Digital Publishing for Photographers (2013)

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The history of the e-book dates back to the year 1971, when a digital library of copyright-free books saw the light of day in the “Project Gutenberg”. Today, that library has no less than 42 000 titles. In 1987, Vilém Flusser’s essay Does Writing have a Future? appeared on floppy disk – the “first real non-book”, as the publishers referred to it at the time. It was not the publishing houses, however, that subsequently rang in the e-book revolution, but rather companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple, who now set the standards in e-publishing. Nevertheless, there can be no question of a unified or ideal path when it comes to the digital photobook. On the contrary, the number of production and distribution possibilities available is as large as it is confusing. We have tried, therefore, to sort out the digital publishing technologies and weigh the respective pros and cons. With the exception of the PDF format, the predominant technologies rely on similar scripts and differ above all in terms of dynamism, flexibility and objectness, as well as the respective output channel. Accordingly, decisions for or against a certain format have to take these features into account.

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