Jan Martinek: words && bytes
interested in understanding

The Next Book

April 12, 2017

I have worked with Ivana Lukeš Rybanská from publishing house Nová Beseda since last year on their digital edition. Well, I finally feel like there’s enough puzzle pieces glued together to speak up about it. And yes, we glued the pieces together to form a ball.

Digital books cannot be similar to printed ones as much as printed books do not resemble carved stones. Amazon and most of the EPUB crowd are trying to preserve familiar format and market.

We want to publish book-shaped text in a good digital package.

  1. We believe that focused reading is powerful. Glancing through Facebook is a different thing—quick, ads are waiting to be noticed! Well-written text allows reader to flow through pages, to stop to think when she needs it, and to connect the dots—sometimes literally.
  2. The next book includes metadata, accessible datasets in visualizations, full-res photos etc. It’s malleable and you can cut and paste it. Link interactions reveal annotations so that readers don’t lose their focus. (Airplane mode is okay even when sitting in a wing chair.)
  3. Forget closed apps. We want readers to have full access to the bits. Read it, search it, parse it, count it, analyze it, fix it: use the source published under a permissive license. Books are forever — use any device that you like and have.
  4. Open web is the infrastructure for our business — community building above our editions and content subscription is our strategy. Books are built from building blocks in the same fashion as other websites.

The meaning of digital is changing — interactive, visual, multimedia, networked, social, live, virtual… There’s no lack of new technology. Let’s use all the good there is.

Movie camera is already here,
let’s shut up and film Citizen Kane.

Our first Next Book will arrive in June 2017.

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