What is Accessible Publishing?

Feb 02

What is Accessible Publishing?

In year’s past, there was very little variety in the ways in which readers could interact with published materials. Most materials came printed standard, and possibly, in large print format or in braille. Fortunately, with technological advances and innovations in the publishing industry, a wide number of options have been made available to individuals who want or need to interact with printed material in a format different than standard print. This is widely known as accessible publishing.

With current accessible publishing options, readers can connect with written texts in a number of ways depending on what their needs and preferences happen to be. While large print text and braille printing are not new additions to publishing, modern technology has made it easier than ever to produce braille works on demand, and release print and digital versions of works with varying degrees of larger text. Additionally, many e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, come standard with the ability to change the size of the text display, allowing multiple readers utilizing the same device to adjust the text size to their preference.

Digitization advances have also made it possible for works to be quickly and easily converted into digital documents that are compatible with audio readers – devices that scan text and read it out loud to individuals who have difficulty reading or seeing text. In years past, individuals who wanted to utilize an audio version of a published document would have to wait for an audiobook publisher to make a title available in their library.

While larger titles would often get added, this was little help to individuals who wanted access to lesser-known works or journals and articles from smaller publishing houses.However, with the right equipment, individuals can now take any published documents, scan them, and have them ready by computer software that will make them readable by audio reader programs.

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Publishing and Public Domain Works

Jan 21

Publishing and Public Domain Works

When an author publishes a work, he or she immediately becomes the copyright holder for that work and for all intents and purposes, “owns” that work. This means that it cannot be reproduced / used / sold without their permission, and that any money made off the sales of this work will have to be shared with the copyright holder. This is great for people who create. They obviously deserve to be paid for their work, and should be allowed to hold those who steal their ideas accountable.

However, copyrights do not last forever, and once a party’s copyright for a given work expires, the work falls into what is known as the “public domain.” Once a work enters the public domain, it no longer has an owner, meaning that publishing companies, script writers, and other entities can use the work without having to pay royalties on it, or obtaining royalties through a business lawyer.

However, determining when a work falls into the public domain can be a complicated undertaking, as a number of different laws have affected when a copyright expires and the work becomes available for free use. In years past, an easy rule of thumb was that a copyright lasted for 75 years, at which point a work would become part of the public domain.

The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), however, passed during the Clinton administration, added an additional 20 years to the length of a copyright holder’s ownership of their work, meaning that with the exception of certain publications, such as supreme court rulings and some other government documents, most published works will be protected under copyright laws for 95 years. CTEA was challenged publicly in 2003, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected this challenge.

As is, all works published before 1923 are currently in the public domain, and because of the changes implemented by the CTEA, no new works will enter the public domain in the United States until 2019. Publishers and other parties, such as the publishers’ business attorneys, need to pay close attention to issues like public domain and copyrights in order to avoid taking action that violates a party’s copyrights, opening them up to potential legal action from the copyright holder.

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Recent Advances in Publishing

Nov 02

Recent Advances in Publishing

Publishing is an industry that has changed considerably over the years. However, recent advances in technology have made certain changes possible in the publishing field that many could not have predicted even just a few decades ago.

While there are any number of advances have been instrumental in moving the publishing industry forward, some of the most notable in recent years have been the rise in prominence of e-books, print on demand services, self publishing, accessible publishing, and green publishing.

E-Books

The rise of e-book popularity in recent years has been staggering, with 99.5 million e-books sold in January of 2012 alone. Whether reading on Amazon’s Kindle, the Nook, or an iPad, e-books have become incredibly popular, especially among younger readers.

Print on Demand

In years past, publishers would have to estimate popularity for a given book or other document and print, in advance, the number of copies they thought they would need. Now, because of greater efficiencies in printing and the speed with which even large-scale projects can be completed on demand, publishers can complete orders on a need-to-print basis, eliminating wasted resources.

Self Publishing

Aspiring writers used to have few options for getting their work published if they couldn’t find a publisher willing to publish their work. However, now there are numerous print and digital self publishing options available to individuals who are willing to pay a reasonably small fee. As an editor at Alea Publishing, I’ve been pushing my friend, a manager at a custom home builder, to publish a book of the amazing homes that his company has put together. I’ve always thought it would make for a good coffee table book…we’ll see if he ever takes my advice.

Accessible Publishing

With the ability to easily digitize a document and convert a file into XML, documents can be manipulated and made available to individuals with a number of reading needs, including those looking for text with larger print, or text that is compatible with audio readers.

Green Publishing

Green publishing is a newer term given to describe the environmentally-friendly practices that have arisen recently in the publishing industry, primarily the result of increased electronic / digital publishing, as well as print on demand publishing.

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About Academic Publishing

Oct 14

About Academic Publishing

The invention and success of the printing press made it possible for ideas, theories, and studies to be disseminated over great spaces, reaching individuals across the globe and allowing for the free exchange of ideas never possible before that point. While times, and the publishing industry on whole, have certainly changed over the years, the importance of publishing in the academic world has not changed. Two of the most important ways in which publishing plays a role in the academic world is through the publishing of academic journals and textbooks.

Academic Journals

From researchers in the humanities, to neurosurgeons, to dentists, and musicians – nearly every academic field and specialty has one, if not numerous, dedicated journals. These journals can vary greatly in scope and theme, although most tend to center on research in some form or another. While many of these journals are published every month, others are published multiple times a month, whereas others are only published quarterly.

