BOOKISHNESS: 3D Printing adds Exceptional Value

January 8th, 2014

I started floating the idea of “bookishess” last spring. It’s a simple concept. Ebooks and print books each have notable advantages and disadvantages (they are in fact complementary media, not conflicting media). But print books often get lost in the online battle: Every time Amazon adds a single percent to its market share, a beautiful book cover design is vetoed by management as too expensive.

My argument is that publishers owe it to their authors (and their authors’ readers) to add as many unique and useful features to their new print books as their designers, production managers and printers can possibly imagine. I illustrated a range of ideas and approaches in my presentation at PePcon last year. I say “owe it,” but my underlying belief is that when used appropriately these bookish features will increase sales and profits.

Riverhead Books (a Penguin imprint) designed two covers for Chang-rae Lee’s new novel, On Such a Full Sea. One was for the hardcover. The other is for a special limited edition of 200 copies with the slipcase created with a MakerBot 3D printer. This video reveals the process from both the publisher’s and the author’s perspective. I ordered a copy today and look forward to seeing it up close for my perspective.

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