Electric Book Works Publishing reinvented for the digital age

How thought leaders can publish a book in stages

In addition to providing data, the Office for National Statistics also has a responsibility to help people understand that data and how to use it. Its Economic Experts Working Group decided to commission a book for economics students on what it means to measure an economy with statistics.

Measuring the Economy covers the importance of economic measurement and the impact that economic data collection can have on citizens. It helps students grapple with key concepts and their real-world applications. It explores the opportunities and challenges we face in measuring modern economies, answering big-picture questions and explaining the fine details of gathering accurate statistics.

The Measuring the Economy home page on a large computer and a mobile phone

To produce the book, the ONS called on Electric Book Works. Our team developed writing guidelines and ran workshops with authors, working closely with the ONS team. As each chapter was drafted by subject experts, our development editors refined its features and readability before digitisation and design.

The website is data-light and mobile friendly, and includes interactive features such as animated figures, clickable graphs, and popup definitions of key economic terms.

The Measuring the Economy website on mobile

Each chapter of Measuring the Economy is written by a leading expert in the field. They cover basic topics like price measurement, GDP, and the labour market; and complex issues like natural capital and income distribution. Importantly, they offer easily digestible insights along with the knowledge and skills to evaluate statistics and understand their impact on people’s lives.

A page on the Measuring the Economy website

For those interested in economics and economic policy, this book explains clearly the concepts, challenges and controversies that lie behind our measurement of the economy, and the methods we use to make measurement practical.
Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England

It can take a long time to gather contributions from such a wide array of subject experts. In order to make an impact as early as possible, the book was released chapter by chapter over three years. This is one of the many advantages of publishing a book as a website: there is no need to wait for everything to be finished before making it useful and available. Ongoing updates to the book can be made quickly and easily.

Our web-first, single-source approach is perfectly suited to evolving, multi-year projects like this.

Once the book is complete, it will also be available in a print edition, which will add to the gravitas of the project, and help its adoption at universities, where print is still an important preference for many students and lecturers.

You can read Measuring the Economy online for free here.

20 September 2021