Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Taking the book to Print

The colophon is defined as 'Technical information such as edition dates, copyrights, typefaces and the name and address of the printer. In modern books usually on the verso of the title page, but in some books placed at the end'
Verso being the left page and recto the right.

I want to get it clear in my head the distinction between the role of the printer and publisher; I always saw the publisher's job as getting the material ready with any pertinent instructions and taking that to be printed. The printing company's job being purely technical.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Before we round out on the book and start looking at its distribution and so forth, I will mention the half title and frontispiece; the title page and the colophon.

For that matter, I don't know how I missed the dedication, the epigraph and the prologue.

Apart from the colophon which may appear at  the front or the back, these mainly appear at the start of the book, with the introduction. This is known as front matter.

Then there's the back pages, known as back matter (end matter)
This includes the afterword, epilogue, conclusion, postface (which sounds like an insult) and a number of things we have canvassed.

Not all these features of front and back matter appear in every book. That will depend on what sort of book it is. An introduction to a scholarly work and a prologue to a story. Epigraph optional.

We somehow got through a couple of posts on the appendix without mentioning its synonym the addendum; a greater sin that not noting the foreign editor - who probably works for the paper anyway - or finding out what subeditors do.

We've covered most of the body matter; though I hadn't thought of modules and units as being part of the structure of a book.
I haven't repeated Extro or Outro on the grounds that the definition is more often associated with closing out a music piece.

 Image result for half title

Friday, May 25, 2018


Traditionally fairly important in the production of a book, the typesetter doesn't receive star billing when it comes to promotion.
Font design is just part of it. Manual layout of text is still practiced in artisan fields.

Linotype is important enough in the history of publishing for someone to base their website around it. Typesetting went through a number of stages before the arrival of computers. Neither has it ceased development as Datalogics can tell you. Apple Macintosh burst on the scene.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Edit ion

Three years ago we took a comprehensive look at the other print media but there was only one post on editing (3rd June 2015)
Editing in newspapers and general interest magazines inhabits specific areas: the real estate section may be the responsibility of the publication's editor but in some cases it will be a real estate editor or classifieds editor that looks after this. Equally, for all those areas of the paper and the mag we looked at then
This division is only useful if you are in publishing and earn a living from knowing so much about the Syrian conflict, flannelette shirts, the Carry On films from a postcolonial perspective, French cricket, Honda motorcycles, Church of Christ v Baptist, the cost of building cement, damper, pigface and/or Singapore.

The writer, be they journalist, scribe or budding author, is more likely to seek out the services of a freelance editor who has the time and the general editorial skills described in our previous post. This works out as they doubtless need the money more than someone working for Murdoch or Fairfax.

What separates editors from the journalists and authors they work with? You can write about canasta but to use your knowledge of the card game at the editor stage, I'd imagine you'd be a card games editor, a parlour games editor or games editor even. It depends on the format the piece appears in.
This doesn't mean that you can make a living writing and specialise in canasta.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

edit ed.

Image result for editorSo you can have a large editorial board vetting everything that's sent for publication - or consideration, leastwise. The extent of editing can vary all the way through to the writer/editor who self-publishes.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Edit or

According to the helpful writer, these are the different kinds of editors
As I once noted in Drink it Black, editing is a bit of a cottage industry as there are editorial assistants and the consulting editor and associate editor and assistant editor, all the way up to the Editor-in-Chief

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ed from IT

What about editors? You can be sure that Dagfinn Føllesdal has published work, he's a professor emeritus at two universities. Given that prestige, does this mean he can forego an editor? A look at his page tells us that he edits collections himself.

As we can see from these links to publications, many are edited collections and there is work by single authors that is nonetheless edited. As a career it is complicated by the rise of text editors and code editors that literally cut out the middleman. Sure, that's in a cyber environment but many writers would be working on their PC even if the finished product is to be published in hard copy.

Editors (the old fleshy kind) can be found working on journals, magazines, short story collections, novels and non-fiction/reference.
There's a vast array of work that has to pass the editor's glance before being published and printed.

To look at the work of some editors, let's take the editorial team at History of Human Sciences, a publication of SAGE Journals: Felicity Callard, Rhodri Hayward, Angus Nicholls and Chris Renwick. They're academics and they write and publish work around the subject in addition to their editorial duties.

