Back in the Paleolithic Age of Paper, information moved slowly. Slow like the Glyptodon. Books took nine months to gestate from manuscript to print. For content to reach readers beyond the market of origin, the Sub Rights Director at Publisher #1 (the primary publisher) would sell foreign rights (one of multiple “sub” rights, including serial rights, TV →
Cleaning out my office this August, I came across the typescript of a book proposal, “The Secret Ending of World War II: How Nazism Survived to Fight Another Day,” submitted to me in 1990 by Carl Oglesby, and never published. OBS has been offering publishing services since 1982; decades of work leave a long trail of →
When a publication gets empowered by blockchain technology, one can truly say that a reader never steps into the same book twice. Blockchain enables internet-published content to emulate life itself — both the perceived (the content), and the perceivers (publishers and readers) — in a recorded environment that captures and publishes a constant state of content →
“The Connection” NPR Host Christopher Lydon, MIT Media Lab Music Professor Tod Machover, and Laura Fillmore, President of the Online BookStore (OBS) explore the future of arts on the net in this radio show — Karaoke books, interactive opera, hyper books and instruments. We began to travel down thought trails leading into the new frontier, a →
Before Amazon, there was the Online BookStore (OBS), now Open Book Systems (OBS). We maintained a list of all the publishers who had online presences; it took up about half a computer screen in 1994. Before starting the Online BookStore, our company packaged books for publishers, one of which was John Quarterman’s The Matrix (Digital Press, →
OBS applauds Macmillan Publishers for actively defending our First Amendment rights in publishing Michael Woolf’s controversial book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Rather than bowing to White House demands that Macmillan cease and desist from publishing the book, which offers insights into the current administration’s White House, Macmillan subsidiary Henry Holt and Co. pushed →
Poet John Ashbery died this past Sunday, stilling a genius voice whose insight and humor truly broke through to the other side. My husband introduced me to him in the 1970s. We read Houseboat Days aloud and laughed together at “The Serious Doll.” We were delighted when Ashbery accepted our invitation to come and give →
During these challenging times, some may find it tempting to try and purge the online environment of propaganda and hate speech — but we must not succumb to the siren song of censorship, whose blade, given time, cuts equally right, left, or center. Danger signs manifest themselves today — some gatekeepers of our internet infrastructure →
In 2007, Christopher Hail began to contribute to the scholarly research on the work of Domenico Scarlatti by authoring an erudite, witty, and successful website dedicated to the Italian composer. He contributed to it daily, until his death in 2014. Given the relevance of Hail’s research, his family estate resolved to publish the content of →
We at OBS saw the XML spider approaching twenty years ago, and talked about it at the Summer Publishing Institute at the University of Virginia in 1997. Today, Enterprise Content Management systems are a multi-billion-dollar industry that’s growing at 15% per year.
Figure: “The XML Spider”: With a database of content tagged in XML, a publisher can code once and use many times, opening up new revenue streams through re-purposing their content. Please note: this is an archival document showing XML-centric workflow that was created by Laura Fillmore in 1997 as part of her presentations at the University of Virginia Summer Publishing Institute. It’s in need of updating!
A major instance of just such an update came recently with the Copyright Clearance Center’s acquisition of Ixxus, a publishing solutions provider. Together, the CCC and Ixxus are creating a revolutionary content management system that enables publishers to create a live hive of inter-operable content, chunked to the least common denominator. This “single source of truth” serves to centralize and standardize the publishing process, from file management to workflows to distribution and beyond. Pedagogical interface (PI), here we come!