It Takes More Than Tools & Technologies to Succeed

Posted by Christopher Hill on Jul 15, 2014 10:31:00 AM

Success with RSuite CMSThe rapid shifts in publishing over the last few decades has lead most publishers to realize that the tried-and-true processes that served them well in the twentieth century may be hindering their ability to respond to the demands of twenty-first century publishing. Oftentimes part of the solution is a revision to the tools and technologies used to publish content. Technologies and tools can serve to catalyze and support needed change in an organization, but they cannot guarantee a successful outcome.

One person's hero becomes another's zero

It is tempting to look at successful peers for leadership when looking for effective revisions to your publishing workflow. After all, if a set of technologies and tools enables others to succeed, wouldn't the same approach succeed in any similar organization? Apparently the answer is "no" based on the number of failed attempts to address digital publishing requirements. Never forget that the success you see elsewhere is not just fueled by tools and technologies. There's a lot of work involved in the transition as well.

Is it the hammer or you?

It is tempting to blame the technology or tools when a transition begins to go badly. But remember, you cannot expect success with today's tools to succeed if you apply legacy techniques when using them. The tools of an 18th century blacksmith couldn't expect to compete with those of the industrial age. By the same token, modern tools cannot hope to achieve their promise with the techniques of the blacksmith. Modernization is doomed unless the blacksmith also changes. It is easy to blame the tools and technologies when transitions fail. Doing so, however, will only return you to your past - and a slow decline as more adaptable organizaeetions overtake you.

Change is often a slog rather than a glorious revolution. Never forget that it takes real effort to support a transition. Any transition will be accompanied by resistance and temptation to return to the past. Don't forget to prepare for the effort needed to move your organization after the tools are deployed.

Think about likely objections in advance. Be ready to address the real problem that lies behind the objections. Here are a few common examples when moving from traditional to digitally-oriented processes:

"These tools are impressive technologically, but won't work for us. We need something more like our old tools."

Likely problem

This explanation is often heard when those using the new tools or technologies have not had the time and/or training to understand the new environment. It is a challenge to continue production while migrating to a new environment. Unless those participating are properly prepared for the additional effort and given the appropriate resources, there is a good chance the transition will not succeed.


Provide training and resources to the staff as well as a knowledgeable champion who can serve to help facilitate a transition. When identifying such a person don't assume they will be the masters of your current systems. After all, masters of the artisanal processes may not be the right fit for transitioning to a modern machine shop. The current masters are no doubt critical to the future of the organization, but if they are firmly rooted in the current approach they may be slow to adopt new approaches. Sometimes, turning to external sources for these examples can work. Consultants or contractors can sometimes ease the transition. Don't forget to look for mentors in similar organizations who have made a similar transition.


"Our customer would never accept automated formatting."

Likely problem

Often publishing professionals assume that the standards of the 20th century are fully applicable in the 21st century. Remember, prior to the rise of sites like Google with is sparse design and interface web sites were highly designed. While pretty under carefully controlled conditions, as browsers evolved it became costly to maintain high-design sites. Today the web is dominated by utilitarian design and interfaces.


Consider whether your consumer will notice or care about any formatting issue requiring additional programming or effort. Oftentimes formatting issues that seem critical to a professional go completely unnoticed by the consumer. In many cases faster, accurate delivery trumps artisanal design for consumers.

Do the work

Transitioning to a digital-oriented publishing strategy is challenging. It is easy to find reasons to abandon new systems in favor of the old. But remember change is inevitable if you hope to adapt to and deliver digital content efficiently. The benefits available to publishers today can only be realized if you succeed at working your way out of your legacy approach.

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Topics: RSuite CMS, digital publishing, success, tools, technologies, technology

Content Digitization Strategy 101

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Apr 29, 2013 1:46:00 PM

RSuite CMS: Digitize your content, transform your organization

Half of all Americans now own some sort of smartphone or tablet device, according to a recent Pew Research initiative. This is roughly similar to the number of Americans who own laptop computers, but the transition has occurred in over very few years, and these numbers are expected to double in the coming years. This trend is largely what is driving most activity in the content business today. The ability to present meaningful content where and when it is requested and at a price that is acceptable is a major challenge. It is becoming increasingly clear that content that is not digitized is not as valuable as content that is.

Digitization has become a necessity for content driven businesses. Many publishers have developed digitization strategies mainly as a reaction to market trends. Some publishers have adopted a “wait and see” mindset betting that technology will improve and that prices will come down. This may have been a good strategy in the early adoption era. However, technology and software have evolved, and the pricing for both technology and offshore services are about as low as they are going to get.   Digitizing your content is one of the necessary costs of admission to be able to play in today's marketplace. 

