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Digital Book Publishing Still a Moving Target

posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 05, 2010

Respondents to a recent survey on digital book publishing, produced by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), say that digital book publishing is still a moving target, naming metadata bottlenecks, third-party vendors, and rights issues over images as major concerns.

The report, “Digital Publishing in the AAUP Community Survey Report: Winter 2009–2010,” shares responses to seven questions specifically about digital strategies, technologies, and concerns related to their book-publishing programs. The survey also collected new and updated information on specific e-publishing programs at member presses in order to update the association’s online directory of such projects.

According to the report, university presses are increasingly working to provide print-on-demand services for new and old titles, as well as partnering with digital aggregators such as Google Books for Publishers (91.5% of respondents), Amazon’s Search Inside the Book (76.3%), and Barnes and Noble See Inside (39%).
About 96.5% of AAUP member presses are working with the PDF, and 31.6% and 29.8% respectively using AZW (for Kindle) and EPUB formats. Many presses currently offer excerpts and chapters of books on their websites, and some have entire books available online.

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