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Posts Tagged ‘design’

Hey All,

I assume most of the people reading this blog are interested in things literary. Why else would you be reading this? All I talk about is books! So let’s talk about books. And publishing. And graphic novels. And acquisitions. And agents. And young adult writing. And…..everything else? I can’t talk about everything and frankly you wouldn’t want me to! I’m not an expert, just a girl with a little obsession.

But there’s a conference next month where experts WILL be talking about these things. Write to Publish, or Oolicon, will be May 22-23. I will be there both days, to check out the local literary scene on Sunday, but mostly to learn from the experts on Saturday.

Here’s the workshops I find most interesting:

Young Adults Trends and Audience (Sara Ryan, two-time Oregon Book Award winner in the YA category): Young adult (YA) fiction is one of the most lively and profitable genres in publishing. Get an overview of current and upcoming trends and tips on writing for this diverse and voracious audience.

Graphic Novels: Publishing and Process (Brett Warnock, head publisher, Top Shelf Productions; Aaron Colter, marketing coordinator, Dark Horse Comics): Graphic novels are more popular now than ever before. The intricacies of the publishing process for this genre are varied and unique, and new technologies have created exciting possibilities for graphic novel writers and readers. This workshop will examine the opportunities and difficulties inherent in the creation of graphic novels. Learn the importance of design and marketing in this medium.

Writers, Conventions, and the Web: A Friendship (Bo Johnson, head publisher, Bowler Hat Comics): Learn about building your presence on the web and how conventions can help you get your foot in the door. This workshop will give you the tools you need to make your next convention visit more productive. Learn the many ways to network and promote yourself as an author.

So, everyone, buy your tickets for the workshops NOW!! Support Ooligan, of course, but really this is for writers –  to help authors learn about the industry from the experts. Be there or be square. Plus, Ursula K. LeGuin will be there – now there’s an author worth obsessing over.

Workshops: HERE.

Industry Mingle and Author Stage: HERE.

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Friday Font 4/16

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Books feature heavily in all my decorating. Which really means that I have no decorating expertise or ideas at all, but instead tend to pile books everywhere and hope it looks okay. I have books filling my bookcase, obviously, but I also have them stacked on top of and underneath the coffee table, with bog coffee table books actually on a side table  and all my library books on the other side table.

I wouldn’t suggest you follow my example. Not everyone appreciates the value of books in interior decoration. But if you decided you wanted to get this “look,” you don’t have to actually invest in books – you can now buy book wallpaper. I actually think it’s a little cartoony for my taste (apparently I really do prefer the real things), but it’s cute and I would totally paper a kid’s room with this paper:

I found this wallpaper on Book Patrol: A Haven for Book Culture.

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I’m going to be honest: I don’t know much about Design. So the Design team at Ooligan always impresses me, with their knowledge of publishing software, typefaces, and apparently even typographers!

Here’s a link to an interesting article by an Ooligan student about Design, and living your life as a designer: Know Your Typographer.

That’s my nod to an area of publishing in which I’ll probably never be great. Oh well.

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I took a Design class last term, and I designed several book covers that I am very proud of. Here’s one I did for the Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet:

So, having more recently acquired this skill and an appreciation of what book cover designers actually do, I was very sad to read this article in the The New York Times entitled “In E-Book Era You Can’t Even Judge a Cover.” This article discusses how hard it will be for others to view our books if we are all reading them in electronic format (i.e. all Kindles and eReaders look the same!) But the article also talks about how important book covers can be to sales.

I am increasingly aware how awesome e-books can be, but isn’t book design another art? Looking back at books from hundreds of years ago, aren’t they beautiful pieces? Illumination, paper of vellum, and even more recent designs like those drawings seen, for example, on the Percy Jackson books. I would hate to see this art form disappear.

I realize that some books will still have covers in e-format, but when all the books have to cost $9.99 (thanks to the new agency system), this seems like an area where publishers will cut costs. So how many won’t have covers? And how many designers will hang their heads and cry when they realize they only get to design blocks of text? 😦

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