#pubnow: Publishing Now update: one week to go

Tahira Rahemtulla is one of the City University project leaders for Publishing Now. With just a week to go until kick-off,  Tahira talks about the key theme of the event: innovation…

What does it mean when the term ‘publishing’ is no longer synonymous with printing, books, or newspaper? It means innovation.

In today’s world, publishing occurs in so many different ways, thanks largely to technological advancements, in forms such as e-books, interactive websites and applications for digitally mobile platforms, and yet it still provides through ‘traditional’ outputs of entertainment and education for the literate masses in the form of print.

Digital publishing is innovative, in that it has transformed text, texts and design into hitherto unexplored channels, but as far as publishing goes, the digital world is, as yet, a blossom. It is true, though, that thanks to the Digital Age, anyone with access to the Internet has the capacity to be a published writer; blogging, for instance, is no longer just a form of online diary, but carries the power and potential of an online book.

Considering other innovations in publishing, like the reasonably affordable self-publishing option, one may wonder why innovation is a good thing for publishers, designers, web and mobile app developers, and writers.

One reason why innovation in publishing is not only good, but necessary, is because of the aforementioned technological advancements. There are so many forms of media to distract us from our work-driven lives, especially with most trade bestsellers being turned into films, that most people will come home from work or school and flick on the television to get the updates on news and entertainment.

Since digital access is common in the industrialized countries, selling apps, website memberships, or e-books is easier than ever. A few clicks and you can start reading the latest Dan Brown in a matter of minutes. This type of access is enormously influential in selling print, too, of course, but this is just one way that publishing can benefit from innovation.

Today there are hundreds of publishing programmes around the world, all of which are filled with students who not only have the drive to contribute to the industry, but who come with a hardwired understanding of the power the Digital Age wields. These courses are educating this generation of the publishing industry, and the intrinsic rewards that are to be reaped from a responsible use of this vehicle.

And to an increasing number of people empowered with this global reach known as the Internet, innovation in publishing can, one day, be used to achieve dreams like global literacy.

If you would like to find out more about innovation in publishing, check out City University London’s first ever conference held in conjunction with BookMachine, entitled Publishing Now: The Golden Age of Innovation, held on the 2nd and 3rd of December, 2011. Get your tickets today!

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