The promise of digital publishing has been with us for at least as long as the Internet has
been (which seems like a very long time in our modern, information-centric world). Digital
publishing promises instant communication, unprecedentedly low barriers to entry, universal
access to content, and environmentally responsible content distribution.
Digital publishing is something of the holy grail of publishing. Until now digital publishing has
remained something of a fantastic mirage - it looked good but it was not quite attainable.
Digital publishing is finally coming of age and is now rapidly becoming a viable and attractive
option for publishers of all sizes.
An increasing body of content is now available online - not just as web pages but often as e-
books and e-reports. This growing collection is partial testament to the growing prevalence of
digital publishing as a viable option to traditional publishing. More significant though is the
mass marketing of handheld digital readers. Early publication of e-books targeting the
handheld computer/PDA market met with mixed results. The screens were often too small
and the resolution too poor to make reading a pleasant experience. Sony just released yet
another digital reader with even more features than previously available. These units seem to
address some of the failures of early digital readers. Perhaps the most significant single sign
that digital publishing is finally coming of age was the release of the Amazon Kindle digital
reader. The Amazon Kindle has the backing of the world's largest online bookseller, provides
wireless access to new content, and users can easily read books, newspapers, magazines
and blogs. This is the type of handheld reader that is needed to truly transform digital
publishing from simply an online or computer-based venture into a mainstream option where
print publishing can be displaced as the primary means of distributing books, magazines and
Digital Publishing Benefits
Digital publishing brings many exciting benefits to publishing - for both content producers and
• Digital publishing is less expensive than any publishing option in history
• Digital publishing offers attractive, exciting, publishing options like page-turning
features, search, and social media sharing
• Digital publishing offers universal access to readers in any corner of the world
• Digital publishing is immediate and can be achieved as fast as a few mouse clicks
• Digital publishing is "green" - digital publishing is, at a minimum, more environmentally
friendly than traditional publishing with paper, ink, energy and distribution needs. Some
digital publishers are able to boast a carbon-neutral footprint making digital publishing
the greenest publishing option available.
Digital Publishing Complications
For all the benefits that digital publishing brings there are also a few possible disadvantages -
at least for the present.
• Digital publishing requires an audience with access to the appropriate technology. This
is becoming less of an issue all the time as more people than ever are gaining access
to computers and the Internet. Digital publishing options continue to expand as well
with more mobile options available every year.
• Digital publishing requires overcoming readers preference for reading on paper rather
than on a monitor. However, new digital publishing options make reading online more
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