POMONA, Calif., September 10, 1996 -- A technology roadmap for publishers who are uncertain about the direction of electronic distribution was unveiled today by Auto-Graphics Inc., a leading provider of electronic publishing and World Wide Web services.
Described as most immediately beneficial to publishers of databases, reference works and other frequently updated titles, the process begins with adoption of an international standard for data content tagging, known as ISO 8879 or SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).
Once the standard is in place, a publisher can output text for CD-ROM, Internet, or traditional print distribution from the same database, according to Auto-Graphics' Chief Operating Officer William Kliss.
"That doesn't mean you have to jump right into Internet access to justify the decision," Kliss said. "It means your books and CD-ROMs are produced more efficiently and you have the option of offering electronic distribution via the Internet at any time and without any additional work on the text."
Kliss noted that many publishers are hesitant about the Internet because they see it as just a source of free information. However, there is a steadily increasing volume of Internet commerce based on password access for those who prepay or establish an open account. "Our vision of what publishers will likely do is more along the lines of a sales force having three distinct ways to sell a title -- print, CD and Internet," Kliss said.
The major market for publishers of reference works is libraries. These libraries include academic, public, school and corporate. Online access has its productivity benefits in that the reference work can be used concurrently by several people, as well as remote access by those who need information away from the home, school or office. Library consortia are increasingly adopting the Internet as a means for resource sharing.
Auto-Graphics offers a variety of services to publishers, ranging from database conversion and management, to sale of innovative Windows-based editorial control systems for creating and editing SGML documents. Auto-Graphics' Web services to library consortia, including commercial databases and outsourcing the management of consortia catalog databases, has been a source of major growth in recent years.
"It is this convergence of our own publishing and library businesses that makes it possible for us to see a new business opportunity for publishers in web distribution," Kliss said. "We aren't suggesting how publishers structure an electronic publishing business, but we are actively explaining the technology that makes it possible."
Auto-Graphics is making its roadmap presentations this week at the Seybold San Francisco 1996 conference in Exhibit Hall booth #3833.
Founded in 1950, Auto-Graphics, Inc. (OTC:AUGR) has capitalized on new technology as it becomes available, providing information publishing and database resource sharing systems to the publishing and library communities. The company's Web site can be located at www.auto-graphics.com