Category Archives: Book Design

Four Publishing Conversations Worth Following

There is a TON of information online about books and the ever-shifting landscape of publishing. It just takes so long to sift through everything to find something of worth, that you could actually use. But there are four conversations I always check in on, via Twitter. Sometimes I look back through the conversations, days after it’s over to see what I miss and often learn tons I didn’t know. If you are interested in publishing, fire up and plug-in these hashtags:

#dbwDigital Book World – this is one GREAT conversation by folks involved in helping change the landscape of publishing. Digital Book World is a new annual conference (the one I wish I had gone to), that focuses more on the how-to and strategy rather than the crystal-ball gazing and the “where will we be in 10 years” like some conferences. It’s well worth your time to follow this hashtag daily. It’s maintained through @DigiBookWorld and @glecharles feeds. (BTW, Guy Charles has a personal blog worth checking out, too.)

#followreaderFollow the Reader – this is a weekly chat covering a specific topic each week. I’m constantly surprised by the quality and depth of the topics. Not too mention the techincal knowledge of the folks who chime in. This hashtag and site are sponsored by NetGalley and maintained by @charabbott and @katmeyer.

#ISBNHour ISBN Hour@ljndawson runs this weekly chat, every Friday at noon Eastern. It’s worth checking in on during the week to see if the slant of the current chat is of interest. This is one of the more open threads, as the conversation is really built on sussing out ideas and possible solutions for future problems. Lots of good talk of ISBN, categories, libraries and indexes here. Smart people trying to solve the issues facing the publishing industry before they become crippling problems.

#ePrdctn – eProduction – this is a recent add for me, but is the only one of these four that has earned a permanent column in TweetDeck. If you follow this hashtag you’ll find people chiming in and helping each other from all over the eBook production workflow. Full of solid advice and help regarding Adobe products, indexes and lots of  “has anyone dealt with this before” kind of camaraderie. This is an ongoing conversation by lots of people actually doing the production work that so many in the industry and media try to analyze. There have been some weekly topic-focused chats organized by @crych.

Think of those as four separate cocktail parties attended by just publishing-industry folks and we can walk from party to party listening in on conversations from publishing insiders in New York City, Los Angeles and maybe even Birmingham, AL. Yes, they can get a tad technical (which is sorely needed) and we could think of these as four different publishing workshops, but I promise you this will be a lot more fun if you read through all the conversations with a cocktail in hand.

I know that there are lots more conversations out there. Please, plug your favorite in the comments so I can check it out, if I’m not already.

Chip Kidd and James Ellroy video

I recently ran across this video of Chip Kidd and James Ellroy. Though the video centers mostly on James Ellroy’s style and writing (he is one intense dude, no doubt) there are some spots where they discuss how the writing influences Kidd’s approach to designing a cover for the same author over and over. (Sidenote: Chip Kidd is also on Twitter as @chipkidd)

Buy a book just for the cover?

The folks over at the Abebooks blog have published their picks for 30 Books Worth Buying For the Cover Alone. Only seven of the 30 use photographs. So illustration seems to be the way to go if you want to get noticed in the cover design crowd (of course, these are all fiction titles).

I REALLY like these two:

But have to wonder about this choice:

The image just seems to literal and obvious to be chosen as worth “buying for the cover alone”.