Digital Publishing: Dan writes a book. See Dan Write. Write, Dan, write.

I was reading the liner notes to an LP of the Byrds Greatest Hits. And like the lyrics of most of the songs, things made little sense. But I associated the opening line of the review to what’s changing in the publishing world right now. Plus, I dig the music.


The Byrds Greatest Hits

"Crimson flames tied through my years ... etc"



Things are happening so incredibly fast.

Which is so very true – about The Byrds in the 60’s and about digital publishing now. Dave Swaney, presumably a copywriter for Columbia Records, wrote:

Whatever, their thing was beautiful and heavy and will be as it is. Lasting. 

“Heavy” shouldn’t be taken too literally, digital books don’t weigh anything (don’t get technical about that, please. My dad is a nuclear chemist, he could probably weigh a digital book.) But they are beautiful. Many are richly designed with interactive features. On Martha Stewart Living, a rose blooms in time-lapse on your tablet device while you read. You can scroll a panorama of the Stewart ranch, horses, lavender, good things. It’s amazing stuff, and I want in.

The “lasting” part above makes many of us pen and ink people nervous. We like books, and we like independant bookstores. Conveniently, the Bryds liner notes also cover this handily:

But it is good to be nostalgic, and necessary to find one’s rung and so much good was the start of so many better things happening and about to happen. So why not?

“Things happening, and about to happen.” Which is a really groovy way for me to introduce my new publishing project. I’m going to write, design, and publish a single edition for Android and iPad using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, or DPS. And as a sideline, I’m going to write about the experience here on my blog complete with caveats, lessons learned, frustrations, and variorum (Thanks, Michael Chabon, for that word). It’s my first time. And while I have published for Kindle and for Nook, this is a completely different and far more intricate endeavor. It’ll get messy.

This project is going to go on for awhile. Like any good song or book, it’s a hero’s journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. It will be fraught. Additionally, I have a family which includes two young children, and a full-time job in Information Technology, so be patient. And speaking of that job in IT – it’s at Adobe Systems in San Jose, the makers of InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite. I mention that both as an attempt at full disclosure, but also to indicate that I intend to call the phones and knock on the doors when I can’t figure things out. I will bribe my colleagues to help me succeed. Nobody put me up to this, by the way. It’s all me.

While I gather my moxie, do some background reading on what the DPS is by following this link.

Leave a comment or ask questions if you like. And check back every few days.

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