IDPF Board candidate: Liisa McCloy-Kelley, Penguin Random House (INCUMBENT)
May 28, 2016
I have that odd mix of being both intensely interested in the future of digital reading and creating standards so that the experience can be shared and enjoyed across a huge array of devices and methods yet being incredibly practical about where we are now, where we have been with digital publishing over the last twenty years and where we need to go both short term and long term to create standards that both advance what is possible for readers and are able to be implemented by technologists. I am keenly aware of the chicken and egg situations we get into with furthering digital publishing and am excited and energized to find ways to collaborate together to work beyond those limitations. I think that this perspective is a useful thing in my current role on the IDPF Board and would continue to help the organization as we entertain how to move forward with the organization.
I have worked at Penguin Random House in a variety of areas for more than 25 years. I personally have been involved with building ebooks and implementing standards for them since PRH published our first eBooks in 1998. Currently, I'm responsible for Ebook Product Development and Innovation across PRH, which includes our work on standards bodies, coordinating with our production and publishing teams to advance our internal standards, working with our retail partners to help them understand what we need for our authors, and coordinating across our international ebook teams. Our philosophy for creating great digital books is to not mirror the print experience, but to take it apart and put it back together to take advantage of the features of digital reading and creating a great experience that allows you to be immersed in the content no matter how you are reading it. As we move into a world where there will clearly be a long future with a mix of both print and digital product in the marketplace, we are doing this with a mindfulness of where those experiences need to map to one another clearly and where they should diverge.
Penguin Random House is a global trade publishing company with products that touch nearly every genre in the book space. Our objectives include staying on the cutting edge of advancing what is possible for digital renditions in service to the stories of our authors and to do it in a way that helps not just PRH, but publishing and reading overall. As a result of that philosophy, we have one of the largest and most advanced corporate ebook development teams of any publisher I know. We have built a variety of tools and processes to enable this team to make ebooks that are beautiful, that read and work well and that take advantage of the “one format to rule them all” advantages of EPUB. We have found ways to make good ebook experiences reflow to fit the variety of screens we need to support for almost every type of book we make (ok, yeah, we’re still trying to figure out if it is possible to get a good experience as an “ebook” for a deck of cards!).
I feel uniquely able to represent both the needs of our industry and the needs of our IDPF organization members as we explore the future of digital publishing standards and where and how to continue this work most effectively. I am very interested in continuing to represent these interests on the IDPF Board as it looks to the future. I would appreciate your vote in the upcoming IDPF Board elections.
And if you ever want to talk about your ideas or concerns about the future of digital publishing standards, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always up for a good conversation or debate!
VP, Director Ebook Product Development & Innovation
Penguin Random House