Can your computer be creative? National Novel Generation Month 2015

Posted by & filed under authoring, programming.

Now in its third year, National Novel Generation Month is a whimsical offshoot of the wildly popular National Novel Writing Month. NaNoGenMo participants write a computer program that outputs a “novel” of at least 50,000 words. (There is no official definition of “novel”—any 50,000 words qualify.) The Verge had a good roundup of the 2014… Read more »

The superior economics of well-crafted ebooks

Posted by & filed under accessibility, authoring, book design, css, design, Digital Publishing, ebooks, epub, html5, talks, Tech.

I originally presented this talk on ebook markup to an audience of ebook developers and publishers. As someone who cares deeply about accessibility and discovery, it’s a subject that tends to get me agitated, but I tried to be extra-polite because my audience was Canadian. My hope is that as web-based book resources like Safari… Read more »

What publishing needs from the web (and how you can help)

Posted by & filed under annotations, authoring, ebooks, epub, html5, publishing.

For a few months now I’ve served as co-chair of “DPUB”, the W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group, (with Markus Gylling, who somehow has time to be a wonderful CTO of two different standards organizations). DPUB acts as a channel for those of us in digital publishing to influence the development of web standards like HTML5… Read more »

Mathematicians, proud of looking backward

Posted by & filed under authoring, general.

The Constancy of Mathematics Many years ago I worked for the American Mathematical Society, contributing to the AMS’s flagship product MathSciNet. Mathematicians have a unique way of looking at the world. At one point in my life I thought I might become a mathematician and even majored in mathematics in school, but I found in… Read more »

EPUB 3 Best Practices

Posted by & filed under authoring, ebooks, epub.

O’Reilly Media has just published EPUB 3 Best Practices, edited by Matt Garrish, who wrote much of the EPUB 3 specification itself, and Markus Gylling,  Chief Technology Officer of the IDPF. I can’t think of two people more qualified to organize and oversee this work, and it was a delight to work with Matt in… Read more »

The unXMLing of digital books

Posted by & filed under authoring, ebooks, epub.

Back in January we announced that the fantastic publishing technology team from PubFactory had joined Safari Books Online. Since then we’ve been hard at work integrating the team into our systems, and they’ve been hard at work building and maintaining search and reference products for their clients in academic publishing. It’s been a singular experience… Read more »

0 to Book in 3 Days?

Posted by & filed under authoring, ebooks, process.

Question: How long does it take to write, produce, and print a book—and finalize all the standard e-formats? A. 2 months B. 4 months C. 3 days Granted, the answer obviously depends a lot on what type of book we’re talking about. It also depends on your definition of “finalized.” Up until last week, I’d… Read more »