Yet Kvern said he was confident the task would be completed on time and within budget - all because of electronic publishing.
""Our cost per page is now $1 to $3,'' he said. ""Before we got an electronic publishing system in November 1984, it was $10 to $15. And it shaves two-thirds of the time off the process.''
An electronic publishing system lets workers combine the basics of word processing - the ability to write, edit, proofread and transmit documents - with a graphics capability that allows them to integrate charts, tables, headlines and drawings into the documents. All the steps can be done at a video terminal. The result, whether one page long or of book length, can then be sent electronically to a typesetter or to a more modest office printer.
Although companies must still turn to outside commercial printers for sophisticated color printing and elaborate binding, desk-top publishing now enables them to produce almost any documents neededfor internal use.
Robert Reisner, director of financial analysis for the RCA Corp., said: ""With such a compression of time and dollar savings, it's a non-issue. You have to buy an electronic publishing system.''
Such enthusiasm helps explain the spurt in computer publishing, an industry that grew to more than $500 million in sales last year from almost nothing in 1983, according to CAP International, a market research concern in Marshfield, Mass.
Investors have been pouring millions of dollars into stock offerings by companies that provide software or integrated hardware-and-software systems for desk-top publishing.
Interleaf Inc., a Cambridge, Mass., developer of software for computer-aided publishing and a packager of integrated systems, raised $24.6 million in its initial public offering in June. Xyvision Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., a software publisher, raised $18.9 million in the same month. Adobe Systems Inc., based in Palo Alto, Calif., which creates software for publishing, raised $5.6 million last month.
The industry gained further attention when the International Business Machines Corp. announced the formation on July 2 of a unit to develop and market hardware and software designed specifically for computer-aided publishing (CAP, in industry jargon). …