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Whitireia Publishing Diploma (Applied), Week 3
SSar's Beast
Yesterday I walked slowly through a book store and stared at covers. How did each of them get designed? I have decided that I have huge respect for the Twilight marketing team. Leaving aside value judgments on content, Stephenie Meyer's books have great visual impact. I love that font.

So far we have had two publishers (Julia Marshall of Gecko Press, Ann Mallinson, formerly of Mallinson Rendel) talk to us about their careers. Dr Sydney Shep lectured us on 'The History of the Book'. Noel Murphy, of the New Zealand Book Council, lectured us on 'The Future of the Book'. Several tutors - whose tutoring hours are secondary to their regular jobs - have begun their regular appearances: one woman is teaching us to use the desktop publishing program InDesign once a week; one man is teaching us copy-editing, again once a week; a literary agent (one of New Zealand's very very few) came in for part one of a two-part workshop on manuscript proposals and assessment. As well as that, we spent two whole sessions hand-making notebooks under the direction (and lecture) of an artisan book-binder, and visited Victoria University of Wellington's museum - and - letterpress workshop, Wai-te-ata Press. (I went back for a second visit. SO MUCH LOVE to Sydney Shep.)

My classmates are from varying backgrounds - literature, law, biosecurity, early childcare, Texas, Whitcoulls. They opine on the Oxford comma, dangling participles, and Gill font. One guy - fifteen women. Sadly, the seventeenth student, who began the course in ill health, was hospitalised and has decided not to try to catch up in the course.

It's very, very luxurious to have only three scheduled hours in my day. That's about to change, as we have just been told what main projects we'll be working on for the year. These are real-world publishing projects; our tutor will, of course, hold our hands rather, but the final result will be marked by so much more than a grade. Exciting! I got my top choices: huzzah! Now I'm a little scared.

I wish I had more time to read! I bought Robert Bringhurst's 'The Elements of Typographic Style' but although it's gorgeous, it's slightly slow going. One of my projects will be starting immediately, and I need to jump ahead on InDesign; I should really read the entire InDesign textbook this weekend. I also wish I were reading my newly-bought 'Teachers for South Africa', a completed project from last year's class, as well as, really, any modern fiction. Oh, and Nicholas Carr's 'The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains', partly because Dad recommended it and partly because it ties in to e-books as well as general cultural relevance. Oh, and Jason Darwin's site. Oh, and articles on library lending policies and how they have solved issues of copyright & associated financial rights...

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The future of the book sounds interesting.
From what view point?

I ask because the publishing industry appears to be doing all it can to retard the adoption of ebooks.

I'm afraid it didn't get too specific. Murphy's comments were that everyone is scared of ebooks and it will probably cause a large paradigm shift in publishing, which is already a somewhat difficult business, but it's better to ride the wave, etc, and paper will not be replaced completely.

He did allude to a view I've heard before, which is that the publisher in the age of blogs & ebooks will become a kind of marketing consultant and reviewer - someone whose recommendations and good name help to weed out the dross from the free-for-all of the internet. is a step in the right direction.

i hate the front of the twilight book - not because its bad - but because now every single book with an element of supernatural romance has the same cover making it hard to be seen in public with them. Also they blatently stole the cover style from a book called Snow White

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