Information Today
            Volume 17, Number 1 • January 2000
SoftBook Press Introduces Automated Publishing Software

SoftBook Press, Inc. has announced the introduction of SoftBook Auto Publisher, an application that automates the conversion of magazines, books, and other documents from Open eBook HTML into SoftBook Editions for electronic distribution. The company also announced the introduction of the SoftBook Database Publisher, an application that automates page layout and conversion of database information for electronic distribution.

SoftBook Auto Publisher
SoftBook Auto Publisher is a server-based application that allows immediate conversion of documents (text and graphics) from the industry-standard Open eBook HTML format into a compressed and encrypted SoftBook Edition for fast, secure distribution over the Internet without manual intervention. According to the company, the primary benefit is the dramatically reduced cost of preparing electronic content for commercial publishers and business applications.

SoftBook Auto Publisher reportedly is ideal for applications that involve regular distribution of recurring information. The company says it is especially effective for periodical content, allowing virtually simultaneous production of both conventional and electronic versions of magazines, journals, and other ongoing published materials. In addition, SoftBook Auto Publisher can be implemented to automatically compress and encrypt electronic documents for distribution to SoftBook Readers, allowing an immediate production and distribution system for electronic content that can be integrated seamlessly into conventional content preparation processes.

“SoftBook Auto Publisher allows us to produce secure, electronic versions of TimesFax, the eight-page digest of The New York Times, automatically and simultaneously with the transmission of the publication,” said Dan Barber, sales director of TimesFax. “In less than 1 minute from the moment that an issue is completed, we can convert the content into a SoftBook Edition for delivery to our subscribers. This gives us the ability to provide TimesFax to readers, in effect, instantaneously. This immediate availability of our content is exactly what we want to achieve in terms of spectacular customer service.”

SoftBook Auto Publisher often works in conjunction with the Electronic Newsstand feature of the SoftBook Reader. Users can plug the SoftBook Reader into a phone jack or Ethernet network connection at night and have the latest magazine, newspaper, or corporate report in the morning. SoftBook Auto Publisher allows any organization with ongoing publishing needs or dynamic mission-critical business information to immediately distribute it to authorized users in a secure, cost-effective manner, according to the company.

SoftBook Database Publisher
SoftBook Database Publisher is a server-based application that allows automated conversion of database information (text and graphics) into SoftBook Editions for distribution to SoftBook Readers. Applications that require timely distribution of dynamic database information to field offices, remote sales and service staff, and others can be integrated into existing work processes with SoftBook Database Publisher. According to the company, it is especially effective for near real-time updating of business-critical information, such as sales reports, delivery schedules, inventory systems, and other rapidly changing data. The SoftBook Database Publisher is designed to replace bulky, insecure “greenbar” reports and can be integrated into a comprehensive paperless publishing system that may include training materials, operating procedures, and other large reports.

The Arizona Republic is an early adopter of this new application. “SoftBook Database Publisher is an important part of our electronic route delivery management system that utilizes SoftBook Readers and the SoftBook Network,” said Chris Christian, circulation director at The Arizona Republic. “Updated route information for The Republic is extracted directly from our database and transmitted nightly to our carrier force.”

SoftBook Database Publisher also works in conjunction with the automatic download features of the SoftBook Reader and the SoftBook Express Internet distribution network. The system can operate in both Windows NT and UNIX-based operating environments and integrates easily into Oracle Reporting Systems and other Oracle-based systems. All SoftBook publishing tools are compliant with the Open eBook Publication Structure for incorporating third-party tools.

Source: SoftBook Press, Inc., Menlo Park, CA, 800/222-5861, 650/463-1800;

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