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The importance of XML is real, but practicality of PDF gets short shrift

Publisher's weekly seems to have missed a key part of my message during Rebecca's and my backlist tutorial, which is that the long-term term payoff of XML is sufficiently expensive and disruptive that it can't happen quickly for publishers with significantly smaller resources than Thomson's, and that image based solutions like PDF can meet a lot of needs very quickly, for publishers that don't want to postpone full entry into online markets another 2-5 years.
The Adobe announcements (especially integration of new e-book formats into print-oriented production tools) seems to present a more practical way for smaller publishers to change their workflows than the "big-bang" conversion project. But that kind of incremental strategy leaves existing PDF and image backlists just the way they are, and means that PDF will be a key part of all solutions for online marketing and product definition for the foreseeable future.
Sometimes the future's so bright that it can blind you to the present, or tomorrow.
I'll have more to say about Adobe's news, but I can say that I don't think the reader is the interesting part, even if it is a very Flash-ey demo


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