Reprints! Reprints! Reprints!
Publishers that are CTP still have a lot of issues to resolve before they become completely comfortable with the technology, explains Mussman. Establishing format standards continues to be a high hurdle, and Mussman predicts that the magazine industry, including the reprint segment, remains at least a year away from being completely CTP operational. However, Osborne McKean points out, "We're still using whatever the magazines are using—disks or film—because it's the most economical (solution)."
When digital complements print
Throughout the past year, the classic magazine reprint has evolved in order to survive the electronic age. Commonly called "e-prints," these digital adaptations are more frequently offered by reprint providers. Publishers Custom Reprints, PARS International, Scoop! Media Services and Reprint Management Services are just a few that currently offer reprints in electronic form.
E-prints may be presented in HTML, or other Web standard, to a buyer who can then post the article, as is, on its own Web site, but the nature of this scenario often causes publishers some uneasiness. Who is to say that its editorial integrity will be maintained by the buyer's webmaster? How long should the buyer be able to post the article on its site? These are questions that should be answered in advance. However, there may be another solution.
Several providers are now posting reprints on their own servers, thereby limiting access, alleviating the possibility of copy bastardization and controlling the length of time the reprint will be made available to the public. With these controls in place, the reprint vendor is able to sell the "link" (URL address) to the buyer who may then position it on its own Web site.
"Our e-prints are doing well," Biggerstaff claims. "(Sales) have increased by about 25 percent over what we did last year in e-prints. In the next couple of years, we're going to see a dramatic climb (in e-print sales), but they're not going to replace the printed product. … Eventually, especially in the computer industry, we're going to probably see a 50-50 share in e-prints versus reprints. I don't know that all industries will be that high, but I would imagine that all the rest of the industries will be somewhere slightly lower than that, but not by much."