Download our free white paper, "Content Digitization Strategy 101" and understand the following concepts, which must be part of any content management and publishing plan:

  • How you develop content that has a high digital readiness factor

  • Strategies for reclaiming content that does not have a high digital readiness factor

  • Planning to upgrade legacy content that is not digital into digital readiness

  • How you manage, store, and distribute your digital ready content

  • How do you maintain a focus on business value as a guide to all these activities

    Download White Paper!

Topics: content management for publishers, RSuite CMS, digital publishing, digital publishing strategy

Publishing in the Digital Age: A CMS Is a Publisher's Factory

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Jan 11, 2013 2:39:00 PM

Today, stresses on the publishing industry are more accelerated than most other industries. New expenses are added to reach publishing targets and those expenses don't always add to total revenue. A content management system (CMS) helps publishers manage, store, transform, and delivery content in a sustainable and economical way. A CMS is a publisher’s factory. 

Want to learn how your organization can benefit from RSuite CMS?

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Topics: content management for publishers, RSuite, content management, CMS, digital publishing

Goodbye Print; Hello Digital: Newsweek Goes Digital-Only 12/31/2012

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Oct 18, 2012 9:45:00 AM

Newsweek goes digital onlySince the story broke early this morning, newsfeeds, blogs, and web sites are buzzing with the news that Newsweek will go digital only on December 31, 2012.

Tina Brown, editor in chief, explained "We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," Brown said. "We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism -- that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution."

Brown cites a Pew Research Center report that found 39% of Americans get news from an online source. And indeed that percentage will increase in the coming years. Transitioning the organization now to digital only will help secure the foundation Newsweek laid in 1933 when the publication began.


Topics: digital publishing

Truth of Digital Revenue Streams

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Apr 12, 2012 8:07:00 AM

digital revenue streams for publishersWe’ve heard the allure of digital revenue for more than a decade. Yet many publishers still report that print supersedes digital. And a majority of publishing organizations continue to structure people, processes, and tools to support a print-first environment. In 2012 the rules have changed. Having worked with hundreds of publishing professionals during the past 10 years, we've observed organizations that implement a strategic content management initiative and converted backlist titles into XML are the ones who are seeing digital revenue exceed print.

RSI Content Solutions and Data Conversion Laboratory are hosting a series of webinars this year that examine today’s publishing landscape. This webinar series will step back and differentiate fact from fiction. We'll present success stories that demonstrate how publishing organizations are navigating the world of XML, CMS, and ebooks to meet and exceed customer demands.

The first webinar of the series is moderated by Darrell W. Gunter, CEO, Gunter Media Group. Register for this free webinar and hear the truths about what your organization can do to recognize true digital revenue.

Webinar: Reality Check: The Truth About Digital Revenue Streams
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Moderator: Darrell W. Gunter, CEO, Gunter Media Group

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Topics: RSuite, Webinar, digital publishing, digital publishing strategy

Strategic Digital Publishing: Making Investments Pay

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Feb 3, 2012 11:47:00 AM

finding new revenue for academic publishingThe 2012 Professional Scholarly Publishing annual conference is coming to an end on a positive note for academic and scholarly publishers. The conference itself had a large turnout this year with literally 5 no-shows (unheard of!). Congratulations to all the organizers.

I am heartened by the state of academic publishing and I think the industry shares this feeling judging by the comments of the presenters, the record turnout, and the Q&A sessions. Following are just some of the highlights. Stay tuned as I gather some of the slides from presenters like Ned May from Outsell that detail ebook statistics and anticipated trends moving into 2012 and beyond.

Ebooks, ebooks, ebooks

Naturally, ebook conversations came up in all presentations. With the ongoing increase in tablet sales, STM/academic publishers are (finally) hearing the siren song of XML loud and clear and seeing how it translates into profits. Clark Morrell, president of Rittenhouse Book Distributors, shared an interesting story about a health professions publisher who recently purchased an e-product that was outside of its HP curriculum because they were finally able to take advantage of an unbundled piece of digital content that was relevant to HP. By unbundling the bundled content (ie, books), publishers have real growth opportunities. As Clark stated, "there's no need to sell by the bottle when people want just a glass."

Organizations that could revolutionize scholarly publishing

This presentation highlighted four companies that are opening up untapped content distribution channels, innovating around established business models and enhancing the end-user experience.

Pubget: the search engine for life-science PDFs. Recently acquired by the Copyright Clearance Center, this organization makes scientific research easier by simplifying the process of finding, managing and analyzing scientific papers.

TEMIS: a provider of semantic content enrichment solutions for enterprises. Its Luxid 6 software enables publishers to semantically tag content, which in turn facilitates discovery, faceted search results, product sandboxing, and a slew of additional benefits.

