Swine Flu and eBooks Could Change Medical Publishing

drsears.jpgLast month, Little, Brown has released an eBook-only update of the print title, “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child”–an instantaneous publishing response to public concerns about H1N1 flu (or Swine Flu) vaccines.

To find out more about how eBooks can help medical publishing, GalleyCat interviewed the book’s author, Robert Sears, M.D., about the digital addition. He hoped that more medical publishers could adapt a similar digital book strategy: “Since I wrote “The Vaccine Book,” several important changes have occurred that I wish I could have immediately updated. This is true for virtually any medical book, and it takes many months before such changes can appear in a subsequent book printing. eBooks can be immediately updated as new information comes out, and breaking health news topics can easily be added to compliment any health book,” he explained.

He also outlined the timely information included in the eBook extra: “The H1N1 flu, or ‘swine flu,’ vaccine [requires] two extra doses that parents have to give their infants and children this year. Educated parents will naturally wonder about this new vaccine–How is it made? What are the ingredients and side effects? How risky is the disease? Should I add this vaccine to my child’s already busy vaccine schedule? And pregnant moms are also concerned; the disease poses risk for them, but there is uncertainty over using an untested vaccine during pregnancy.”