Category: publishingPage 1 of 7

On Aspect Ratios

Exploring aspect ratios in photography, fine art, and publishing.

How to figure an advance against book royalties

How much should an advance against royalties be?

Astronomicum Caesareum, 1540

A monumental example of European book arts of the sixteenth century, and one of the most beautiful books ever produced.

The Nature of Plants: An Introduction to How Plants Work, by Craig N. Huegel

This book’s analysis of how plants work is its most important contribution. For, as Huegel says, “When we understand plants, we understand the foundation of life on earth.”

Printing Revolution, 1450-1500

This bilingual Italian and English take on an exhibition catalogue for general readers, though it does not go deeply any particular aspect of its topic, is supported by a great depth of research and a surety of judgment, providing a good overview of early European printing.

Orbis sensualium pictus, 1659

Teaching the alphabet with animal sounds, 1659.

Selections from a Grace Paley Interview

This interview with Grace Paley by Jonathan Dee, Barbara Jones, and Larissa MacFarquhar ran in the Paris Review in 1992. Still of interest. The best training is to read…

Landscape with Yellow Birds: Selected Poems by José Ángel Valente

I returned home yesterday to find a case of books waiting for me. This is my translation of poems by José Ángel Valente, considered by many the most…

A manuscript of geometric solids

This curious image, shamelessly copied from Peacay’s excellent Bibliodyssey, is one of several similar images from a 36-page manuscript said to date from the sixteenth century. The provenance…

Different covers for books by male and female writers?

Meg Wolitzer raised the issue at the New York Times. Emily Temple at Flavorwire followed up with a sampling of book covers. These authors focus on supposed typographical…

Barney Rosset

RIP Barnet Lee Rosset, Jr. (May 28, 1922–February 21, 2012), publisher of Grove Press and Evergreen Review.

Richard Nash in Boston Review

In many respects we’ve got a real Stockholm Syndrome around the model of publishing as it’s existed up until now. We just take for granted that it is…

Controlling content order in epubs

Lately I’ve been exploring the new epub functionality in InDesign CS5.5. One of the things that has previously been difficult is controlling the order of objects in the…

On e-books and print books

It seems clear at this point that, particularly in genres like romance and science fiction, e-books are cutting into print sales. Right now we’re in a transitional period…

Author photo

thomas christensen author photo

My author questionnaire and author photo for 1616: The World in Motion are due this week to Counterpoint Press. My daughter Ellen, who is a brilliant photographer, among other things, took this photo from the roof of her apartment overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland. It was raining lightly at the time, and later that day ice would fall from the sky.

In Tom’s Glossary of Book Publishing Terms the author photo is defined as “Pictorial fiction. Authors always choose photos that emphasize that quality in which they feel most deficient.” So what does this say about me? I dunno — but I will say, as a guy who has been cutting his own hair for years, that I don’t think the hair looks too bad.

HarperCollins vs the South Sioux City, Nebraska, Public Library

This interesting standoff between Rupert Murdock’s big publishing conglomerate and a little public library could be a bellwether for future digital book disputes. The SSC Library is boycotting…

The 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists

The NBCC has announced their 2010 award finalists. I used to be a member of this group but there are too many older books I need to read…

“I am an advocate of finding new and better ways to accomplish common tasks”

This ad, which to me sounds more like some kind of stunt than a typical scam, has been removed from Craigslist. Certainly it’s not a “new and better…

Managing the slush

Here’s one way to cut down on the stacks of unsolicited manuscripts that are piling up all over the office. Independent Portland publisher Tin House Books has announced…

Amazon gets into the translation business

They’ve announced a venture called AmazonCrossing. Amazon has the sales data from their international customers to identify promising titles, which they will have translated and publish — probably…

Spamming Amazon

Via Slashdot: In recent months a flood of so-called books have been appearing in Amazon’s catalog. VDM Publishing’s imprints Alphascript and Betascript Publishing have listed over 57,000 titles,…

Two views of the future of book publishing

. . . in one pretty cool video. Read an interview with the creator.

“Books” in the age of the IPad

Craig Mod makes an interesting case for celebrating the (supposed) demise of “disposable books” — he elaborates at some length a simple distinction between books where the content…

Odd book titles of 2009

The Bookseller is back with another round of odd book titles. This year the six finalists for the Diagram Prize for odd book titles are the following: Afterthoughts…