Kathleen Fraser (MPub 09) and I have written a new article for the Journal of Electronic Publishing, forthcoming late this year. It’s called “Traversing the Book of MPub: An Agile, Web-first Publishing Model.” It describes the process that led to The Book of MPub, our web-first, multi-platform publishing project from last spring, and elaborates on a more conceptual level the rationale(s) for doing things this way.
Here’s the abstract:
In the 21st Century, content normally lives on the web. But what would a web-based book publishing environment look like? In spring 2010, graduate students at Simon Fraser University created The Book of MPub, an end-to-end, web-first book publishing project. The re-visioning of the book as a web-born entity presents enormous opportunities for publishers to push the operational, expressive, and social horizons of their businesses. We have identified four key concepts which shape a modern book publishing approach: the concept of an agile publishing methodology; the centrality of online content management systems; leveraging the web’s HTML markup as a way of achieving an XML-based workflow; and the radical reconfiguration of promotion and marketing.