eBOUND SFU Production Nightmares Round Table

“A big part of what eBOUND Canada can do for us as an industry across the country is to bring people together in dialogue to share information and learn from each other.”

— John Maxwell, Master of Publishing, Simon Fraser University

On November 1, 2011, a motley crew of production staff-members from Atlantic Canada publishing houses, the MPUB students at Simon Fraser University, eBOUND, and a visionary design professor from Emily Carr University, all gathered to discuss The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of ebook production workflow. The panelists represented a variety of perspectives, and included Jonathan Aitken, Emily Carr University of Art & Design; Laraine Coates, UBC Press; Kathleen Fraser, then of Caitlin Press; Shyla Seller, Arsenal Pulp Press; Lara Smith, D&M Publishers, Inc; and eBOUND Canada’s own dashing Nic Boshart. SFU’s John Maxwell moderated the discussion, and kicked off with a focus on frustrations.

“It’s very easy to find lots of information online about how wonderful things are going to be in the future. And how wonderful things are right now, if you believe the marketing hype. But the reality about this stuff, as far as I know from watching lots and lots of conversations happening, both online and offline is that there’s lots of frustration.”

From that jumping-off point, the conversation covered workflow and production, design approaches, metadata, marketing, and the headaches involved in getting books into digital markets. The panelists shared the lessons they learned the hard way, and their visions for the future.