On the 7th of March we had the pleasure to participate in a Hybrid Publishing workshop by Gottfried Haider. The workshop started with an introduction to the concept of hybrid publishing and the toolkit, developed by PublishingLab and the Institute of Network Cultures. Gottfried, or G. as his name tag said, begun his talk with the evolution of e-readers – from the idea of the Dynabook to the first Kindles and then new devices by different companies. His presentation continued with the text online and the development of e-book formats. Then Gottfried presented the concept of hybrid publishing. This new model is situated in a business environment where big publishing houses use different workflows to produce a variety of formats – from print to e-books and website. They have financial resources to outsource the process, but small independent publishing iniatives, concetrated on design and art, do not have that option. Hybrid publishing is a solution for low-budget, hybrid print and electronic books, designed in-house using standard software and Open Source tools. The process is mainly focused on ePUB3. It is the standard electronic publication format, which supports mainly plain text and images.
In the second part of the workshop Gottfried presented the Sausage Machine – PublishingLab project which enables the user to easily make ePUBs from Word files. He quickly explained the structure of a text file and then showed us how to use Markdown to format plain text and images. Then using Git we edited our own electronic books. Gottfried encouraged us to experiment with different files, produced by the Sausage Machine. We changed the font in the CSS file using Google Fonts. In Adobe InDesign we further formated our electronic publications. Gottfried demonstrated how using software such as Calibre the user can make little tweaks to e-books and explore the metadata. Then we tried to edit collaboratively. He encourage further experimentations to embed links and files. Lastly, we tried out our e-books on Kindle devices and tablets.
Here are some useful sites: