Micropublishing (IL12)

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Slides for talk on micropublishing in public libraries at Internet Librarian 2012 (based on The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing)

Slides for talk on micropublishing in public libraries at Internet Librarian 2012 (based on The Librarian's Guide to Micropublishing)

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  • Presentation for IL2012 session A103
  • Monhegan Memorial Library, Maine, serves 69 people (plus seasonal population)
  • Savonburg Public Library in Kansas serves 86 people.
  • Tens of millions of likely use cases: Library patrons with the urge and ability to write a book but don’t anticipate big sales or have big $$ to risk.
  • Micropublishing used to have a specific meaning. I’m using a substantially different meaning, one that’s been gaining currency.
  • From Information Today, Inc., January 2012, a concise paperback (also available in hardcover via Lulu) that explains how—and uses the tools it discusses.
  • Anna Julia Young’s Autobiography: Before micropublishing
  • After: Cover of micropublished book
  • After: Page of micropublished book
  • After: Another page of micropublished book
  • Cynics call micropublishing vanity publishing. That’s unfortunate. Vanity publishing is by its nature a ripoff—promising something it doesn’t deliver, at a high price for authors. True micropublishing doesn’t promise things it doesn’t deliver: You pay for extra services only if you want them.
  • Get the words right. What more to say? (Oh, and don’t use Comic Sans for micropublished books.)
  • You can’t use Word without using styles and templates—but understanding styles and templates can let Word do more of the work and help assure consistent formatting.
  • When you use heading styles, you can use Word as an outline processor—moving sections of text or headings for new sections around. [The line breaks after numbers are because this is actually the manuscript for the book Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13), and those are chapter headings.]
  • The August 2012 Cites & Insights using the standard C&I template, CI12. (Note that the banner is actually part of the template itself.)
  • Same content, different template: The “CION” template, to provide a single-column 6x9” PDF designed for comfortable reading on screens. I just open an instance of the new template, insert the text from the prepared document (and strip out the wide banner), and I’m done…except for moving and revising the contents table to suit the smaller pages. Time to prepare this version: Maybe five minutes. Maybe less.
  • And the HTML version of the same essay. I have a “WEB” template, and just insert a new banner, then the content. Maybe another five minutes. Word produces decent, not great, filtered HTML.
  • Once you’re using styles, specifically heading styles, you also get a table of contents with little or no efforts. Note the leftmost (red-circled) item in the References ribbon. Once generated, a two-click process, you can update the contents table as content changes with another single right-click.
  • This example shows ligatures (supported in Word2010 if you choose to enable them and if the typeface has them) in Palatino Linotype—see the Q, the “st” combinations and others—but also kerning issues: While “AV” is kerned, Palatino lacks “Vo” kerning. Many typefaces have better kerning; few standard ones have ligatures.
  • Sample of a bad break: A short word falling on its own line at the end of a paragraph.
  • The same paragraph with text condensed by 0.1 points: The bad break’s gone and few if any readers will notice the tighter spacing, since it’s applied over the entire paragraph.
  • If Word’s too rich for your blood, LibreOffice will give you about 90% of the same support—and I’ve produced a LibreOffice book template that’s a little simpler than the Word one, but works quite well. (OpenOffice and LibreOffice use the same templates, but OpenOffice is still Big Software, namely Oracle, even if it is open source.)
  • As an infrequent speaker (these days) who rarely uses Powerpoint, I’m not sure about the rules for cat pictures in library presentations, so just to play it safe, that’s Sam, our elder cat, with obvious Maine Coon heritage and acclaimed by multiple vets as having the softest hair of any cat. Thank you for listening.

Transcript

  • 1. Micropublishing:Helping to Tell YourCommunity’s Stories { Walt Crawford, Writer/Editor/Researcher waltcrawford@gmail.com
  • 2.  Family histories Memoirs Local histories Specialized hobbies Teen and adult writing circlesMany possibilities
  • 3.  Traditional: Publishing in microform (fiche, film, etc.) Current: Publishing for a very narrow niche. Micropublishing
  • 4.  All you need is Word. Or for free: LibreOffice or OpenOffice—not quite as good. Templates: free. Nopublishing costs except optional test copy.No upfront costs
  • 5.  Vanity publishing: Big bucks, claimed real publishing, no promotion or bookstore sales.  Micropublishing: No bucks, you’re the publisher, optional extras.  Self publishing: Traditionally, big bucks. Now, micropublishing can do it for less.Vanity, self or micro?
  • 6.  Passive: Provide the book.  Supportive: Help build editing/writing circles.  Active: Library as micropublisher  Academic libraries: Print versions of library- published ejournals? Virtual academic presses?Library roles for micropublishing
  • 7. Write Gooder, Not Worser Get the words right
  • 8.  You’re always using styles and templates— whether you know it or not.  Styles aid consistency and make for easy change.Overcome stylephobia
  • 9.  Walt Crawford: waltcrawford@gmail.com Blog: Walt at Random, walt.lishost.org Ejournal: Cites & Insights, citesandinsights.info Thank you!