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Tuesday
Aug162011

Reinventing the Book?

I have to admit that I am both impressed and a bit taken aback by the labor-intensivity of preparing a traditional manuscript for ebook publication. Getting behind the scenes, so to speak, on this task explains a lot about badly presented text on the Kindle, and invites praise for those publishers who have gotten it right and done it well.

We are revising and preparing to republish a pair of books on grammar and vocabulary that Vicki wrote for Scholastic and its YA-age audience back in the 1980s. The books have held up well in terms of content and style, and I'm learning a lot by reinventing them for new formats and audiences. The dried-up and broken-spined copy that is my source is falling apart more and more each day, and I suspect by the time I am done it may float away like autumn leaves on a breeze. If all goes according to plan the books will be available in electronic formats and in paper, so perhaps in another 30 years someone else will convert them into even newer technology, say, implanting the text directly into the brain of the buyer.

I needed a break from the details and minutiae. I have taken it. Now back to work.

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