How Royal Boom is streamlining
its editorial tech stack using PublishOne
Royal Boom started life as a small newspaper publisher and printer in the Netherlands, over 180 years ago. Today it’s a modern, independent publishing company with renowned publications across multiple sectors including culture, education, science, and law.
The company employs over 300 professionals – including Delivery Manager Rob de Jeu – and authors, publishing in a range of media types. All of their publishing activities are housed under the umbrella of Royal Boom Publishers. Their challenge? How to streamline operations across multiple publishing units by bringing them into one editorial platform. Enter PublishOne.
“For all of our publications, we wanted the XML format. From a strategic point of view, we think it’s very important. The trouble is, XML scares end-users! So we needed user-friendliness. PublishOne offers a very nice solution for that combination.”
–Rob de Jeu, Delivery Manager, Boom Amsterdam
Over time – approaching 200 years – Royal Boom has grown, acquiring smaller publishing houses, and diversifying its output across multiple companies and locations along the way. As a result, its IT landscape is deep and varied, with each unit running its own tech stack, making it challenging to manage and expensive to run. It’s time-consuming to maintain multiple smaller software packages and licenses.
With different publishing units performing similar operational tasks, it was inevitably a lot of crossover and duplication of solutions for workflows and processes. From an IT and financial perspective, it made sense to bring everything together into fewer systems. They needed to phase out legacy software that was too small, too expensive, or too outdated.
What Royal Boom needed was a generic editorial solution that could accommodate their broad portfolio of titles, breaking down the silos of information and data between locations and departments. The solution also needed to provide continuity and scalability, so it could be easily rolled out across the entire organization – one publishing unit at a time.
The issue with consolidating everything inside a single system is that it can lead to a slower organization. So the solution needed to avoid obstructing the publishers’ creativity, giving them space to act quickly, to go into a specific market, or to follow through with a great idea. Royal Boom’s legal publishers in The Hague were already using a suitable platform – PublishOne.
“I talked with colleagues in the legal publishing unit – and also Mark and Ellen at PublishOne – and looked at their model. I think its scalability is very much an advantage. So we are now adding other units within Boom to PublishOne.”
–Rob de Jeu, Delivery Manager, Boom Amsterdam
The great thing about PublishOne is that below the surface XML is ready and waiting. XML gives Royal Boom the ability to publish in multiple formats at once – whether paper or digital. That makes it easy to convert a manuscript into different formats at the click of a button. It also allows them to keep up with ever-increasing demand for digital publications, whilst continuing to serve print customers in markets such as education.
So far, it’s been working well. For example, the production and editorial process in their legal publishing unit involves a lot of external editors. Most of Royal Boom’s editors and authors use Microsoft Word or similar products, so they can still use their favorite tools whilst working within the same system. They don’t have to learn anything new, they simply work from inside PublishOne.
Creating standardized layouts is another benefit. The legal publishers mainly work in journals, so Rob has his team set about creating templates for specific series of books. This includes the automated formatting and designing of pages, plus the ability to create PDFs with the push of a button. In effect, PublishOne gives them a dynamic and responsive environment to regularly update content.
Having PublishOne has enabled Boom to migrate a legacy CMS and frontend publishing system to their main publishing platform, ready to store the content inside PublishOne. But it’s not just the technical flexibility of PublishOne that’s impressed. The PublishOne team has supported Boom in setting up an environment with the right structure for their needs.
Ultimately, with so much uncertainty in the publishing industry, what PublishOne provides is a future-proof editorial platform that can easily adjust to future changes in the market. Rob and his team also appreciate the clarity and documentation provided by PublishOne around update releases.
Discover more about Royal Boom by visiting https://www.boom.nl/