By Joe Wikert
If I had to summarize the future of publishing in just one word, I’d say “open.” We’re living in a very closed publishing world today. Retailers use tools like digital rights management (DRM) to lock content, and DRM also tends to lock customers into a platform. Content itself is still largely developed in a closed model, with authors writing on their word processor of choice and editors typically not seeing the content until it’s almost complete. Then we have all the platforms that are closed from one another; have you ever tried reading a mobi ﬁle from Amazon in an EPUB reader, for example?
Given these examples of our closed industry, why do I think the future will be different? It has to do with some of the early indicators I’m seeing through start-ups and other trends. My TOC colleagues and I are in the enviable position of getting to cross paths with some of the most forward-thinking people in our industry. We share many of these encounters via our website as well as at our in-person events. I’d like to share some of the more interesting ones that are currently on my radar, including a few featured at TOC Frankfurt.
Let’s look at what exactly open publishing is. The word “open” is used a lot in the technology world these days. Open source projects are just one example, but open standards are another. So when people talk about open publishing, what do they mean?
It’s helpful to ﬁrst think about what open publishing is not. ...