Bryan Crowe, production manager for Allured Business Media, works in a department with three designers, a design manager and a developer producing four monthly b-to-b titles. The team also lays out books, supports both marketing efforts and events, and is in the process of optimizing its sites for mobile devices.
What are the biggest issues facing your production department right now?
Bryan Crowe: Technology: Utilizing mobile devices (tablets, smart-phones); the transition from print to digital; and the manner in which best to accomplish this. Technology is a moving target, and the face of publishing is changing on a daily basis. Just go to any store and see how the magazine racks are shrinking smaller and smaller. By the time print hits the rack, it's practically outdated information. “Readers” are now becoming quickly known as “users.” They want it now, and they don't want to wait for a magazine to show up in the mail.
MB: What issue is out there industrywide that particularly concerns you?
Crowe: With more and more people moving to tablets, I read recently that even laptop manufacturers are beginning to have trouble selling. People are quickly adopting the tablets and smartphones. The tablet market is booming and will only grow bigger. The demand to deliver content to those devices is exploding—interactive, up-to-date, relevant content. Right now, that is through apps and HTML5. Tomorrow it may be something different.