In this new electronic /digital world of information delivery, the one aspect that will begin to become more and more important to you and your publishing enterprise is CMS. What is CMS? CMS stands for Content Management System. Every book that comes from a publisher is built on words. These words are integrated into sentences, paragraphs and chapters. This conglomeration of words/sentences/paragraphs and chapters is all the components that make up content. How you archive and disseminate that content is the wave of the present and on into the future.
CMS will be accessible using DAM technology. What is DAM technology? DAM stands for Digital Asset Management. This is the IT infrastructure that houses your CMS and when configured correctly can get your content sent to your Company Web Sales portal, and distributors in the format and naming convention stipulated by the individual companies you deal with. The DAM you build should be able to handle your current archive with an additional 10-15 years of scalable server space going into the future. The built-in obsolescence of the system will put you in a position to transfer and upgrade to another system within the 20 year time-frame of technical degradation. In other words, plan ahead since the technology will force you to the next platform whether you want to upgrade or not.
Now, once you decide that your print books will be available as e-books, you can start to formalize the D-T-D. What is the D-T-D? The D-T-D is the Document Type Definition. If you were putting together a parsed title for a compositor, and you marked up the call-outs for the A Heads, B Heads, and Chapter Openers and so on, you would get the picture as to what the D-T-D entails. It is the specs that build an XML document to the standards stipulated by your individual corporate identifiers. Once these specs have been checked and updated, your title should be readable as an e-book.
The D-T-D is put together with stipulations using metadata tags. What are Metadata tags? These are the actual coded tags that call out the elements within the document. These tags will make sure that your content will be formatted and readable on a Kindle or other reading device when downloaded by a customer.
The one thing to keep in mind as you contemplate what the requirements are for your company: Every company is different and will look at CMS/DAM in relation to company revenue constraints and projected publication plans that will not be reflective of any other company. The age of “Going it Alone” is upon us, but the level to which each company can commit to utilize this process and system may be the difference between corporate growth and corporate oblivion. There is no middle ground on whether to build or not, the only question is the extent to which you can start the process.