Novelists Inc 2015 — a Heckuva Conference

October 27, 2015

My concern was never about the conference. I was worried about the conga line. Three hundred authors, 90% women, drawn together for four days at a deluxe south Florida resort. The TradeWinds Island Grand offers “11 unique dining and entertainment venues” including Awakening’s Lobby Bar, the Sharktooth Tavern and Salty’s Poolside Beach Bar (“what’s a beach vacation without a brightly colored beverage under a palm-thatched hut?”). Didn’t that mean there was going to be, at some point, a conga line? (more…)

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BOOKISHNESS: The Case of Murakami’s 1Q84

April 24, 2013

The signed and numbered edition of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 is limited to exactly 111 copies. The front and back covers are printed on Somerset, a 100 percent cotton archival paper, using a Swiss-made 1963 Gietz Art Platen hand-fed letterpress. The covers were handprinted by Justin Knopp at Typoretum. Text pages printed and bound by Graphicom, Verona. The text design by Jim Smith. (more…)

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BOOKISHNESS: When the Physical Book Conveys Meaning

April 23, 2013

I’ve been collecting samples of “bookish” books for a couple of years now. I think these examples can help to clarify the concept of BOOKISHNESS.

There’s a whole category of lovely artist’s books, or books as art, or book arts. As beautiful and creative as they are, they’re a different creature than BOOKISHNESS. (more…)

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What Makes an e-Book Cover Unique?

November 9, 2011

I’ve seen two principal schools of thought surrounding covers for e-books.

Theory One: Book covers don’t really matter much any more.

Theory Two: Covers for e-books still matter a lot. They matter in a different way, and we’re not quite sure what makes it different, but they certainly do matter. (more…)


Mastering the Art of e-Book Formatting

October 16, 2011

Reading the New York Times article about the e-book version of Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking you’d think that a milestone had been reached in the struggle for high-quality e-books. This 1961 book is one of the classics, and the publisher had a tradition to uphold.

Cookbooks have not been a big hit as e-books and part of the problem is assumed to be their complex formatting. Knopf in fact abandoned its first attempt to create an e-book from Mastering because the “technology was not available” to recreate the book’s “distinctive two-column format.”

The story of the Mastering the Art of French Cooking e-book affords an opportunity to look at the current state of e-book creation and the strengths and limitations of the e-book formats in use today. I call this tale Mastering the Art of e-Book Formatting. (more…)

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