forth between these two to finalize the book). This workflow would be familiar to a publisher from 30 years ago. Despite advances in web technologies, the legacy systems at traditional publishers mean that innovation doesn’t take place in-house. As more publishers outsource services to India companies, innovation in the publishing industry itself is outsourced.
A few smaller and more tech-focused publishers (e.g. O’Reilly Media) have already re-imagined the publishing process. There are also various start-ups offering off the shelf solutions. I wrote about Pressbooks who have adapted the popular blogging software WordPress to an online book publishing platform.
So, as someone who makes books daily, here are my thoughts on the matter.