It all comes down to managing and reusing source. Recycling content (chapters, graphics, etc.) is not new. What is new here is the common set of back-end structure in XML form and the fact that more than one set of tools–including small, mission critical custom tools–are explicitly focused on the specific needs of a given project.
Reusing and repurposing content is all about improving efficiency: automating, accelerating, and merging applications, systems, and processes. In a multichannel publishing environment, it is critical that content development–source development–and its management are as efficient as possible. At its base, we’re talking about reusing authored source content chunks. This means modular writing, link management, and metadata to control variable content within a book, across books, across releases or product lines, or across audiences. Multichannel publishing adds yet another dimension to the content.