More than a year ago, I pitched a book idea first to Brian O’Leary (who became the co-editor), and then to Joe Wikert at O’Reilly Media. It was indeed a “book idea” in every sense of the word(s), and I am thrilled to announce that the “final” product is available today.
“Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto” launches
Behind the Book
The “idea” of this book was to explore “the idea of a book.” We wanted to get away from the abstract or philosophical, and make a practical guide for the publishing world — for someone just starting a publishing enterprise today, for people in the business already, and for authors and self-publishers who want to think beyond “upload my book to Kindle.”
We pulled contributions from people who are actively working to shape the future of books, and have (we think) a cracker of a collection.
More than a collection of writing, though, the pitch to O’Reilly hinged on the idea of building the book on PressBooks (online book-making software I was and am still building), and outputting an ebook, a print book and an online version — all from that single source in PressBooks. That spiced things up, since PressBooks was in such an early phase at the time, so we’ve been building and fixing software while trying to make a book at the same time. It’s been great.
Part 3, the Final Part
Today we release Part 3 of the book, and we send the completed book into online bookstores around the universe. This third part, The Things We Can Do with Books: Projects from the Bleeding Edge, includes the following essays:
- Communities of Writers (Jürgen Fauth, Fictionaut)
- On the Therapist’s Couch: Books as Apps, Really? (Neal Hoskins, WingedChariot)
- The Engagement Economy (Bobby Gruenewald, YouVersion)
- How Do Books Get Discovered? (Patrick Brown, Kyusik Chung, and Otis Chandler, Goodreads)
- The Surprising Power of “Little Data” (Peter Collingridge, Bookseer)
- Exaggerations and Perversions (Valla Vakili, Small Demons)
- Pain and Its Alleviation (John Oakes, OR Books)
- The End of the Public Library (As We Knew It)? (Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbour District Library)
- Now Is the Time for Experiments (Ian Barker, Symtext)
- The Forgotten Consumer (Jacob Lewis, Figment)
- A Conversation That Can’t Be Controlled (Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches Trashy Books)
Parts 1 and 2
And this complements the first two parts:
The Setup: Approaches to the Digital Present
- Context, Not Container (Brian O’Leary)
- Distribution Everywhere (Andrew Savikas)
- What We Can Do with “Books” (Liza Daly)
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Metadata (Laura Dawson)
- Analyzing the Business Case for DRM (Kirk Biglione)
- Tools of the Digital Workflow (Brian O’Leary)
- Designing Books in the Digital Age (Craig Mod)
The Outlook: What Is Next for the Book?
- Why the Book and the Internet Will Merge (Hugh McGuire)
- Web Literature: Publishing on the Social Web (Eli James)
- Making Books Out of Words (Erin McKean)
- Why Digital Books Will Become Writable (Terry Jones)
- Above the Silos: Social Reading in the Age of Mechanical Barriers (Travis Alber & Aaron Miller)
- User Experience, Reader Experience (Brett Sandusky)
- App, Meet Book (Ron Martinez)
- The Curation of Obscurity (Peter Brantley)
- A Reader’s Bill of Rights (Kassia Krozser)
Thanks again to to the people who made this happen: my co-editor Brian O’Leary, who did so much of the hard work to make sure this project got finished; to Joe Wikert, Kat Meyer, Dan Fauxsmith, Adam Witwer, and the rest of the team at O’Reilly; thanks to all the contributors; and finally, thanks to those of you who have read parts of this book in various incarnation, and to those of you who will read it in the future.