Digital book publishing, digital production of any kind, is not an isolated act. It is not about a particular format or tool. It is a collaborative, physical, emotional and intellectual endeavor. While this has been true for centuries in print book publishing, digital publishing is about bringing the publishing process to a wider range of potential collaborators. It is about making that process faster, easier, more open, and more universal. It is about creating networks of people acting in concert across geographies toward a common end.
"Trade publishing is by nature a cottage industry, decentralized, improvisational, personal; best performed by small groups of like-minded people, devoted to their craft, jealous of their autonomy, sensitive to the needs of writers and to the diverse interests of readers." —Jason Epstein, 2001
So, we’re publishing a digital book about MCN2015! An actual book. Start to finish. In four days. Together. The process starts in this half-day workshop, where we'll set up and name our publishing house, decide what our book will be about and in what digital format or formats we're going to publish it in, assign tasks, give ourselves titles, and set out. As a highly distributed guerrilla group of publishers, participants will gather and submit content for the book throughout the course of the conference. We'll keep in touch and on task by email, text, project app or over drinks at the hotel bar. The project will culminate in our book's final publication, announced at the conference plenary and probably read and celebrated for centuries to come.
Our goals for the MCN Digital Publishing Studio are for participants to:
• Consider the qualities that may distinguish digital books from other digital projects. Qualities like pause, permanence, authorship and objectness.
• Learn the processes print and digital books go through in getting made, from editorial and design, to marketing and distribution.
• Review and put to use some of the many tools available for creating digital books, with an emphasis on those that are free, open source and sustainable.
• Experience what can be accomplished with just a few days, zero dollars and a dispersed but engaged group of like-minded people.