This is our manifesto. The future of publishing is much larger than any one company or group can even foresee, much less bring into being. That said, this is what it might look like, and we want to collaborate with anyone or any group who can help move us forward to this future.
This post is updated every so often.
Currently, publishing has roughly three formats: PDF, Epub and HTML. How these documents can be structured and interacted should begin with the required output to get a document to market. There is no reason why HTML cannot be the base structure of any future publication (with some extensions to support metadata such as headers/footers, footnotes). Some kind of extension to Markdown Extra would be a good candidate. New functionality should emulate the kind of shortcodes that various WordPress plugins enable.
Kindle KF8 can be derived from Epub, and Epub itself is an HTML format. This is how we get ebooks into the major marketplaces: Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple iBooks, B&N Nook and Kobo.
For print books, it is now possible to use PDF/X-3 with an RGB workflow to perform print on demand with Amazon CreateSpace and Lightning Source as well as local printers who use new POD presses such as the Fuji Xerox C1000 POD press.
Collaboration is at the heart of successful publishing. And there are a variety of kinds of collaboration, including:
- writer / editor (copy editors, fact checkers/researchers)
- writer / readership
- publisher / graphic artist/image editors
Another aspect of collaboration is intra-personal, such as the writer-as-researcher collaborating with the writer-as-writer and the writer-as-editor. Therefore, research/note-taking is an aspect that could be considered collaboration.
Of course the key elements of collaboration are access control and revision/source control.
Markets are collections of individuals who interact based on resources and needs. The future of publishing will enable better market interaction between the various individuals and functions within publishing, including writers, editors, graphic designers and the publisher themselves.
Platforms, Tools and Functionality
By platform, we mean tools and functionality as well as cloud-based services, and programming frameworks. This is the technology part of the stack for development and implementation. Some tools and frameworks might include:
- Blink and Webkit
- BlueGriffon wysiwig epub editor, ridiculous licensing, but included for reasons of inclusiveness
- UX Writer
- Dropbox/cloud storage
- Gistbox, now with Markdown flavoring
- Markdown, PhP Markdown, PhP Markdown Extra, Github-flavored Markdown, and Multi-Markdown, and Stackoverflow Markdown, and Pandoc Markdown, and discussion of future of Markdown, and the Markdown Discuss Mailing List
- StackEdit a Chrome App with StackOverflow-flavored Markdown
- MarkdownPad (Windows application)
- Markdown Service Tools for OSX
- MultiMarkdown Composer
- Babelmark and Babelmark 2 FAQ for comparing different Markdown markup
- Pressbooks Plugin for WordPress - Don't use this, but gives some ideas
- Atavist looks like a promising platform, but they could just be doing the multimedia extension toolkit with some platform connections. Unless it becomes a standard, this has the risk of being obsoleted, regardless of the availability of compelling content (hits).
- LeanPub Platform
O'Reilly Atlas may be a big deal
There seem to be five areas to include in any future publishing, including as well as beyond the elements discussed above:
- Content Management - how to manage the various elements of text, image, video, etc.
- Editing - writing and editing as well as composition of the various components
- Publishing - exporting/saving into formats for consumption: web, epub for ebook, pdf for print
- Collaboration - Enabling multiple people to access and change various elements of content, source code control, etc.
- Research - Both the process as well as the tracking of research resources, including bibliographic data, fact-checking, as well as publishing market research, competitor research, etc.