The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing: Multimedia Publishing

CGDP-cover-bigSince the format of the book evolved from the continuous scroll to the page-oriented folio, no change in the practice of publishing texts has had such an impact on the way we perceive and use a book as electronic publishing. This paradigm shift changes the way text is perceived in time and space and the integration of text, video, and audio into a multimedia product is a logical step in an electronic medium. Yet it is not the technology that undergoes the biggest change, but the role of the publisher, who has to re-emerge as the agent of a new medium, still in statu nascendi. In the first phase of multimedia, everybody seemed to be empowered by the new tools and technologies to become a multimedia producer. Most multimedia publications do not live up to the promise of an interactive and integrated experience, but remain an exploration into technologies without a clear goal. It is the publisher who needs to act as the integrator of multiple media types, multiple experts, and multiple industries in order to do his job—to turn an idea into a product and make it public. This chapter gives an overview of the different technologies, standards, and business issues to be considered when extending electronic publishing into multimedia.

About the Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing.

What is metadata? When do you need to archive digital content? How does electronic publication affect copyrights? How can XML and PDF improve your workflow and your publications? There is a digital dimension to virtually all publishing today. Beyond the obvious electronic media -the music and movies we take for granted, the increasingly indispensable Web, the eBooks that most of us will take for granted in a few years -almost everything we read, even on paper, was produced digitally. This new digital world offers a steadily increasing number of choices. It is this rich and rapidly changing publishing environment for which The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing was created. Although there is a vast amount of information on a host of topics relevant to digital production and publishing available -some in print, more on the Web -there has been, until now, no single resource to which those involved in any dimension of publishing could turn for guidance. The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing fills that need.

The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing: Multimedia Publishing.  Edited by Bill Kasdorf. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. 816 pages. cloth. ISBN 0-231-12498-8 $65. paper ISBN: 0-231-12499-6. $34.95. online at

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“The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing is the War and Peace of digital communication resources. It is epic in scope and exhaustive in detail, historic, and prophetic. An original. A universe. It’s long but it’s all substance…The Columbia Guide may be new and it may be the first of its kind, but it has the makings of a classic.”
—Linda Hengstler, Science Editor

“Just the reference the publishing and printing industries have been waiting for.”
—Craig Van Dyck, Vice President, Production and Manufacturing, John Wiley & Sons









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