Why Markup Matters

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Monday, June 12, 8:45–10:15 AM
Chair: Bill Kasdorf, VP and Principal Consultant, Apex Content and Media Solutions
Panelists: Linda Secondari, Creative Director and Principal, Studiolo Secondari; Sylvia Hunter, Principal, All in the Words, and Communications and Marketing Specialist, Inera; Caleb Clauset, VP Product, Typefi

To many people in publishing, markup is even more mystifying than metadata. We all understand now how important metadata is in managing and selling our books. But what’s the point of all the alphabet soup? Authors use Word, typesetters use InDesign, we get PDFs, we get EPUBs. At the end of the day, does markup really matter? As this session will explain, it matters a lot. Unlike most previous markup-related sessions at AAUP, this session is not about the “how” —the tagging and the coding, but about the “why”—the point of paying attention to good markup. It’s designed not for the technical and production people who already “get” XML; it’s for the rest of us, the managers and designers and editors and marketers who have been told for years that XML is a must but have never understood why—and may be wondering whether it really has much value after all. This session will begin with an overview by Bill Kasdorf of the benefits of markup, with an emphasis on the value of standards-based markup. He’ll be followed by Linda Secondari, who will show how markup can make life so much easier for designers, and how it can be liberating and enabling, not confining. Then Sylvia Hunter will show how valuable good markup is at the editorial stage, both in making life easier for the copyeditor and in making the books better—which, after all, is what editorial is all about. Finally, Caleb Clauset will show how markup streamlines the production process for university press books, enabling the creation of multiple formats—PDF, EPUB, online, and a future-proof archive—from a single workflow.

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