How should authors approach their task, given that what they produce may or may not appear in printed form, may or may not have color available, may or may not be able to display dynamic content, may or may not have Internet access available, and may be viewed on devices ranging from widescreen monitors to cell phones?unless it?s consumed as audio? The challenge is particularly acute for technical authors, because, in addition to words, they typically employ charts, diagrams, and tables to convey their messages. How do you (usefully) display such things on an iPhone, not to mention via an audio stream? Publishers need to concern themselves with these questions, because multiplatform publication is much more likely to succeed if the content was designed for it in the first place. Authors experienced only in the creation of traditional books rarely think about the constraints and opportunities associated with other forms of publication. Electronic books can use animations to depict dynamic phenomena, for example, and frames from these can be used in print books, but how many authors (or their publishers) are adapt at creating animations? Cross-references within a book are great for avoiding the need to repeat information, but how do you treat them when you want to break the book into chunks for independent consumption? There are ways authors can addresses these issues, but they must occur during content creation, not after the fact. In this talk, Scott Meyers introduces some issues authors need to keep in mind as they write, discusses how tools and techniques can help them, and explains the role that publishers can play in the creation of content that?s a natural part of a multiplatform world.
The O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference explores emerging trends around digital publishing, focusing on industry-wide strategic issues, "long-view" trends, and practical tales from the trenches.