DeepDyve: the largest online rental service for scientific, technical and medical research. I'm most excited about this service for academic and scholarly publishers. I had the pleasure of sitting with CEO Bill Park at lunch who went into detail about the service. The basic idea is that users can rent PDF versions of published journal content. Partnering with a number of STM publishers and growing daily, users can search, find, and read journal abstracts and opt to rent the PDF for as little as 0.99 cents. Publishers need not fear the cannibalization of subscriptions because DeepDyve's audience comprises businesses outside the publishers core market (eg, pharma, device manufacturers, etc).  In other words, untapped revenue for STM publishers. Win-win.

Mendeley: a reference manager and academic social network. The company was founded by two German PhD students who were frustrated with the lack of tools to organize their growing content collections and share information with other researchers.  What's in it for publishers is that it offers a new (and social) approach to the impact factor. There's much more and Mendeley's overview video does a much better explanation than I can do here.

2011 PROSE Awards

Personally, the PROSE awards are my favorite part of this conference. People outside of scholarly publishing don't recognize the talent, effort, money, and time that goes into producing quality works. This year the R.R. Hawkins Award was presented to The Diffusion Handbook: Applied Solutions for Engineers by R.K. Michael Thambynayagam, published by McGraw-Hill. It was an honor to hear the back story of how this book was lovingly made over 18 years. The author provides 1,000 solutions to a well known diffusion equation. The senior editor of the book liked to call it a picture book of the diffusion coefficient.

It was also a treat to see many RSuite customers on the winner list:

  • Elsevier
  • Oxford University Press
  • Cengage Learning
  • CQ Press

Congratulations to all the publishers, authors, and editors who were involved.

Content management

Though the terms metadata and content management were implied throughout the conference, it wasn't until the last day that the actual term content management system was uttered. Like any transformative power, infrastructure is key. Without the proper landscape, people and processes will not achieve the desired goals. Roger Kasunic, VP of editing, design, and production at McGraw-Hill stated that "the customer expects access to content on their terms. CMS infrastructure must change from the old ways."

Just so happens, we can recommend a great content management system for publishers!

Topics: Professional Scholarly Publishing, digital publishing

Skyhorse Publishing Licenses DocZone Book Publisher

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Jan 23, 2012 10:02:00 AM

DocZone Book Publisher, a cloud-based XML publishing system

“America’s Fastest Growing Small Publisher” Will Use DocZone Book Publisher to Simultaneously Publish Print and Digital Books

Skyhorse Publishing recently licensed DocZone Book Publisher, an end-to-end book publishing solution that automates output to both print and ebook formats. In 2011, Publishers Weekly named Skyhorse Publishing “America’s fastest growing small publisher.” Founded in 2006, the publishing company is quickly gaining recognition among customers and has already had three New York Times bestse

llers. Skyhorse—with its five imprints (Arcade Publishing, Allworth Publishing, Skyhorse, Sports Publishing, and Sky Pony Press) now boasts a backlist of 1,500 books.

“We are thrilled to add Skyhorse to the list of publishing companies who use DocZone Book Publisher as part of its digital publishing strategy,” stated Dan Dube, EVP Cloud Solutions at Really Strategies, Inc. “DocZone Book Publisher will help Skyhorse Publishing automate production processes and publish PDFs and ebooks without the use of off-shore resources while saving time and money.”

“We are often asked how a new publishing company can make it in the current environment,” stated Abigail Gehring, managing editor at Skyhorse. “Our focus is on quality content and implementing appropriate tools, like DocZone Book Publisher. As a result we are the nimble publisher who can publish great books with modern tools and processes.”

Some of the world’s leading publishers use DocZone Book Publisher to increase revenue with faster time-to-market and achieve an XML-first publishing process.

Schedule a demo today!

Topics: ebooks, DocZone Book Publisher, digital publishing

Really Strategies to Unveil DocZone Book Publisher™ at Digital Book World Conference 2012

Posted by Marianne Calihanna on Jan 19, 2012 1:19:00 PM

DocZone Book PublisherReally Strategies will introduce the newly released DocZone Book Publisherat Digital Book World Conference 2012 in New York City (stand 31) from January 23rd to 25th.The Digital Book World Conference 2012 is the only conference that offers trade publishers hard data on the state of the book business, as well as actionable, proven strategies for taking immediate advantage of opportunities as they develop in today’s publishing industry.
“DocZone Book Publisher is the only end-to-end book publishing solution that automates output to both print and ebook formats, as well as provides online editorial tools, workflow, and language translation. DocZone Book Publisher is the latest entry based on our award-winning DocZone cloud platform for XML content management and multilingual “push button” publishing. Now, book publishers can take control of their editorial and production processes for a similar price to using an offshore service provider. Any book publisher attending this event is invited to take part in a free consultation with one of our digital publishing specialists.” --Dan Dube, EVP Cloud Solutions

Some of the world’s leading publishers use DocZone Book Publisher to increase revenue with faster time-to-market and achieve an XML-first publishing process. 

