Publishing and Computers
Originally posted on wibc.com on 08/29/2011
Computer technology is part of the backbone of the publishing industries.
Publishers use computer technology in both traditional and self-publishing ventures. Desktop publishing combines the use of a personal computer and page layout software to create publication-ready documents. Electronic book readers have emerged as a means of purchasing and obtaining access to book publications, either produced by the author or a publishing house. In the world of self-publishing, consisting of not only e-books, but also blogs and user-created content websites, computer software and hardware systems are essential.
Many established authors and aspiring writers use blogging software supported by computer systems to set up an online presence. Blog software such as WordPress and Blogger allow a user to create an account and self-publish content according to his liking. Blogging software may offer a choice between pre-designed templates. Blogs can showcase creative work or provide information related to a specific topic. Personal computers, Web browsing software and Internet access support the blog publishing model.
Popular brick and mortar chains and online bookstores sell e-reader devices that allow readers to purchase electronic versions of books. The book is purchased through the store’s online site and delivered to the device once it is connected to the Internet. Universities, particularly those that operate under the online or distance learning format also use electronic versions of textbooks that are delivered to students through a software reader program that is downloaded onto a personal computer. Internet technology allows for this almost instantaneous delivery method while providing a space saving storage location. Readers have access to the full version of the book’s material that is accessed and read from a computer.
Due to increasing costs and declining interest in traditional paper-based publications, many newspapers and magazines offer online editions. Online subscriptions are available in conjunction with the print version or as a stand-alone option with some newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com). Online magazine networks such as The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) provides customized news content delivery based upon a user’s preferences. Users have the option of integrating social networks such as Twitter (www.twitter.com) to streamline personalization and share stories that have been written by others in their network.
Traditional print publishing relies on desktop publishing and word processing software to create the document wording, layout, and font style. Software is used to import and place applicable images within the documents. Manipulation of images is also made possible by desktop publishing software, including added-on design touches such as outlines and borders. Word processing software is emerging as a new alternative to desktop publishing software with new features such as blog post and word art templates, as well as an increased number of page layout options.