BOOKISHNESS: 3D Printing adds Exceptional Value

January 8, 2014 by Thad McIlroy

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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Comments

  • Go Read This | Thad McIlroy – Future Of Publishing » BOOKISHNESS: 3D Printing adds Exceptional Value | Eoin Purcell's Blog

    Jan 9th, 2014 : 1:30 AM

    […] via Thad McIlroy – Future Of Publishing » BOOKISHNESS: 3D Printing adds Exceptional Value. […]

  • Nate

    Jan 9th, 2014 : 5:58 AM

    “add as many unique and useful features to their new print books as their
    designers, production managers and printers can possibly imagine”

    This might be unique but it is about as useful as releasing a leatherbound edition. And given the extra weight and size it’s even less practical than that leather cover.

  • Thad McIlroy

    Jan 9th, 2014 : 12:48 PM

    Yes, if you take this one limited edition as an isolated case the value loses some of its luster. I recommend you read my other blog entries on “bookishness” (http://thefutureofpublishing.com/index.php?s=bookishness) — there are some more down-to-earth examples. The point is to try to extend the creative production aspects of printed books. This unique limited edition isn’t going to make anyone rich but it’s attracting a lot of attention to a novelist’s latest book. Bravo for that.