"agile publishing" entries
Reinventing publishing: what can we do now that we're no longer tied to the myth of stable literary objects?
Note: this post started as a Foo Camp 2013 session.
A few weeks ago, Tim O’Reilly sent around a link to Who Edited Shakespeare?, which discussed the editor for the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It included a lot of evidence that someone had done a lot of work regularizing spelling and doing other tasks that we’d now assign to a copyeditor or a proofreader, presumably more work than the Folio’s nominal editors, Heminges and Condell, were inclined to do or capable of doing.
It’s an interesting argument that prompted some thoughts about the nature of publishing. The process of editing creates the impression, the mythology, that a carefully crafted, consistent, and stable text exists for these plays, that the plays are static literary objects. We like to think that there is a “good” Shakespeare text, if only we had it: what Shakespeare actually wrote, and what was actually performed on stage. We have a mess of good quarto editions, bad quartos, the First Folio, apocryphal works, and more. Some versions of the plays are significantly longer than others; some scholars believe that we’re missing significant parts of Macbeth (Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, for which the First Folio is the only source). Perhaps the worst case is Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, which is known entirely through two early print editions, one roughly 50% longer than the other.
I’m skeptical about whether the search for a hypothetical authoritative version of Shakespeare’s text is meaningful. Shakespeare’s plays were, first and foremost, plays: they were performances staged before a live audience. If you’ve had any involvement with theater, you can imagine how that goes: “Act III, Scene iv dragged; let’s cut it next time. Act V, Scene i was great, but too short; let’s fill it out some.” The plays, as staged events, were infinitely flexible. In the years after Shakespeare, poor editors have certainly done a lot to mangle them, but I’m sure that Shakespeare himself, as a theater professional and partner in a theater company, was constantly messing around with the text.
Verane Pick on what's involved in a transmedia operation.
In this TOC podcast, Verane Pick talks about her work at Counter Intelligence Media. She also talks about gaming mechanisms and hints that gaming techniques may become an "engagement silo" in a future project.
The first in a series looking at the major themes of this year's TOC conference.
Several overriding themes permeated this year's Tools of Change for Publishing conference. The first in a series reviewing five major themes, here we look at agile publishing, in terms of workflow, work environment and practical publishing applications.
Publishing startups, data, and ebook quality are among TOC 2012's key topics.
Tools of Change for Publishing chairs Kat Meyer and Joe Wikert reveal their top recommendations for things to see, do and watch at the upcoming conference.
Bookigee's Kristen McLean says agile techniques from the software world also apply to publishing.
Bookigee founder Kristen McLean explains how lightweight development, flexible teams and other agile methods can help publishers with content development and workflows.