the future of publishing

Jason Epstein, in the March 11 edition of The New York Review of Books, predicts how the digital revolution is going to change the publishing industry in  “Publishing: The Revolutionary Future.”

It sounds like the challenge will become, not getting work published, but getting it noticed.  The good news is this may end the stranglehold on the market of huge conglomerate publishing houses, more interested in the next blockbuster celebrity book than a well-written tale from a “nobody.”

“I’m nobody … are you nobody too?”  to paraphrase Emily Dickinson.

Rice University Press has implemented an innovative print-on-demand publishing business for their academic press. It makes a lot of sense.  A VCU professor, Nicholas Frankel, is one of the two editors for their Literature by Design series.

Literature by Design: British and American Books 1880-1930 consists of literary works …  that foreground the vehicle of the book and the visible nature of language itself. Literature by Design titles incorporate facsimile reproductions of the original editions—all of which are noteworthy for the role design and typography played in shaping readers’ responses—along with new critical material by leading contemporary scholars.

This one was printed on wallpaper originally.  That swirl was in the wallpaper design.  A book like this would only have been seen in a rare book collection, until now.


the internet can "deep six" a writing day

I’ve read that Neil Gaiman has a spot on the edge of his garden where he can’t get a wireless signal and sometimes he goes there to get writing done. For the past week +, I’ve been reading and taking notes to prepare for my comps exam, which is barreling toward me on the calendar like a tsunami I know going to take me under. My plan today was to craft some sentences and paragraphs articulating my understanding of multimedia, medium specificity, and shifting ideas of authorship. Instead I’ve been researching possible trips to New York City and Staunton and listening to TED talks.

David Carson is described as a surfer-sociologist-turned-graphic-designer. This is a talk D’s design students would enjoy. Plus – lots of pictures. I searched for Marshall McLuhan and David Carson on design + discovery is what turned up – because he created a book of McLuhan quotes.

My favorite talk today was this one about the importance of taking time off. The posted comments afterward range from “how offensive to hear someone white and privileged talk about taking a year off” and “if more of us did this / regardless of money / we’d all be better off.” It is hard to reconcile this with the economic hardship that’s hit so many people.

This guy’s design work is stunning, though, definitely worth a look. And I love his idea of taking sabbaticals every seven years. He does it to regenerate creatively and claims it has paid off financially as well.
Enjoy! I’m going to try and get some work done before my family gets home.

browsing on TED Talks … on creativity & design

I’ve been listening to TED talks this morning. I like Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on thinking of genius the way the Romans did … as a divine being that lives in the walls of an artist’s studio and assists with the work … kind of like “Dobby the house elf” according to Gilbert. Then there’s this talk by Amy Tan called “Where does creativity hide?” These are great for anyone who likes to make anything … although these women are both writers so their examples favor written creation.

Then I stumbled on this one about design. Since I’m reading this week about the Bauhaus movement for one of my classes – this one resonated with me. Rob Forbes on “ways of seeing”

The one that’s got the most to do with the MATX program, however, is this talk by Scott McCloud. He wrote Understanding Comics – a book that’s on my “to buy” list.

Time to get to work – today I’d planned to work on a submission to the Wit’s End New Play Festival. I have a play I think could be adapted for the American Shakespeare Center‘s style of production. I love what they do and would love to write for them. It’s worth a little time away from Flash and Bauhaus and the Blackbird video essay call and the MATX Student Guild budget.