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"Highlights from FBF 2023"

Differentiating PageMajik’s editorial and production workplace management suite from a title management platform


As I speak with publishers daily about the various systems they use to manage their business, a few common recurring themes and questions continue to surface.

  1. Since I already have a title management system why do I need PageMajik and what are the overlapping functionalities?
  2. Can the two-systems exchange data via an API or a lighter solution?
  3. Can one of the two systems be customized to perform both functions at a high level?

The PageMajik team would like to briefly address these valid questions to convey to publishers the complexity and value of each system and the numerous functions they each perform. It goes without saying that many of the following points are valid for other publishing systems as well such as ERP, royalty management, journal hosting platforms, analytics tools, etc. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on just the two systems.

Since I already have a title management system, why do I need PageMajik?

An integrated editorial and production management system and a title management system are unique and power specific workflow functions. There are some overlapping functionalities to consider and plan for accordingly, however, they are both necessary, and contribute to the cost of doing business in 21st Century publishing.

A Comparison

An integrated Editorial and Production management system is a SaaS-based platform where publishing teams actually perform responsibilities such as:

  • managing manuscript submissions and exchanging files with authors via a secure portal
  • conducting peer review
  • proofreading
  • applying house copy styles (i.e., Chicago Manual Style or APA Style or custom house styles)
  • auto-checking references
  • selecting an XHTML workflow and auto-generating InDesign files and PDF proofs
  • typesetting
  • managing art permissions and art logs
  • generating final files
  • and more …

This breed of system is how publishers produce the physical and final products right to the point where a final file is generated from XHTML to InDesign to PDF or EPUB for print and ebooks. We like to say, “from ideation to final file … and everything in between.”

How does a system like this benefit typical editorial and production teams?

PageMajik facilitates the launch of products faster with a lower cost to market, producing a higher quality product through applying Artificial Intelligence, Smart Technology, and Automation.

PageMajik does not replace people. It still takes an experienced editorial and production team to make judgement calls and final decisions and build relationships. Those same people, however, can produce more content at a faster rate and at higher quality.

A title management platform is a broad term for a publishing system that handles a variety of front and back-office functions. These include:

  • recording the contractual details between an author and a publisher
  • capturing and distributing complete title metadata for public/retail consumption
  • generating P&Ls by product or groups of products
  • task and workflow management
  • managing vendor specifications and generating purchase orders
  • tracking rights, sub-rights, permissions
  • archiving file assets in a DAM
  • Based on the platform, options may also include calculating royalties, handling financials and ERP requirements, and customer relationship management (CRM).

There are certainly more routines these systems can accomplish, but this represents the big picture.

How does a system like this benefit typical editorial, production, and marketing teams?

Title Management systems provide one consistent repository for all the above-mentioned data and workflows. It often serves as the master database for a publisher, then feeds partial data points out to complementary systems that are being used by the publisher, such as PageMajik. The metadata distribution to the supply chain is a critical and necessary aspect of these platforms and essential to our industry.

Can the two systems exchange data via an Application Programming Interface (API) or a lighter solution?

In short, yes. However, the devil is in the details. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering “feeds” between systems.

  1. Is the data required and useful to have in both systems?
    1. The investment can be significant to build and implement an API, so make sure you are clear on the benefits. Your technology partners can guide you on these details.
  2. Is there an alternative solution to an API?
    1. Often, a simple export/import via CSV file from one system to the next is a viable and a less budget sensitive option.
    2. Manual input can be the most simplistic answer in cases where the amount of data needing to transfer is minimal and where applying technology is overkill.
  3. In addition to building the API and paying your tech providers for the initial development, you must consider the maintenance costs for an API. Systems are often upgraded, new versions are rolled out, and guess what … stuff breaks. The API you built last year may no longer run or sync perfectly as once intended. This is no one’s fault … it’s just the nature of the business.

Can one of the two systems be customized to perform both functions at a high level?

Typically, no. There are “all-in-one” systems that can provide a good deal of what you are seeking, but the truth is that one software company cannot perform the services we are discussing with a level of expertise that will provide the depth of results you are seeking.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is!


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