12 January 2013
I read on the Tools of Change 2012 Workshops there is going to be an attempt to write and produce a book in three days. That reminded me of the Book the Sequel project we participated in at BEA 2009. The good old days of digital content.
Iread on the Tools of Change 2012 Workshops there is going to be an attempt to write and produce a book in a five day book sprint. That reminded me of the Book the Sequel project we participated in at BEA 2009. The good old days of digital content back when book sprints had only just been invented.
I had forgotten about this event in the way trade shows and conferences are quickly forgotten. But this workshop announcement reminded me the Book the Sequel action was posted on YouTube. After a quick search, there the videos were, just waiting to be played again. The embeds are also decorating the side of this post.
The Perseus Books Group put up a BEA promotional event of producing a book in 48 hours. It was called Book the Sequel. It was a brilliant idea, a brilliant execution by all parties, at all levels, but probably just a few years ahead of the market capabilities to absorb what had happened. The YouTube videos show that!
Book the Sequel was promoted by North Plains back in the olden days when they represented Infogrid Pacific publishing technologies in North America; the book was edited and published by Perseus Press; and show-synced production services were provided by Infogrid Pacific using IGP:Digital Publisher .
This was the first time a book had been produced from public inputs (the submission site is still live here), then edited and produced to a print book and all e-book formats in 48 hours. It was a "Gutenberg moment"; except no-one really noticed! What is not mentioned in the videos is the awesome production technology and the Infogrid Pacific production editors working around the clock half a world away in India.
The editing team were making editorial corrections and changes on the spot from both voice and text Skype messages to ensure the final print PDF and digital formats could be always instantly produced.
This was a full production number with insert image pages and multiple fonts. There was a major redesign which substantially changed the book flow just hours before press time and the content fine-tuning continued to within minutes of going to press.
Because we were using IGP:Digital Publisher multiple people could work on the file at the same time, It literally took just seconds to create and check each of the hundreds of "on the fly" editorial changes, and any format could be produced instantly at any time.
We produced the trade book Print PDF, Large Print PDF, ePub2 and Kindle-mobi. This addressed all formats and devices of the day.
Here we are four years on and there are still LinkedIn and Twitter communities sharing about how hard it is to make e-Books for various platforms. It's crazy stand on the spot stuff.
If you choose the wrong platform and tools in the first instance this is what happens. There are the very nice folks in their InDesign echo chamber. There are the very nice folks in the Sigil echo chamber. And there are the others in the iBooks and Amazon echo chambers.
However back to the plot. "Book the Sequel"...
Check out the videos. Remember this was 2009 and this has probably never been repeated. We got the first manuscripts on the second day of the show and delivered the print-ready PDFs just minutes before the printing started. Curiously with these production methods it is faster to get a print book to market than an e-book with the e-retailer delays in getting content live.
You can still purchase Book the Sequel at Amazon. The reviews give some more perspective on the project as well.
Here is The YouTube Channel: Book the Sequel
And here are the separate videos for those who love clicking:
And by the way it was a most enjoyable, humerous, readable and different book.
It is a little sad that the production staff who laboured non-stop for two days never saw a copy of the book. But I guess everyone was too busy to remember the team and technology that actually made this event possible in the first place.
Good luck in your booksprint workshop at TOC 2013.