Publishing house 2.0 — or redefining a publishing house in an evolving digital age
You might be wondering what this post is about. Why do we have to redefine a publishing house? Who are these two people and what are they trying to get to?
Actually, the story is quite simple, but requires a quick explanation to get the picture.
So . . . let us explain ツ
We are two students of Master in Relational Design. Briefly, the master focuses on design education in a new digital age, training us to be a designer in the real current working environment (you can read more about the masters here, it’s highly recommended!). Half way through the course we have to think about our thesis topic. The possibilities are endless, depending on each individual’s interests and what they want to pursue later on in the future.
As a people who study and work in the field of design and communication, we both perceived prints and publications an important medium of communication. Other than the power to transfer messages, the experience of receiving and reading informations from a well-designed tangible prints are incomparable by other means. After discovering a shared strong interest in communication and enthusiasm toward a theme of prints and publications, we decided to join our interests and work together to establish a real world publishing house for our thesis: a project which we also intend to continue on after the masters.
However, doing so in a traditional fashion would put the project at risk: taking into account a countless numbers of existing publishing houses and the decrease of markets due to emerging technology. But by incorporating the experience we got from this masters, we intend to explore, analyze, and redefine a new publishing house that could exist in parallel to this evolving digital world.
It is also a great honor to have our advisor, Stefano Mirti, to advise and guide us through this very speacial project. With him, the unimaginable could be achieved without any doubts. :-D
Initially, we’re aiming for a very humble yet extremely challenging goal: to put on sale the very first edition of the book from our publishing house.
To make it even more challenging: it also has to be achieved by 23 January 2017, a day of our thesis submission! ヅ
But what are the titles of the book that we publishing? Where are we printing them? What about copyrights? Are there digital copies? Will there be an app? Where and how do we sell them?
A lot of things are mysterious and blurry right now, but the process of realizing it should bring us to find the answer to these questions, some of which we didn’t even know ever existed. So, to start finding out, we set forth to do the only thing we could: START PLANNING AND MAKING SOMETHING. Later we could develop, make mistakes, learn, adapt, apply, etc.
Therefore, in our latest meeting we started by defining a basic publication steps according to our initial understanding:
- Content: What are the books titles? Do we find contributors? Or do we create a theme and call for entries?
- Edit: Who edit the book?
- Design: Are the books designed by us? Or do we have a designer?
- Produce: How to print? What are the paper type? What are the costs
- Sell/Distribution: Do we sell them online? Do we contact book shops?
From this, we will start deciding and working on each steps one by one.
Also, there is another super exciting part (especially for us): We’re going to develop our project entirely on Medium.
Every two days, we will write a medium post to each other. It’s going to be on our project development: what we find, how should we develop things further, our comments on another’s previous posts, nice things we found, etc.
But other than documenting a process (which is a very important thing), why do we choose to do so?
The main reason is Relation design are about achieving things with others, working and learning with people and the community. Since Medium is a great community of writers and publishers, there sure will be a lot of lessons we can learn from this extraordinary place and people.ツ
This routine would also force us to get out of the ordinary by inserting a new ‘must-do’ to our everyday lives. Doing so, we have to adapt and train our discipline and responsibility: two things highly needed to achieve a successful project in a real world scenario.
On and all, we were just starting. For sure, there will be mistakes and things to learn + adapt. But we are so ready and excited!
→ What do you think about this project and method?
→ Are there anything you’d like to add/suggest?
Leave us a comment below (we would be super glad!) ツ
See you on Friday!
(or even before in the comments ツ)
N + S