With other work both online and published in print, the background of the editors changes, if not the role they perform.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Public occasion

I don't know that I've ever read much on the scholarly press and academic publishers. It does seem logical to coordinate the publication of academic texts through the institutions since they have the author academics and the body most likely to take an active interest in their work and make the purchase.

I know when I was studying, there were certain texts that were compulsory for that course or subject and others that were "good to have" (rather than waiting to take one of the three or four copies out of the uni library). OpenMind's page on Charles Taylor went down and came back up just as I was readying to write this follow-up post so there too is the advantage of owning a hard copy when there's a deadline looming.

The publishers handling Taylor's work fit the profile: Belknap Press, the larger Harvard University Press; Oxford University Press, Acumen Press and Princeton University Press
I can see the argument forming in people's heads: this rarified environment skews the pitch; the university is bound to publish work by its luminaries and according to the disciplines it teaches, and there is a controlled readership. A professor not only has the books they produce according to their area of interest, published; their tenure ensures that they continue to earn a living regardless of how well those books sell, and the publishers are funded by the institution so it doesn't overly affect them either.


If I wanted to know why it was that Dad taught me to use a .22 and let me go hunting by myself once I'd learned, but didn't extend this to the more powerful .303 or a shotgun, I would have been best placed to ask him last year but I was too busy asking the pertinent questions about his history.
This would be where a reference or non-fiction work on firearms and children or access to firearms in Australia might fill in some gaps. If a publisher isn't in-house and/or doesn't have a ready market, they have to trust that there will be the readership. This explains why there's a common author complaint about having their manuscript rejected. It may be that the publisher considers that novel from a first person perspective of a boy out in the bush making up stories in his head is both a good idea and well written but just doesn't think there will the interest to recoup their investment. A short story taking place around a 'wood heap' has to likewise negotiate themes - particularly, how will it fit in a collection?

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

To say you're published

One would hope that even the most post post theorist to hold the post, would recognise the debt they owe to publishers and to the publishing industry.  Credibility and authority still rest to a surprising extent on this imprimatur.
Publication is an important path to being an author; there's a lot of amateur scribes out there. Succeed and you may just find acolytes who will curate your bibliography.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

As books go

The library nicely anticipates the capture of the World Wide Web with its practice of disseminating knowledge as far as possible. The Library of Alexandria inspired later attempts to capture all information even if it was itself destroyed. It is beyond the average citizen to amass a bookcase to encompass everything; nor even essential works so a central repository can ensure that everyone has a chance to read those key texts.

The reference library has been vital to so many discoveries and breakthroughs and it will be interesting to see how much of this will move online. In the late 2010's we haven't gotten rid of libraries, nor have we turned them wholly digital. There are fewer newsagents and independent booksellers but they still exist and they sell a familiar line.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Bibs and Bobs and alphabetical

An index could take you to terms fresh minted or to that original recipe for quandong jam you're sharing but these other book parts refer you to earlier works. You can be on each other's blog rolls, you can hyperlink to each other's posts to your heart's content (and your content's heart) but for a work to appear in work cited, for a reference to related theory to appear in an appendix* and for a book to appear in the bibliography; the chronology is unequivocal. Even when printing second or third editions, there would be no cause to slip in any reference to work published later.

*which can be a library

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Swear on the Bibliography

You don't need a bibliography for writing memoirs or verse. It's not wanted in potboilers or experimental short stories. No matter how print magazines' fortunes are still dependent on people not losing their taste for paper, they're not listing other publications at the back of theirs.

Marxist hermeneutics is the kind of thing Right wing commentators pounce on; not so they can complete a dissertation rebuffing the arguments in the text. Why would you go to all that trouble when you can launch into a rant about the influence of commie professors on impressionable young minds?
They haven't bothered so why should we. Instead let's look at a bibliography that at least touches on the subject.

In what is becoming a familiar disclaimer, a bibliography can just as readily be about the progress of sandalwood cutters out west or an account of what it was like to live in a house where the walls and the roof were galvinised iron. In these examples, there's an academic remove: someone writing about previous essays on AB Facey rather than works by Albert Facey.