Monday, March 26, 2012

Examining Alternative Futures For Publishing

Tonight after work I'm flying in to Edmonton where I will be participating in an exciting Book Publishers Association of Alberta (BPAA) publishing project.

Jerome Martin of Spotted Cow Press is heading up the project and contacted me a few months ago asking if I would participate in the project with 5 other writers to create an intriguing new book. We have each written a chapter roughly based on the theme of "Alternative Futures for what we currently call Publishing" and sent them in to Jerome.  He was reworked them into a standard format and re-distributed the to the group.

Middle Ages Tech support YouTube video - how to read a book rather than a scroll

On Tuesday March 27th and Wednesday March 28th we'll be gathering in Edmonton at The Enjoy Centre in St. Albert. 

Each author will discuss his or her chapter and the ideas which flow from it with the group, who will then offer suggestions on revisions, additions, links, audio or video. I am excited about this unique opportunity to work with a group of intelligent and knowledgeable people regarding an industry I am passionate about.

The last time I worked with Jerome was when his publishing company Spotted Cow Press did the world's first double espresso book launch back in 2009.  Martin's publishing company published an ebook by Susan Minsos called Squire Davis and the Crazy River that was also created in print format using the Espresso Book Machine at the University of Alberta Bookstore.

Because the book had a "local" element to Hamilton (Minsos was originally from the Hamilton area), the book was launched in two locations. There was an arts festival happening in Edmonton where the book was being launched, and simultaneously a group of fans gathered at Titles Bookstore McMaster University to watch the event via a two way video feed where they could listen to the reading and ask the author questions and get copies of the books off the EBM in Hamilton. The author even signed book plates that were shipped to the Hamilton area customers afterwards.  That way they could begin reading the book immediately and insert the signed plates into the books afterward rather than waiting for a signed copy to be shipped.

Squire Davis is one of the books that Spotted Cow Press makes available in bundled format. When you buy the printed book, you get a free code for the electronic edition. (The ebook costs $3 without the purchase of a book) Martin has been doing this type of thing for years while elsewhere in the industry, the concept is still being considered and discussed as a possible thing to try.  (Marvel Comics, for example recently announced free digital versions for customers who purchased select comic titles and has been getting a lot of press about it as bold and innovative)

These will be just one of the opportunitys we will be exploring when we explore the future of publishing in our two days of working on this exciting new publishing project.  The chapter I have written is currently subtitled:  "Birthing pains, growing pains and the family ties of an evolving industry." But the cool thing is going to be how what I've currently written evolves after the two days of workshopping.

I'm so looking forward to this experience, and with sharing our activities.

The twitter hashtag will be #altfuturespublishing.

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