WRITERS: In a free one-hour webinar entitled “Digital Bookmaking Tools Roundup #3,” book futurist Peter Meyers will explore existing options for creating digital books and answer questions about what options are best and easiest to use. Part of O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change for Publishers series of educational programs, the webcast is scheduled for Thursday, February 23.
Meyers has been reading, writing, and designing digital books for years. In the mid-1990s, he co-founded Digital Learning Interactive, a pioneering multimedia textbook publishing company which he sold to Thomson Learning in 2004. At O’Reilly Media, he worked in the Missing Manual group and led a number of projects aimed at figuring out how to transition from print to digital.
In addition to his expertise in publishing and online learning technologies, Meyers is well-attuned to the concerns of authors and lovers of printed books. He studied American history and literature at Harvard and has an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
He publishes the blog “A New Kind of Book,” and is currently working on a book entitled “Breaking the Page: Transforming Books and the Reading Experience.”
Can Digital Books Be As Satisfying as Print Books?
Meyers wants to help authors discover reader-friendly ways to use the digital canvas to convey their best ideas. He explains, “As app book tinkering flourishes, and as ePub3 emerges as an equally rich alternative, the time felt right for a look at the difference between what can and what should be done in digital book-land.”
In December, Meyers released three preview chapters so he could get feedback from readers on the digital book examples he provided as well as additional ideas.
The full edition, planned for release later this year, will cover questions such as:
- What’s the best way to integrate—and not just add—different media types?
- Is it possible to make the viewing experience as seamless and immersive as reading is in print?
- How do you pick the best balance between personalized design (reader-controllable font sizing, for example) and author-driven fixed layout? Are there any acceptable compromises?