Just Add a Page

On Friday Anna blogged about print and digital books—and the significant weight difference between the two. Digital books and digital products derived from books have been on my mind as well, though I’ve been thinking more about the differences between how we as bookmakers need to think about digital vs. print.

I was recently talking with one of our designers about a new digital offering that we’ve been working on. We’re adapting an existing book for the digital realm, and the process is forcing me to rethink certain preconceived notions about books.

How many pages are in a book? For a print book, the pages are typically a multiple of 8. That’s because the pages in a book are arranged in signatures. You can’t just randomly add an extra page. If you need more space, you’d have to add 8 pages. However, this isn’t true for digital books. When we needed more room in our digital book, the designer said to me, “Okay, I’ll just add a page.” This might not sound shocking to someone unfamiliar with book publishing, but boy was I surprised!

This is just one example of the significant ways in which print and digital products differ. I’ll share more about the differences once this particular offering is released.