There are a number of major publishers of academic journals, and the requirements for being published in these journals varies significantly from publisher to publisher. While some journals have little to no requirements for publication, the more reputable publishers employ a process known as “peer review,” in which experts in the field review potential articles and decide whether or not they are fit for publication by weighing a number of criteria specific to each journal.

Textbooks

Academic textbooks can come in many forms, and are published for students from grade school all the way through graduate school. There are a handful of major textbook publishers in the United States, particularly for textbooks aimed at students in elementary school through high school. College textbook publishing tends to become a slightly more niche market, with specialized textbooks coming out of publishing houses that are specifically targeted for certain academic fields.

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Book Publishing in the Modern Age

Jul 27

Book Publishing in the Modern Age

When many people think about the publishing field, they think of traditional book publishing and the process that aspiring authors go through in order to get their works into the hands of the public. However, in recent years, countless changes in publishing have arisen that have changed the face of the publishing industry forever. From niche publishing, to digital-born items, to digitization of previously printed materials and their eventual dissemination to e-books, the face of traditional “book” publishing has changed completely in just the past 10 years alone.

However, despite numerous advancements, the traditional book publishing industry as many people think of it is still strong both in the United States and around the world. While some most of the books published in the United States are published by a small number of large publishers, many of these publishers have reported some of their best sales ever in recent years. Additionally, an incredible number of smaller, niche publishing companies have arisen recently, publishing books that are centered around a given industry or even type of writing, and these publishing houses have become incredibly successful and popular among their targeted clientele.

Challenges to Traditional Book Publishing

One of the greatest challenges to traditional, print book publishing in recent years has been the rise in popularity of e-books. With an incredible number of popular devices on which to read e-books, and the extremely competitive prices of books in digital format, many individuals have reduced their print buying habits and instead, turned to the e-book markets of Amazon (for the Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (for the Nook).

This has taken a toll on both new book printing as well as printing of older, classic titles – especially for older works that have fallen into the public domain and can be downloaded for free onto a variety of e-readers. However, as mentioned above, many book publishers have reported record-breaking years in terms of print sales, thanks largely to the success of incredibly popular titles in recent years.

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E-book Self-Publishing Options

Apr 14

E-book Self-Publishing Options

Individuals looking to publish their work have more options available to them now than ever before, especially with the increase in popularity of self publishing, and more specifically, self publishing in the e-book market.

The rise in self publishing, both in print and e-book format, has opened up incredible avenues and removed significant barriers to entry for aspiring writers looking to make their work available and hopefully, make some money off it as well. There are a number of options available to individuals looking to self publish, and depending on what your specific publishing goals happen to be, some of these options may be more beneficial for you than others.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

One of the most well-known and widely-discussed self publishing options available at this time is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP. As the name implies, this option allows individuals the chance to publish their work directly to Amazon’s Kindle marketplace, and they can do this all on their own, without getting anyone else involved with whom they would have to share profits. However, users are welcome to work with an e-book aggregator or another party if they would like help preparing their book for publishing through Amazon. Amazon shares 70% of royalties with authors (although there are some fees and rules that apply to this).

Lulu

Lulu is a popular e-book publishing and aggregator service that distributes published e-books to the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and also makes them available on Lulu.com. Lulu offer users a guide for creating their e-book and offers many premium aggregator services to users for free, and only takes 10% of a user’s final royalties from the iBookstore and the Nook store.

Smashwords

Smashwords was one of the original e-book self publishing platforms, and remains one of the largest players in the field. Unlike Lulu that offers users a wealth of tools to publish their works, Smashwords requires users to be able to do most of the work themselves, uploading their book and cover art file to the site, and from there, choosing a format in which their book can be presented. Books published by Smashwords can sell their work on Smashwords’ website, or they can distribute it to Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Apple’s iBooks, and a number of other e-book retailers.

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Publishing in the Legal Field

Jan 07

Publishing in the Legal Field

Much like the exchange of information in other academic fields, publishing in the legal field is an incredibly important avenue for professionals looking to exchange new ideas, discuss changes in the legal landscape, and share new ways of connecting with and helping clients.

Most publishing in the legal field centers around prominent journals that are specifically tailored to certain professionals, such as paralegals, personal injury lawyers, immigration attorneys, and other professionals throughout the field.

Additionally, there are a great number of journals that reach across individuals in various positions and provide information and research on a common theme, such as social justice, technology, or race. Publishing in the legal field takes a number of different forms, but with advances in technology, an increasing number of readers have connected with articles in the legal field by accessing journals through online databases.

Well-known databases such as Academic Search Complete, LexisNexis, and ProQuest make it possible for individuals to access decades worth of publications from any device with an internet connection. However, despite the ease of use and popularity of these databases, most journals still publish their databases in print form. However, both print and digital access to these publications is highly restricted to paying users only, and in many cases, subscriptions to these resources do not come cheap. In most instances, readers can access a free preview or abstract of an article in one of these journals, but they must pay for access to the article in its entirety. Fortunately, a perk that many academic institutions offer to their students is free access to these resources through the library in electronic, and in some instances, print form.

Having an article accepted for publication in one of these journals follows a similar pattern to publishing in other academic publications. Most legal journals have a rigorous peer review process that would-be authors / researchers must pass before having their articles published. For more information, contact the attorneys of William Jang, PLLC, today.

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