From Print on Demand to Enhanced Books: Editions Ecole Centrale de Nantes

By Simon Carolan.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The book industry is facing many opportunities and challenges as it rises to recent technological developments in the book world. Academics are realizing the potential of these cutting edge developments that often reflect the scientific and technological innovations that they themselves are undertaking. Academic institutions now have the means of publishing their works in an economically friendly manner to an international public through POD publishers like Publibook which permits the “publisher” to become an invisible part of the process, replacing their insignia with that of the academic institution. The combination of these two factors has lead to an increase in the number of university presses and their financial profitability. The university press serves several crucial roles in the functioning of the university, providing a window for the promotion of the universities’ prestige, something of increasing importance as they face drastic budget cuts. Thanks to its partnership with Publibook, the Ecole Centrale de Nantes-a French graduate school of engineering-has developed a university press allowing the editorial team to carry out “publishing” experiments in the same way their counterparts carry our experiments in the school’s laboratories.
Are the new business models that are emerging from these experiments cost-effective? How do these experiments affect the format, features, accessibility and interactivity of the publication? Is there an effect on the way that authors are conceiving their books? What are the new avenues of interpretation for these “hybrid” books? How will university collections benefit from opening up to enhanced books? In this article, I will be looking into the state of the art of emerging university presses. The information in this article is based on interviews carried out with all of the major players in the publication chain, from the editor-in-chief to the end-user, as well as internet research and press articles.

Keywords: University Press, Enhanced Books, Print on Demand

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp.97-110. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 995.478KB).

Simon Carolan

PhD Student and Design Engineer, IRRCyN, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France

Having studied French studies at Birmingham University in the UK and obtained a teaching post at the French graduate school of engineering, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Simon combines his love of literature with his scientific curiosity. A PhD student at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Simon Carolan is examining the use of new technologies in the publishing industry. He has contributed to the scientific publications of the Editions Ecole Centrale de Nantes and he has co-written a series of books and articles with publishing specialist, Christine Evain, which will be appearing in the summer of 2012.


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