BNGO Books

Print design and ebook development


Amazon and the reinvention of literature (gee thanks, Amazon!)

Devices, Kindle, eBook Design, AmazonBNGO BooksComment

Here's a bit of aw-shucks puffery ("I'm in the super secret Lab!") about Amazon. Question unasked: Why Not play in epub land?

Some interesting info (I like knowing that people switch hands when holding a book every two minutes).

The premise of the article is to explain, uncritically, how Amazon has gone about building its business. There is some minor hand wringing about Amazon taking over (but also this:

With physical bookstores in a state of seemingly perpetual decline, Amazon has achieved a dominant position: the company sells 40 percent of all new books in the United States, and two-thirds of ebooks.

Now, I wonder why bookstores are in seeming perpetual decline....hmmmm.)

Anyway. Some comments to the article do mention the appearance of books, how they render in the devices. Forced justified. Poor font choices.

But nothing at all about the three ton simian in the room: Mobi / KF8, the Kindle OS for reading books. No mention about Amazon's insistence on keeping its books apart from books sold and distributed everywhere else.

This isn't a bit of type-geek complaining; this is the core of Amazon's business model, and it would have been nice to hear those boyish, kindly Amazonians speak to it.


Be Modern!

Design process, Devices, eBook Design, EditorialBNGO BooksComment

I've always likened evolving ereading technology to the move from black-and-white TV to color.

Viewers came to understand that a better experience was available if they moved to color, and so, eventually, they (almost, I guess) all did. And today, instead of supporting ancient devices (ancient here means 5 years old), we should build ebooks for modern devices and leave it to owners of the ancient devices to catch up.

Conferences, speaking, and training

Accessibility, Design process, Devices, eBook Design, Editorial, SpeakingBNGO BooksComment

This is a busy time at BNGO. We've just begun an interactive ebook project for the Park Avenue Armory and we are pleased to be active in outreach to the publishing community.

I was excited to be asked to speak at the InDesign Conference 2014 in Seattle this past October ( It was a whirlwind: filling in for a late cancellation, I quickly prepped my portions of a day-long session on ebooks and InDesign. I presented alongside Anne-Marie Concepción, co-organizer of the conference, and Chad Chelius, InDesign trainer extraordinaire. The hall at Adobe headquarters was full of design pros with varying degrees of ePUB knowledge. Lots of ideas were exchanged and many questions were asked — and most were answered, I hope! Many thanks to Anne-Marie and David Blatner for inviting me.


I am now prepping a 4-hour webinar to be presented to the EFA — the Editorial Freelancers Association — on ebooks for editors. The syllabus is still taking shape, but topics will include types of ebooks, devices and apps, how to proofread an ebook, and how to include planning for digital editions at acquisition. We’re currently canvassing the membership as to what topics they’d like to hear about, so we’ll be presenting timely and needed information.

When: tentatively set for consecutive Wednesdays in January

Open to: EFA members and non-members

More info:


On January 27, I will be speaking to the American Book Producers Association (ABPA) on ebooks. This will be a presentation to and conversation with ABPA members and guests on how ebooks are made, what book producers need to know about the process, and how to plan for digital editions from the very beginning of a project.

When: January 27, 2015, 12:30-2:00 PM

Where: In Good Company, 16 West 23rd Street, 4th Floor, NYC

Cost: free for ABPA members; $20 for guests

More info: