An Artisanal Approach to Digital Publication

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Amanda Gomm of Digital Bindery's miniTOC Portland presentation - July 27, 2011. …

Amanda Gomm of Digital Bindery's miniTOC Portland presentation - July 27, 2011.

As publishers, we spend a lot of time choosing typefaces and formats, kerning and justifying, and setting margins, then throw it all out the window when it comes to ebooks. Understanding the constraints of the medium and accepting the ebook as its own unique art form will allow digital publishing to move from mass-produced product back into the realm of book as art. I will discuss the decisions that must be made to create a readable and design-sound ebook.

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  • 1. Digital Publishing
    An Artisanal Approach
    Presented by Amanda Gomm
  • 2. Artisanal Ebook Design
    Timeless
    Harmony
    Form & Function
    Combining design aesthetics and technical expertise to realize the highest functional and aesthetic quality possible under current constraints.
    Handcrafted
    Classic
    Put a bird on it
    Attention to detail
    Art
    Custom
    Beauty
    High Quality
  • 3. Quality is…
    Marketing Hype
    Fitness for use
    Conformance to specifications
    Customer Defined
    All of the above (except a—a is evilish)
  • 4. Who Defines Quality?
    Readability
    Versatility
    Mobility
  • 9. Who Defines Quality?
    Satisfied Readers
    Beauty
    Correctness
    Versatility
    Robust Design
    Revenue
  • 13. So What?
    • Readers have thousands of alternatives at their fingertips
    • 14. The Publisher’s role as gatekeeper is also filled by reviewers, social media, retailers, and the customer herself
    • 15. We no longer judge books by their covers alone. The quality of the ebook acts as a promise to the reader of the quality of content
  • Artisanal Quality
  • 16. Artisanal Content
    Hint: What publishers already do
  • Artisanal Performance, Conformance & Serviceability
    • Technical requirements are met
    • 22. Sound performance on maximum devices
    • 23. Conformance to device limitations
    • 24. Preparation for technological advances
    • 25. Readable, versatile & mobile
    • 26. Correct & robust
  • Artisanal Reliability, Durability, & Continuity
    • Know the probability of malfunction within a certain time period
    • 27. Understand obsolescence and the inevitable and completely indifferent torrent of technology
    • 28. Decide now how to handle the economic impact of depreciation
    • 29. Mobile & versatile
    • 30. Protects revenue, versatile& robust
  • Artisanal Suitability
    • Appropriate bells & whistles
    • 31. Readable, mobile & versatile
    • 32. Satisfies customers
  • Artisanal Safety & Security
    • BuhBuhBuhBummmmm: DRM
    • 33. Mobile, versatile vs. Protecting revenue
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    • The technical constraints of eInk
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    • The technical constraints of EPUB & MOBI files
    • 34. The device controls:
    • 35. Interpretation of code
    • 36. Implementation of standards
    • 37. Available fonts and embeddability
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    The Publisher controls:
    • Font
    • 46. To embed or not to embed, that is the question—or it was for a while there. (Embedding fonts is so over.)
    • 47. Relative size
    • 48. Capitalization
    • 49. Style (bold, italic, underline)
    • 50. Serif, sans serif, monospace
    • 51. font-family: “Palatino”,”Times”,”LightClassic”,serif;
    • 52. font-family: “Helvetica Neue”,”Arial”,sans-serif;
    • 53. font-family: “Courier”,”Courier New”,monospace;
    • 54. Readable & versatile
    • 55. Beautiful, correct, robust & versatile
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    Kindle
    PMN Caecilia
    Courier
    Nook
    Helvetica Neue
    Amasis
    Light Classic
    Sony
    Dutch Roman
    Courier
    Swiss701
    Kobo
    Amasis
    Delima
    Felbridge
    Gil Sans
    Rockwell
    Avenir
    Georgia
    Ibooks
    Baskerville
    Cochin
    Palatino
    Times New Roman
    Verdana
    Stanza
    American Typewriter
    Applegothic
    Arial
    Courier
    Courier new
    DB LCD TEmp
    Geeza Pro
    Georgia
    Heiti(J, K, SC, TC)
    Helvetica
    Helvetica Neue
    HiraginoKaku Gothic
    Marker Felt
    Thonburi
    Times New Roman
    Trebuchet MS
    Verdana
    Zapfino
    Ereader Fonts
  • 56. Artisanal Aesthetics
    The Publisher controls:
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    The Publisher controls:
    • Font
    • 66. Chapter breaks
    • 67. Images
    • 68. Size
    • 69. Mobi: <img class=“pictures” hisrc=“images/picture.jpeg” alt=“My Picture” />
    • 70. Quality
    • 71. 16 shades of gray
    • 72. File > Save for Web & Devices
    • 73. Placement
    • 74. Readable
    • 75. Beautiful, Robust & Correct
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    The Publisher controls:
    • Font
    • 76. Chapter breaks
    • 77. Images
    • 78. Tables
    • 79. Readability demands creative reimagining for the platform
    • 80. Fixed layout EPUB
    • 81. Only displays correctly on Apple OS
    • 82. PDF
    • 83. Downloadable content
    • 84. Readable
    • 85. Correct, beautiful, robust & versatile
  • Artisanal Aesthetics
    The Publisher controls:
  • Artisanal Availability
    Anytime
    Anywhere
  • 98. Perceived Artisanal Quality
  • 99. Discussion
    Questions, comments, and tales of your adventures in publishing are eagerly awaited!
    Amanda Gomm
    amanda@digitalbindery.com
    503.208.4745
    www.digitalbindery.com
    Facebook: DigitalBindery
    Twitter: @DigitalBindery
    Tom McCluskey
    tom@digitalbindery.com