I read a laughable comment about how we produced EPUB3 UNLEASHED. "The market will wait until Adobe comes out with the tools". That is the joke. Sure they will have tools that will be able to produce something like EPUB UNLEASHED. But not with a controlled XHTML foundation and in two days, with two production "resources" in India. The cost of producing EPUB3 UNLEASHED... around INR 5000 or US$100.
These proprietary tool approaches are all trivial toys that obfuscate the need for content to have a digital content future. InDesign will never significantly transcend paper, but may produce an "ePub how to" industry for a time. Adobe Flash/Silverlight are a fun advertisement and locked-off content block product, but are not a serious publisher content strategies.
How do you...?
Sure you can have ePubs produced by the $100 dollar a book off-shore operation; and you get to pay again and again for new formats as they are required. Western Trade Publishers are, quite frankly, simple and gullible, herd animals. Just look at the "discussions" on LinkedIn to get an glimpse of ego over practicality.
How do you get your PDFX1A to a Google Search-inside PDF unless you have really planned the production? (You don't of course. You work with the fact that currently Google will take any crap to try and catch up with Amazon.) Again, how do you get your mediocre ePub 2 books to ePub 3 in the next 18 months. You pay again of course.
Academic and education publishers learned the lesson years ago that arbitrary XML and format conversions have no significant value. They are a cost. Not an investment. Even the redoubtable NLM is up for a significant rework. But they will not be smart enough to turn it into HTML/5 and remove the arcane validity rules and grammatically weak terse property statements into something universal and significantly future-proof. There are always invested interests which dilute value with any XML strategy. Generally they are called XML consultants and they overwork the term "semantic content", as if they knew what true value tagging patterns mean in the real world of digital content value and longevity.
The same way the print stock on the shelf was your business asset back in the paper and ink days, your XHTML (NOT XML) is the new business asset in 2012. Having preached this for over five years the market is finally starting to understand some parts of the message; but still doesn't understand how to turn the conversion cost into a future investment. Now the Mobile Application developer frenzy is on to cloud the issue further, while the read a novel brigade operate at the e-Ink end of the market.
If you don't have a digital content strategy. Get one NOW!
A lasting digital content strategy has got nothing to do with all the magical items such as change-management, editors, software, project management and other tools and techniques. At some stage, within each publishing organization, all of these converge on something that is in the shape of a digital content wagon circle; using whatever tools the organization has decided to use; defending currently managment decisions and careers.
Unfortunately it is unlikely that the wagon circle will ever deliver a digital content strategy. It will only address business organization issues. Typically most digital content strategies in major publishers have a half-live of 2.5 years (and getting shorter); or until the "champion" resigns; or is fired.
Publishers have to make a strong break between a digital content strategy and a digital content business strategy. They are not the same.
You can have any amount of wonderfully organized databases, CMS's, off-shore partners and other tools and strategies. But if you don't have knowledge and control of how your content is being tagged, you don't have a digital content strategy. That is a seriously big, Big, BIG full-stop.
Without a definite, defined tagging strategy, implemented and controlled, you are a cost center victim. You are a technology consultant victim. It never, ever, ever gets better than the XHTML tagging patterns that are essential to create Mobi, ePub any number, WebApps, microsites, PDF and whatever the future brings.
Infogrid Pacific has designed IGP:FoundationXHTML as step one of a coherent digital content strategies. It took 18 years of digital content production, and XML design experience with over 30 million pages of publisher content, for every type of content genre, to come up with this simple, real solution. It started in 2006 and has gone from strength to strength.
We do business with Publishers who are sick of spending money, getting little, and spending again and again against an elusive dream. XML consultants and digital content service providers need and love the "generous" publisher.
IGP:Digital Publisher driven with IGP:FoundationXHTML produces every format - Print, e-book and custom XML. It produces every genre from fiction to highly interactive LMS delivered SCORM packages and the most powerful custom content for every type of consumer. More importantly it does it at a fraction of the cost of legacy software solutions. By design it is the only convert once, use forever framework available today. It is not locked into "books". It delivers interactive tutorials, Question and Answer, entertainment and education products. Yes, it can even produce a boring , page-flipping novel, academic or reference book.
The rest of the world
If your requirement is to deliver digital content, in your language, to your people in every current and any future format; look no further - IGP:FoundationXHTML is the solution. There is not one digital content strategy solution from America, the UK or Europe that make sense for anything except their business models which are designed for their shareholders. Like Amazon - there is nothing for publishers except a hole into which to toss the business.
If you are a publisher; if you are a developing country publisher; if you are looking at digital content strategies for your content, which is not in English; if you are looking to deliver your content to your people in your country; look at IGP:Digital Publisher and IGP:FoundationXHTML.