Tag Archives: Publishing

Inherited Bookishness

Warning: book-related geekery ahead!

Today SillyBilly and I had a book-lovin’ afternoon. First we watched this video of a modern book bindery that a fellow EFA member mentioned on our group discussion board (double click to open this one):

This contrasted nicely with another video we watched a few months ago, on hot metal printing circa 1947:

We were amazed to see the differences: the technology, from stamping each letter into metal, lining them all up in order by hand, and pressing them into a copper plate, to an almost fully automated, computer-controlled assembly line. And the similarities: it’s still just paper, cardboard, and glue.

This inspired SillyBilly to continue working on his book, which received its table of contents and first page today:

The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion

Table of Contents
By D. Hunt
(Table of Contents)
1) The Powerful Goo
(2-7 still untitled)
7 Chapters!
To Mama from D.

There was a dark, dark forest and there was a colony of ghosts. There was a very special rock that was powerful that the ghosts…

(I don’t know what’s coming next…. I’ll keep you all informed.)

I love that dark, dark, forest. It’s hard to see, but the red thing is the eerie glow of a ghost’s eyes.

Later at dinner I was describing the modern bindery video to Anthropapa and Napoleona. Evidently it caught her imagination too, because after dinner I heard them playing with books: SillyBilly was making little machine sounds (whssshhht! ffffft!) as he slid books down the tilted footrest of our recliner, while Napoleona “inspected” the books as they came down, checking for proper pagination and end paper gluing.

Imitation at its finest! Videos might not be a strictly approved Waldorf activity, but I love what kind of art and play it inspired today.

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Filed under art, Books, editing, General silliness, Napoleona, play, SillyBilly, Writing

The Best Laid Schemes…

gang aft agley.

I like reading author blogs because it gives me insight into both their creative process and the overall publishing process.

One I like especially is Neil Gaiman’s Journal. He is funny and personable, answers emails, and writes both about being an author and his life–cats, daughters, raising bees, traveling around the world, his relationship with pandas.

But even such a prominent, successful author can see his work go rather agley.

Here’s what he posted about his recently published book, The Graveyard Book:

I’ve also heard from a few people who have misbound versions, missing or repeating a “signature” of pages: it was misprinted, on pages 248-217 the pages are backwards (which is why I listed the numbers backwards) upside down, and cut off, tragically everything bad that could happen to a book in printing as one correspondent sighs, and pages 217-248 are missing and in their place are pages 249-280 printed twice. I am hoping that this is just a fluke in the time-space continuum, but perhaps people should be advised to double check to make sure those pages are there as another points out. So check your books and if it’s misprinted, then return it to the bookshop for a correct copy. (If you got a signed copy that’s misprinted, I’ll do what I can to make sure you get a signed one to replace it.)

Even in this day of computerized publishing, even in a publishing process where dozens of people (like myself) read over the book numerous times, things can still go very, very wrong.

And for an amazing contrast to today’s word processing, watch this video on seriously old school hot metal printing. Try to count how many times things could be seriously messed up there!

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Filed under Books, computers, editing

More Reasons to Love BookMooch

BookMooch IllustrationImage via Wikipedia

WARNING: This post is liberally peppered with links. Sorry if it’s annoying, but I’m really excited by this topic and just want to share the coolness.

I just came across this article on the Guardian’s website about book-swapping websites. As one of the largest such sites, BookMooch was featured prominently.

I’ve been a BookMooch member since…oh, heck, I have to go check my member page…la la bum tee bum…here we go, January 2007. I’ve mooched 40 books and given 37 (bad Mama: you’re really supposed to always give away more than you get, but thanks to a points donation by Helen, I’m still in the black!)

Aside from clearing out books I don’t want anymore and finding books I either can’t find elsewhere or that I’m willing to read but not buy, I also love the open-source, Free Culture, Creative Commonsy aspect. The Guardian article touches on some of BM founder John Buckman‘s thoughts about how book swapping doesn’t really take any profits away from authors and publishers

And recently a few new interesting things have popped up in the Moochosphere: swapping shipping materials, which is a brilliant use of the BM network to reuse and share exactly what BM members need, and actual cooperation between a free book-swapping service and publishers. Added to the existing cool stuff like the ability to donate your BM points to charities, the ability to download every bit of information in the BM database (except user email and snail mail addresses) for free, and the constant tinkering with what it means to collaborate between reader/swappers, authors, and publishers, these innovations make me love BM even more.

Now I just need to find some more books to give away….

* * * * *

Interested? Read more about BookMooch here or here.

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Filed under Books, computers

Now I’m a Slightly Mollified Blogger/Reader

I just read this on the guardian.co.uk books section feed: Random House will offer online access to up to 5,000 books, AND THEY SPECIFICALLY WANT BLOGGERS TO USE IT: “Random House wants the tool to be picked up by book fans and bloggers who can modify it for their own sites.”

Now there’s a company that accepts the power of blogs. Can you say, “free, minimal overhead advertising”?

I’m waiting to read about the catch, of course. I still find it hard to believe that a huge, mainstream publisher will willingly give books away for free on a large scale. But hey, it’s an improvement.

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Filed under Blogging, Books, computers, Rants