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Let’s Explore ePublishing Together

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I got into publishing back in the days of Exacto knives and hot wax, and have never really gotten over it. I know that now our books are created with mice and go to press on little disks, and I know they are somehow transformed directly into printing plates at the other end. But do it myself? No way! That’s how far behind I am in my skills.Not that I’m totally out-of-date. I bought one of the first Rocket e-Books. I now order titles for it all the time, carry it with me when I travel, and find it to be a great convenience. And I downloaded Stephen King’s “Riding the Bullet” right away (though even as a SK fan, I thought it was pretty lame).So I understand, conceptually, books as digital files. And I understand, specifically, books as electronic devices. What really has me flummoxed is the whole new world of e-publishing, and where my company, a traditional print publisher, fits into it. So we create books on disk. How do we make them available as downloadable files? How do we choose formats, providers, sales and marketing outlets? How do we protect our copyrights? How does all this fit into our traditional distribution channels? How do we set prices and discounts? How do we get paid? Or not?So much is changing, daily, in this new publishing world that even the questions keep changing, not to mention the answers. ePublishing became a lively topic of discussion at the most recent PMA Board of Directors meeting, as we pondered what PMA can do to help members find their way through it all. We discussed creating resource guides, seminars, a full track at next spring’s PMA University, and more. But first we’ll spend some time as a board finding the common ground, developing a common language, and identifying the common problems. You can help. Tell us what you need-tools, knowledge, training. Tell us what you can share too. Let PMA and this newsletter become a clearinghouse and a resource. Send your thoughts and ideas on this topic to pmaonline@aol.com. We’ll compile your responses and share them in the future through the newsletter. It’s a brave new world indeed, and we can travel there together.

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