Bookbuilders of Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England. Our blog describes industry events that we sponsor or attend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bookbuilders @ Fable's Pre-Launch Party

This post was contributed by Kate Elwell, Bookbuilders board member and production coordinator at the MIT Press.
 
I was fortunate to be invited to the Pre-Launch Party on Monday night for Fable, a new tablet for young readers and learners. It was a very intimate gathering held in the lovely map room at the Boston Public Library. The Boston Public Library was the perfect location to combine local and literary, reflecting the roll out of Fable by Isabella Products, a local company based in Concord, Massachusetts.

The founder and CEO of Isabella, Matthew Growney, in a sharp suit and fashionable eye glasses, welcomed the group to the event and introduced the first speaker, Kristen McLean. While chatting with Cambridge-based Publishers Weekly journalist Judith Rosen at the beginning of the event, I was introduced to Kristen. She has an amazing history in the industry, working at places like Brookline Booksmith and even repping the MIT Press, before ultimately founding Bookigee and currently serving a stint as entrepreneur in residence at Nielson. 

Guests and speaker Kristen McLean at the Fable Pre-Launch Party in the BPL's Map Room
Kristen's talk was fascinating: she pulled from very current data about the learning, reading, and gaming habits of children 0–6 and 7–12. The stat that blew me away most was that tablets increase reading time for boys by 24% (12% for girls, who are bigger readers in general).  That's the kind of trend that the creators of Fable are hoping to capitalize on. 

The next speaker was Furnell McGrath, a second grade teacher at a public elementary school in Everett. She ran a pilot program with the Fable tablets in her summer school classroom and then in her second grade class this school year. She said that students engaged with the content more fully and for longer on the tablet and that it had practical benefits for children with learning disabilities. She used the word fun more than once, and even attributed the Fable to better summer school attendance. My big takeaway from Mrs. McGrath was that, in this digital age, young learners have so much access to so much information, and not all of it age appropriate. Because the Fable doesn't have a browser—just a cloud-based marketplace accessed only via a parent's or teacher's PIN—young learners can access only content tailored specifically for them. But because of the tablet's easy usability, young users maintain the feeling of control in their experience.

I think the big questions that remain are who will Fable get to provide content, what kind of user model will it have, and how will Isabella get parents to choose this tablet over all of the others on the market? I, for one, am looking forward to watching the Fable become a part of the publishing landscape. Look for the Fable tablet available for purchase in March of 2015.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Call for Entries: 58th Annual New England Book Show

We're excited to announce the 58th annual New England Book Show, a continuation of the long-running showcase of the best-made books and ebooks in New England. Join us May 5, 2015 at Symphony Hall to celebrate the year in bookmaking.

For this show, we're continuing to include the new categories we introduced last year: graphic novels, poetry, and literary magazines. We've also created separate categories for children's and young adult books for the first time ever. Plus: categories designed especially for small publishers.

On the ebooks side, we're categorizing files based on format: reflowable or fixed layout.

Entries are accepted from anyone in New England who's had a hand in producing a book: publishers, artists, students, vendors (of design, production, manufacturing, etc.)—anyone. Entries must have been produced or published between September 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

Want to get involved? Visit our website (www.newenglandbookshow.org) to learn more about submitting, sponsorship, and the student competition. We can't wait to see the books you've made this year.

Friday, October 24, 2014

First Annual NEPCo Winners



On Wednesday night, we got together for the inaugural New England Publishing Collaboration Awards, an event celebrating innovative partnerships in publishing. In a lightning round of quick-fire presentations, our ten finalists told us about their collaborations, what they've learned, and how they've contributed to the industry. David Weinberger, author and senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, gave the keynote talk on "peaceful collaboration" in the digital/Internet era.

We're excited to announce the winners!

First Place

Inera Inc., sophisticated editorial and XML solutions for publishers, which has been working with CrossRef for years to promote the use and effectiveness of digital object identifiers (DOIs) and DOI standards among publishers

Second Place

We had a tie for second place:

NetGalley, provider of digital book review copies, for its collaboration with the American Booksellers Association to establish an email newsletter, Digital White Box, which allows member bookstores to access digital galleys and nominate books for the Indie Next List

Digital Science, which develops software for scientific research, for assembling, incubating, and continuing to support ten collaborative start-up companies to serve scholars at all stages of research

Third Place

Harvard Common Press, publisher of inspiring cookbooks and parenting guides, for its investment in three food start-ups and establishment of a co-working loft for food entrepreneurs in Boston

More Information

For more on the presentations, David Weinberger's talk, and the post-event Q&A session, catch up on our live tweets. And if you were in the audience or entered a project for the awards, don't forget to give us your feedback on this inaugural event by taking this quick survey.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gallery: October Casual Networking Event

On Wednesday, we got together at Park Restaurant & Bar in Harvard Square for our monthly casual  networking, and it was a lively and informative evening, as always.







Join us next time! We'll be back in Boston on November 12, 6 p.m., at Back Bay Social Club.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bookbuilders @ the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo

MICE (that's the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) was this weekend in Cambridge, and several of our members attended. Here's some of what they did and what they enjoyed most.

Iris Febres, New England Book Show co-chair: "MICE was really fun! I got to attend a cool workshop on writing comics, which was led by Alexander Danner, a playwright and special instructor at Emerson College who teaches in the graphic novel certificate program. I learned about the power of the panel for framing content and tone within a comic. And of course, after hearing a panel on graphic novel development with three amazing artists, I bought lots of books."
Alexander Danner, comics writer and special instructor at Emerson College leading his workshop, "Writing Comics" A snapshot from "Developing the Graphic Novel," a panel featuring artists Raina Telgemeier, Paul Hornschemeier, and Emily Carroll (not pictured), moderated by Alexander Danner

Miranda Martin, blog editor (that's me!): "This was my first time at MICE, and I had a blast at 'Iron Cartoonist,' an improv competition that pitted three comic creators against each other to draw some zany scenarios on the spot. I also attended a panel on editing for comics and met some great comic creators who were exhibiting their work. Some of my favorites were Bikeyface (whom I'd met once before), Alisa Harris, and Eleri Harris."

Contestants Jon Chad (left), Eleri Harris (center), and Carey Pietsch (right) competed in "Iron Cartoonist." This round challenged them to draw a machine that  makes fish.


Tanya Gold, New England Book Show committee member: "I returned on Sunday for a fascinating panel on marketing for micro-presses and self-publishers. The panelists had diverse perspectives and a great sense of humor. They discussed manufacturing, social media, crowdfunding, events, and attitude.  

Some great tips: Start small. Make yourself as approachable as possible. Ask your fans for retweets. Get everyone’s email address. Cut out the self-deprecation. Invest in gel insoles."

It was great having all these indie comic creators in our community. Soon, we'll be posting the call for entries for the 58th Annual New England Book Show, and we're excited to welcome comics and independently published books of all kinds. We saw lots of great stuff this weekend that we hope we'll see again.

Casual Networking This Wednesday!


Join us for our next Casual Networking Event this Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 8
6–8 p.m.
Park Restaurant & Bar
59 JFK Street in Cambridge

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Workshop: Innovations in Editorial Workflows

Our next fall workshop will focus on innovations in editorial workflows. Learn about how local publishers have developed innovative workflows to adapt to the marketplace’s digital and print demands. Speakers include representatives from O'Reilly Media and the Editorial Freelancers Association. A Q&A will follow the discussion.
October 14, 2014
6–8 p.m.
Pearson Education
501 Boylston Street,  Boston
9th Floor, in the Cafeteria.

Free and open to the public.
Please note: A valid photo ID is required to gain admittance from building security.