By Callahan, Sean
Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management , Vol. 21, No. 1
Book publishing beginning to look more like magazine publishing every day. After only two years in the marketplace, McGraw-Hill's custom-publishing effort, Primis, is being redesigned to make it more "comfortable and user-friendly," according to Robert Lynch, vice president and director of Primis. The corporate design firm of Carbone Smolan Associates in New York was used to modify the software, giving the customized books a more elegant and consistent look, and making them easier to read, as well.
The system, a sophisticated proprietary software program jointly developed by McGraw-Hill and Eastman Kodak, allows college professors to specify the contents of textbooks from a database created from McGraw-Hill-owned editorial. The first book can be created in a day and, once it has been signed off, thousands can be manufactured and delivered in less than a week.
The system has been closely watched by the magazine industry because of the implications for periodical publishing and as an alternative or supplement to selective binding technology. Lynch insists that while McGraw-Hill's magazine side is kept abreast of developments at Primis, there are no plans to extend the technology to the company's magazines. …