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Topics: ebooks, DocZone Book Publisher, digital publishing

Can You Publish Your Book Content Anywhere, Anytime?

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Jan 16, 2012 4:51:00 PM

Come visit DocZone Book Publisher at stand 31 at Digital Book World Conference and Expo 2012 and learn how book and trade publishers are simultaneously publishing to print and ebook, while saving time and off-shore production costs.

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Publishers are struggling with strategies to make the big switch from print-centric to digital-first book publishing. DocZone Book Publisher is the only cloud-based book publishing technology platform that can publish your digital content to print and digital formats, in any language, with the click of a button.

DocZone Book Publisher is an end-to-end publishing solution that provides:

  • online editorial tools
  • workflow
  • language translation
  • automated output to print-ready PDF, HTML, and eBook formats.

Digital Book World Conference is the only conference that offers trade publishers hard data on the state of the book business as well as actionable, proven strategies for taking immediate advantage of opportunities as they develop in today’s publishing industry.

Schedule your appointment today and see how DocZone Book Publisher can help you economically create and deliver digital content to the next generation.

Topics: content management for publishers, DocZone Book Publisher, digital publishing, book publishing

Content Management: the Four Phases of Digital Publishing Transformation

Posted by Barry Bealer on Jan 4, 2012 9:05:00 AM

As publishers transition workflows, tools, and organizational structure to reshape revenue streams so digital revenue exceeds print, I’ve identified the four phases of digital publishing transformation. The  following image captures the phases and the intersection of print and digital revenues.  The four phases comprise---planning, realization, survival, and new world.  As a publisher moves through these phases there are specific events within each phase that cause the publisher to either remain stagnant or move forward to the next phase.

digital publishing transformation

Planning phase. This is a low stress phase where a publisher is just starting to experience a low erosion of print revenue and is experimenting with digital products.  There is a general feeling that something is coming and resources are allotted to begin a digital strategy plan.   Publishers must plan for the move from a tactical content management system to a strategic content management platform  that  can create, package, and distribute content in a highly automated fashion.

Realization phase. A publisher in this phase is beginning to see print revenue decline pretty quickly while electronic product experiments start to gain momentum and generate revenue.  There is a crisis underway in this phase and cultural issues start to emerge across product and editorial teams.  It is in this phase that publishers should look to invest strategically in technology because time-to-market pressure in a multi-channel scenario will be the priority over just the print channel.  In this phase a publisher must look at people, process, and technology to meet the necessary demands of the new publishing environments.  Those who are slow to adopt or embrace change are unlikely to survive.

Survival phase. If the publisher has adequately planned for the transition to a dominant digital revenue stream, this phase will not be as onerous.  If there is an extended realization phase, the survival phase may be short because the publisher just won’t make the transition.  It is during the survival phase when digital revenue numbers get exciting and begin to challenge print revenue. Publishers who enter the survival phase and begin to produce more digital products will move onto the next phase.  These publishers have taken a strategic view of content management.

New world phase. What publishers must embrace in the new world phase is a solid strategic content management platform, production processes that minimize manual intervention and emphasize automation, and a culture of continual improvement.  No longer can departments operate in a vacuum, systems be built on home grown technology, or processes remain stagnant.  The new world phase embraces change and rapid publishing to new channels and devices.  The reward in this phase is the successful transition of print and digital revenue streams. Publishers will see digital sales eclipse print sales and in some exciting cases, digital products can be used to drive print sales. It is in this phase when publishers and product managers can experiment with audiences to understand how the customer is engaged and tweak the delivery of content to customers any time, on any format, on any device.

While certain segments of the publishing industry have moved through this digital publishing transformation, many are still in the planning phases.  Tools that support digital publishing have evolved immensely over the past decade. In fact people and processes tend to take more time to transition to the new speed of digital publishing than the implementation of content management tools.  We developed RSuite, a content management system for publishers, to serve as the core foundation of a digital publishing strategy. Some of the world’s leading publishers and media companies use RSuite---Oxford University Press, Nature Publishing Group, Triumph Learning, Audible, and many more. 

Want to see how RSuite can transform your digital publishing process?

Schedule RSuite Demo!

Topics: content management for publishers, RSuite, digital publishing

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