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The Evolving Role of Authors and Editors


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Panelists will address the practical application of XML production methods including evaluating your list, how and when to chunk and tag, and working with authors and editors. (Phil Madans, Hachette Book Group)

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The Evolving Role of Authors and Editors

  1. 1. ing olv Ev The Changing Role of ^ Authors and Editors Start With XML January 13, 2009
  2. 2. Hachette Book Group • Phil Madans, Director of Publishing Standards and Practices • Hachette Book Group is the North American division of Hachette Livre • Publish 600+ titles a year – General Trade – Juvenile/Young Adult – Business – Christian
  3. 3. Adapting to a content-centric editorial approach • Expand the editorial vision beyond the printed page • Plan for all appropriate formats of the content at the beginning of the creative process • Implement a standardized digital production editorial workflow • Incorporate contextual xml tagging into the editorial process • Extend editorial mark-up to XML 3 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  4. 4. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is the digital equivalent of the traditional mark up of a paper manuscript Traditional My Book My Book = Title Key Marking Chart = CN Chapter One Chapter One = CT I am Born I am Born Standardized list of elements Manuscript Defines style for each element Page Layout 4 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  5. 5. Start With XML Multiple formats from one master file My Book <title>My Book<title> <title>My Book<title> <chapter_number>Chapt <chapter_number>Chapter er One<chapter_number> One<chapter_number> Chapter One <chapter_title>I am <chapter_title>I am born<chapter_title> born<chapter_title> I am Born My Book My Book XML XML My Book Chapter One Page Layout Chapter Chapter One One I am Born I am Born I am Born Web Phone Dedicated Reader Large Type 5 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  6. 6. Challenges presented by Start With XML • Traditional editorial workflow – Paper-based – Non-standardized digital editing on a fraction of manuscripts – Digital editing skills varies widely – Standard key-marking charts in use • Control of key processes, but no ownership – Most copyediting work outsourced to freelancers – Most design work done by compositors or freelance designers – Standard design templates for interior no yet adopted – Lack of file tagging expertise 6 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  7. 7. Digital workflows work best with standardized processes The goal is a process as ordered as seven card stud poker. The reality is commonly something closer to fifty-two pick up.
  8. 8. Start With XML Pilot Program • Production Editorial – Tested several combinations of manual and automated copyediting and structural tagging • From current manual process to delivering digital copyedited and structurally styled Word docs to the compositor • Editorial – Piloted digital copyediting using MS Word track changes • Authors were asked to work digitally • Editors testing pen editing on tablet pc’s 8 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  9. 9. Pilot Findings: Editorial Production • Editorial Production – Delivering fully corrected and structurally tagged manuscripts will result in cost savings and increased efficiencies • Design templates for text interiors crucial – First Pass Pages cleaner than current practice • Workflow unaffected after ms goes to compositor – Limited number of freelance copyeditors work digitally • More expensive – Tagging structure in Word a tedious process • Not an effective use of PE talent • MS Word Templates not currently an option 9 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  10. 10. Pilot Findings: Editorial • Content-centric approach calls for contextual tagging which should be done by the editor – Not a radical shift in process • Editor still shaping content • Need standard vocabulary for context tagging – Editorial tagging of files call for better tools • XML editors are too complicated • Need ease of use of Word • Track changes produced mixed results – Dependent on author’s willingness to use and/or learn Track Changes – Difficult to standardize 10 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  11. 11. Pilot Drove Implementation Roadmap Content Centric Print Centric t en m ple Im o et Content Centric im --T y Design it lex p m Standard Co Contextual Digital Editing, Vocabulary/ Structural and Taxonomy Content Roll out XML Editorial Tagging Tagging Prod of Content Design Workflow Templates 11 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  12. 12. In Conclusion • Structural tagging is not an issue – How much is outsourced or kept in-house depends on what works best for the Publisher – Move towards a digital standard is an evolution, not a revolution • Editorial must adapt to new environment – Changing point of view from print-centric to content- centric is the key • Books are not defined by their medium – In digital world, formats do not need to mirror each other • Simple, straight forward tools for tagging content are needed for transition 12 Start With XML -- January 13, 2009
  13. 13. Thank You! Phil Madans Hachette Book Group