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Technologies for electronic publishing

Within the digital edition there are three categories of electronic media:

The Web

The web is a public hypertext system (ie it contains links and information) working on Internet. It allows you to view, using a browser, accessible pages on various sites. The books are available on the web in different formats, including EPUB (which clone paper format). These “web” books are actually dynamic files. This web documents are generated in real time, either when they are consulted. Through continuous RSS feeds, the page offer new information at every visit of the reader.

The technology using electronic paper: e-readers

The reader is an electronic tablet that can reproduce a digital format text. A few years ago, the manufacturers suggested machines called “display”. These were somewhat autonomous, heavy, backlit and generally like the PC Tablet. Today, manufacturers are taking a different view by using e-paper reading devices. This is a display technique which mimics the appearance of a printed sheet and which does not require a backlight. Electronic paper is also called e-paper.


(Electronic paper (Side view of Electrophoretic display).

  1. upper layer
  2. transparent electrode layer
  3. transparent micro-capsules
  4. positive charged white pigments
  5. negative charged black pigments
  6. transparent oil
  7. electrode pixel layer
  8. bottom supporting layer
  9. light
  10. white
  11. black)

Smartphones and tablets

A smartphone is a “smart” mobile phone with the functions of a PDA: calendar, web browsing, messaging and recently e-book reader. These various applications are developed by the manufacturer, the operator or the software publisher. Some of the software or applications, such Stanza, Android, Aldiko, Kindle, YouScribe, allow to repatriate titles on iPhone (or iPod-Touch) and form its own library. The latter are direct competitors of e-readers.

In Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world, the penetration rate of mobile phones is much higher than Internet: 41% against 9.6% in South Africa and 79.6% against 24, 9% in North Africa and the Middle East, which makes it much more interesting carrier to operate a computer. The Airpac service, launched by the University of South Africa in 2009, offers its library to all users with access to the whole catalog and the ability to reserve books via their mobile phone. Since 2007, over 100,000 electronic books were distributed not only in South Africa. The use of mobile phones allows, in countries where the publication and distribution of books are not as developed as in the West, to provide users with books that they could not be purchased in bookstores.

Print on Demand

The expansion of printing on demand is a revolution in the world of publishing. Especially seen with the case of South America. Today most capital cities have POD printing dots. We can cite for example Bandeirantes and Singular in Brazil, Bibliografika, Docuprint and Dorrego in Argentina or Publidisa in Mexico. In 2010, using the POD, publishers increased  from12% to 32%.

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