Innodata simplifies book authoring and reduces the time to market for the legal research services business unit of a leading information provider.
The legal research arm of the client was challenged with prolonged publishing cycles and time to market for its legal books. Their publishing list has sixteen different classes of books, which they refer to as product lines. In addressing this challenge, they wanted to move to a XML first publishing process, to standardize their operations, and also to enable swift conversion to other formats. This had to be achieved without significant impact on authors. To do this, contributors had to be provided with a simple authoring experience, with the output converted into XML ‘behind the scenes’. The XML could then further be converted into other forms to be able to target multiple channels and markets for the same content.
Having worked with many leading publishing businesses, across all aspects of content supply chains, and having deep understanding of the publishing value chain, the Innodata team quickly understood the challenge faced by the client. A consulting lead approach enabled Innodata to work closely with the client team, quickly assess the details of the issues to be faced, and design an efficient solution.
The solution comprised of a MS Word plugin, created in .Net and C#, to be deployed to authors. This delivered HTML5 formatted content to a XML content management system for storage and transformation to other required formats.
To further aid authors, dynamic templates were created for each of the sixteen product lines which could be loaded through the plugin. The templates were able to handle product specific thumbnails, text styles and citation formats. This required a high degree of MS Word proficiency, to be able to harness its capability and integrate it with the plugin. The integration enabled authors to select the product line through the plugin, load its template, indicate start and end of each section and, for example, simply copy section specific content for all book sections, before the process finalized book content in HTML5 format.
Authors loaded their book content to the client through SharePoint, which then delivered the content to a MarkLogic Server where XML transformation workflows were developed. These supported the transformation of content into other e-formats. Innodata harnessed our expertise in MarkLogic Server implementation and XSLT / XQuery transformations to achieve this. The additional output formats were to EPUB and to the client’s own XML standard.
The key benefits of newly developed authoring workflow include:
• A 66% reduction in time to market for legal books – the publishing cycle has been reduced from six to two
• A 30% reduction in typesetting cost for the client.
• The client is now able to deliver content in different formats at the same time as print, allowing them to hit multiple markets for
the same product.