Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto

From the website:

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Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto: Essays from the bleeding edge of publishing (buy ebook / read free online), a handbook for publishers of the future, has been released by O’Reilly Media. It was built on the new, simple book production platform, PressBooks.com. Edited by PressBooks founder Hugh McGuire, and long-time publishing thinker and doer, Brian O’Leary, it contains essays from leading practitioners in the trenches of books & technology, including Liza Daly, Craig Mod, and Laura Dawson.

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We are pleased to announce the first published book produced using the PressBooks book production platform, suitably titled: “Book: A Furturist’s Manifesto (Part 1) … Essays from the bleeding edge of publishing”. The book is published by O’Reilly Media, and edited by PressBooks founder Hugh McGuire, and long-time publishing thinker and practitioner, Brian O’Leary.

Says the book’s co-editor, Brian O’Leary: “We wanted to bring together resources that would be immediately useful to publishers and future publishers as they make decisions in their everyday life about how to approach the making of books. It’s a kind of handbook you’d want to give someone who is starting a publishing house today.” Adds Hugh McGuire, “We really wanted to get beyond the abstract, and take a look at some things that are happening right now, some real technologies and real projects that are shaping publishing. It’s meant to be practical and applicable right now, as publishers prepare themselves for the digital future.”

This release is Part 1, with Parts 2 and 3 to be available in the coming months (those who buy now will get Parts 2 and 3 for free as they come out). Essays in the book are written by a collection of thought leaders and practitioners on the “bleeding edge of publishing,” including:

* Introduction (Hugh McGuire)

* 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 entire book production process — authoring, editorial, copyediting, and proofreading, as well as ebook production (and typesetting and print production to follow), took place on PressBooks.com, a new publishing workflow tool, built for anyone publishing books and other long-form structured documents.

Says Joe Wikert, Publisher of O’Reilly Media: “We were really excited about testing out a new, easy-to-use platform for making books. And the subject matter is perfect: We are practicing what we preach, writing about the future of publishing while experimenting with new ways of approaching production and customer interaction.”

* You can buy the book here.

* Or read it online (for free), at book.pressbooks.com.

2 Comments on Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto

  1. Paul, big thanks for this.

  2. Essays about the future of the book written, not by content creators, but by publishers? No sale. I checked out one essay (the DRM article), and I wasn’t impressed: It’s rehashing of commonly-known info, and offers no insight or viable solutions to the problem.

    This info won’t help publishers enter the digital market or make ebooks; it will only give them more reason to pause, and common mistakes to make, when they finally jump in.

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