Friday, February 17, 2012

"Breaking the Page" (updated)

Breaking the Page, ebook (free for now)

Thanks to Len. I will read this with interest. I like the title a lot. Like I've talked about, in traditional publishing, virtually everything is based on the PAGE, and so is our thinking. It is no coincidence that the first big, popular destop publishing application was called PageMaker. 

Ebooks have many advantages, speed of delivery, etc. But a major difference, something which will take us collectively years or even decades to really get beyond, is that they are not bound by pages. That's why I think that old legacy software like inDesign is not really well designed for making and designing ebooks. It requires a different thinking from bottom up. 

Scott McCloud has written a lot about this. He sees the screen (computer, tablet etc) not as a page, but rather as a window through which we can look at an infinite "page" we can scroll around in. And in that space, we can arrange things in manners which have never been possible before. Scott has made many interesting web comics in highly experimental formats. 

Here's a good example: London Unfurled, an iPad app. You get one long drawing of the buildings along the London Thames which you can scroll along, and you can click on the name of many of them and read a short article about it.

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