Electronic publishing has revolutionized the publishing industry. All areas of publishing are being affected by the rush of new desktop and prepress technology. Traditional methods of design and prepress have been replaced by off-the-shelf software and new high-end prepress systems. To maintain a competitive edge, publishers will need to embrace these technologies. Lexicon provides the guidance and experience needed to develop a strategic approach to confronting the new frontier in publishing.
In desktop publishing the software and hardware alternatives are numerous and growing rapidly. This offers the opportunity to assess the systems and processes which you use in your current publishing operation. Publishers often seek to select the “best” system when they should concentrate on finding the most suitable system for their own distinctive workflow and design environment. Lexicon can help you establish a system configuration responsive to your current and future publishing needs and requirements. In addition, we will help you:
- Identify how much of the production process you can and should handle in-house
- Chart the costs and possible savings with various production scenarios
- Explore the full range of software and hardware alternatives
The growth in desktop publishing has enabled publishers to accommodate a wider range of publishing projects and needs. Networking, file management and databases make personal computers highly functional. Lexicon can help you establish document and copy flow management systems and workflow procedures for an effective and efficient publishing environment. Given the growth in desktop publishing and the abundance of systems choices, the design to use, upgrade or enhance desktop publishing equipment and software must be approached with great care.
As electronic desktop technology moves forward, design and production are becoming more intertwined, providing an opportunity for greater control over production and product while reducing costs and turnaround time. Before one can capitalize on the opportunity, however, several questions must be answered:
- How does one find the best front-end solution for design and production needs?
- How can the design philosophy of a publication be protected during the transition from a traditional design environment to the electronic era?
- How can resources be directed to use the technology most effectively?
Lexicon can help you answer these questions. We go beyond decisions at the technological level, ensuring that your organization, its workflow and its methods make the best use of these new technologies. Lexicon looks to the future to ensure that the system you select positions you for growth.
Editorial development is the process of turning ideas into content. Publishers depend on a consistent flow of marketable ideas to maintain their projected level of output. In order to establish consistency, the senior editorial staff must be: on the look-out for emerging opportunities, constructively critical of past efforts and aware of the comparative advantages of their publication in comparison to competitive titles.
However, with the demands of day-to-day commitments invariable encroaching on the time available for reflection and planning, these necessities are often marginalized.
Lexicon can help fill the gaps by:
- Determining editorial strengths and weaknesses through market research
- Establishing the feasibility of entering new markets, and creating a solid planning framework for implementing expansions
- Conducting competitive analysis focusing on the relative sales performance of: 1) individual publications against those of the same genre; and 2) your entire product line against publishers of similar size
- Developing or improving the contents of departments and features, and generating numerous editorial concepts to form the basis if future issues
- Streamlining existing operations to optimize the developmental efforts of the senior editorial staff
After you have chosen a system, you will need a strategy to convert to an automated environment. The desktop system you install will alter the way in which your staff works internally as well as the manner in which you interact with outside suppliers. Maintaining your publication while installing a new system is a difficult task. An implementation plan which answers pertinent questions and details specific tasks must be constructed:
- Set schedules and timelines
- Organize demonstrations and vendor reviews
- If a multi-publication environment, establish a plan for orderly conversion
- Determine how your staff will be trained
- Who will train them and which job function should be automated first?
- Should the workflow be updated or restructured?
- How will individual job functions change?
As important as the implementation plan is the selection of necessary vendors and the management of those vendors. Lexicon has the expertise and people skills to assist you with purchase negotiations and contracts and to work with your vendors to ensure that this very important transition is timely and successful.
Desktop…prepress…typesetting….service bureaus: as publishing enters the electronic era publishers are asked to confront issues and make decisions in a very technical and rapidly changing world. Lexicon can provide you with a team of professionals with the knowledge and experience to help you find your advantage in electronic publishing.