back to school

25 Aug

Last week, a couple of rather serendipitous events happened. First, I happened to see Ruth‘s tweet about Sister Diane‘s e-course for publishing e-books. This really got me thinking.

I’ve been interested in publishing (hell, I’ve been in publishing) for years. My friend Sam and I frequently daydream about owning our own publishing house. We worked together in-house at what I (affectionately?) call Rubbish Books Publishing, and because the directors were batshit crazy asshats we ended up dealing with the nasty side of the business way more than we were paid to. (One day, we claim, we will write a tell-all book about working for Horror and Fright. It will change the publishing world for all time.)

In any case, a couple days later I saw Sister Diane’s tweet saying there were still spots left. And this really got me thinking. I’ve managed the various stages of the process in books and magazines. But all that was print publishing. Other than writing for blogs, I don’t really know much about digital publishing. Although I do prefer reading printed material rather than on-screen, I’m so curious about e-books. In particular, I want to know more about what makes an effective layout and, more importantly, how to strike a balance between on-screen readability and on-paper printability.

So I signed up for the class.

I’ve listened to Sister Diane’s podcast, Craftypod, on and off for ages; it’s really one of my favourites, but I find when I listen I want to pay attention. These days, I either listen to podcasts while cycling, sewing or cooking. Unless I’m walking somewhere, I tend to listen with only half no less eagerly.

In any case, Sister Diane is excellent. She’s a great teacher, very keen to make sure things are clear and precise, and extraordinarily passionate about her subject, whatever subject it might be that week. So far the class has been really good, but I’m looking forward to tonight. Tonight is our first scheduled live chat in which we students get to meet each other properly for the first time, bring up any questions we might have for Sister Diane and discuss them as a group. I can’t wait!

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