SOURCE: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

February 05, 2007 07:00 ET

Publishing's a Whole New Game in the Digital Age, Says Britannica Executive in New Book

Ross Guides Publishers Through Opportunities and Threats in "Publishing Without Boundaries"

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 5, 2007 --The world of publishing is being dramatically transformed by the Internet and other digital technologies, and publishers must think and act in new ways if they're to succeed in today's global marketplace, says Encyclopaedia Britannica executive Michael Ross in a new book.

According to Ross's "Publishing Without Boundaries: How to Think, Work, and Win in the Global Marketplace," publishers now have a vast array of new media and worldwide channels for distributing content, and these developments alter the nature of the business. The book, just published by the Association of Educational Publishers (, is both an analysis of the new business environment and a guidebook for publishers from an industry veteran who is helping to shape publishing's future.

"Publishers have to think of themselves as producers of content rather than publishers of books, or CD-ROMs, or, for that matter, any other specific retrieval format," says Ross. "Their content should also be able to change form and format, and move freely through a variety of channels."

Because intellectual properties can now be sliced, diced and repurposed in a multitude of ways, publishers should think about a manuscript not simply as the basis for a book -- or of any other single product -- but as the source for a mix of products that could take different forms over time. For this reason, the different ways that content can be packaged and distributed should be studied carefully at the beginning of a publishing project, when the text, illustrations and other elements are created or acquired.

To help publishers navigate the emerging business environment, Ross surveys the new complexities of intellectual-property management, licensing, the growth of markets in developing countries and the extent to which certain publishing functions such as printing can be outsourced effectively. His outlook is ultimately upbeat and optimistic. He tells colleagues: "Publishing's final frontier -- a fluid, innovative, global community -- invites your active participation."

Ross is senior vice president and education general manager at Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. His book is available online from the Britannica store (, the Association for Educational Publishers (, and from

About Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. ( is a leader in reference and education publishing whose products can be found in many media, from the Internet to cell phones to books. A pioneer in electronic publishing since the early 1980s, the company still publishes the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, along with services such as Britannica Online School Edition and new printed products such as Britannica Student Encyclopedia, available for purchase at Britannica's online store ( Britannica's editorial operation is overseen by some of the world's most distinguished scholars, several of them Nobel laureates. The company makes its headquarters in Chicago.

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