Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Web Design & Development > Blogs

This chapter is from the book

The publishing process

According to Aptara’s survey (see above), the majority of publishers still follow a traditional print process. To achieve full, device-independent publishing, however, the traditional workflow must change.

Traditional publishing

In a traditional publishing workflow, each book or document is created by one author using some form of text editor or word processor. The document is created, edited, and published as one entity, or possibly a series of chapters, and it doesn’t interact with anything else (see Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1. Traditional publishing workflow.


  • Traditional publishing represents a typical, familiar workflow.
  • Familiarity makes it easy to use for existing authors and editors.
  • eBooks are created by a technology partner skilled in the conversion of print-oriented content to functional eBooks.


  • The file is managed as a complete document.
  • Print-oriented content is converted, rather than specifically designed for eBooks.
  • Future changes must be done in the production copy, or the content must be exported back out to Microsoft Word and then re-laid out for a new publication.

Note that in this scenario the creation of successful eBooks depends on the publisher’s understanding of the nature of the eBook they want to produce and the clear communication of those requirements to the technology partner.

This workflow is very effective for the conversion of the publisher’s backlist.

In-house eBook publishing

The in-house publishing workflow for eBooks is very similar to the traditional publishing workflow except for the end product, which is digital, not paper (see Figure 4.2). Publishers use the same publishing software to publish to an EPUB file that they use for print. EPUB, short for electronic publication, is an open standard for electronic books from the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and is used by the majority of eReaders. In addition, the publishing software may provide the ability to publish to other channels such as Web or mobile.

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.2. In-house eBook publishing workflow.


  • In-house eBook publishing represents a typical, familiar workflow.
  • Familiarity makes it easy to use for existing authors and editors.
  • The publisher creates their own eBooks from the publishing software.


  • The file is managed as a complete document.
  • Print-oriented content is converted; it is not specifically designed for eBooks or other channels.
  • Future changes must be done in the production copy, or the content must be exported back out to Microsoft Word then re-laid out for publication.

In-house eBook publishing often feels like the easiest route for publishers because they don’t have to change any of their process or their technology. However, the content is often constrained by the print paradigm. It’s a difficult task to publish in different ways depending on the channel and the device. More often than not, it ends up as a simple conversion (different look-and-feel), rather than optimized output for each channel and device.

In a recent discussion with a new client of ours, they spoke about the challenges of creating eBooks. The output to the EPUB format was pretty simple, but testing on different devices revealed a number of display problems and usability issues. They were spending weeks “hand tweaking” the output for each device, and with each new device, the job got larger and more arduous.

XML early

Recognizing the challenges they face in publishing to multiple channels and the proliferation of devices, some publishers are choosing to use XML (Extensible Markup Language) in their publishing workflow. XML is a set of rules for encoding documents.

“XML early” means converting your content to XML early on in your workflow to enable you to produce content for multiple channels and to easily reuse content. (See Figure 4.3.)

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.3. XML early publishing workflow.

XML enables you to design and prepare content in a way that’s completely portable and open, which in turn enables a wide range of applications that allows you to automate common content tasks such as formatting. If you make the content intelligent by tagging and structuring it, and then if you design and prepare it for discovery and reuse, you’re freed from managing content within the “black boxes” of completed books. For more information on XML refer to Chapter 19, “The role of XML.”


  • Edits can be handled online using collaborative review tools. This speeds up the editing and allows multiple editors to work on the content simultaneously. Change tracking is supported in these tools.
  • XML can be configured to support reuse across media (print, eBooks, apps, and so on).
  • XML can be optimized to support current and future products (for example, article compendiums, eLearning, and custom books from selected chapters).
  • Corrections and changes to content are done in the XML content and “repoured” into each of the outputs. There’s no need to transfer content back and forth.


  • Copy editors and others involved in the publishing workflow need to become increasingly comfortable with working largely online and with new software.
  • The concept of WYSIWYG no longer exists because content can be published in multiple formats.
  • Content is created and managed as components, which may be a paradigm shift for some people.
  • Production staff need to learn to work with structured templates and cannot continue to manually tweak content.
  • While most people in the organization don’t need to understand XML, at least one individual will need a strong understanding of XML.

Although XML early has the most advantages, XML can be incorporated into your workflow at any point. You might choose to incorporate it somewhere in the middle of your workflow, with content created in Microsoft Word, but converted to XML after the final manuscript was approved. This could be a long-term strategy, or it might be a short-term strategy only—a stepping-stone on the way to creating a full XML-based workflow.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020