dduane: DD's avatar (Default)
Work in progress (ain't it always)

I just want to direct everybody's attention to Chris Meadows' article here, which is brilliantly expressive of some of the problems I've been noticing a lot more acutely of late from early sorties into the production end of ebook management.

Some of you will have noticed that I've been overseeing a project whose time (I think) has come -- international editions of the Young Wizards novels. The YW books' North American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, only holds publishing rights for the US and its possessions, Canada and (for whatever reason) the Philippines. When UK YW fans (who briefly had print editions in the early 90's) complained to me that they couldn't purchase the books from Amazon in their ebook editions, I checked with my agent's contract lady to make sure that self-published ebooks would be kosher, and then started to see what I needed to do about it.

It's been an interesting journey. My first stab at ebooking happened over at Smashwords (where the Door Into... / Middle Kingdoms books are available). They make the induction into the process as easy as it can be made, I think, explaining the basic issues of how and why a document file (or previously typeset document) must be stripped for ebook formats. And I have no complaints about their distribution of the Door books, particularly into Barnes & Noble: for the past few quarters they've been doing pretty nicely.

But with the YW books I was forced into a situation that Smashwords could not be used to solve, due to the territorial restrictions attached to the works. Smashwords has no mechanism to control what territories books are sold into, and to prevent them being sold where you don't want them to be. Amazon and B&N, obviously, do. I investigated all kinds of other possibilities that would enable me to run around this particular problem... but even the best of them (the DianeDuane.com site's present implementation of Zen Cart) was imperfect. Finally I realized that whether I liked it or not, if I was to reach an audience of any size (LIKE SOME OF THE REST OF THE PLANET, shrieks the Auctorial Subconscious in ill-concealed irony) with the YW novels without violating my contracts with HMH, I was going to have to take up the cudgels of bottom-to-top ebook production.

Whoopee.

Read more... )

Cake

May. 26th, 2007 09:21 am
dduane: DD's avatar (Default)
This ad apparently premiered in the UK the day before my birthday, and the minute I saw it, I fell in love with it.

The love falls roughly into three parts: (a) The basic conceit of the ad. (b) The nuts and bolts of the production (i.e., trying to figure out how much of the construction really happened and how much only seemed to). [Update: it all happened. See below.] (c) Some of the little details (the licorice windshield wipers and fan belt, the gelatin brakelights, the royal-icing detailing, the guy pouring golden syrup into a gingerbread crankcase...).

Altogether a yummy piece of work, and the ad agency should be proud of itself / themselves.

The basic ingredients:

10kg white chocolate chunks | 20kg raisins | 3kg orange peel strips
25kg dried apricot | 12.5kg raspberry jam | 5kg cocoa powder
100kg wheat flour | 180 fresh eggs | 100kg caster sugar | 90kg brown sugar paste
50kg icing sugar | 40kg black sugar paste | 20kg glacier cherries
50kg white sugar paste | 30kg brown almonds | 42kg chocolate fudge


EDIT: There is "making of..." info here at one of the Skoda UK websites.

Also, see these news stories (or check them out if you have trouble getting the above URL to load:

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