Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stopped by the BookRiff offices, where Julie Morris presented me with five copies of what is now 8x10 (collage version).

Julie was quick to point out the jacket’s design flaws, a series of dotted lines on the front and spine that the computer was supposed to read (and ignore) but didn’t. Personally, I love these kinds of flaws -- but on the outside of the book.

The interior flaws were more prominent, and concerned verso-recto reversals that could have been remedied with the insertion of blank pages. Design issues remain a stumbling block in BookRiff’s attempt at hands-free publishing.

Of greater concern is the arrangement of “events”. In the Doubleday version, the events and their gridded intros are evenly spaced, while in 8x10 (collage version) there are some sizeable gaps. For instance, on pp.122-123 we have two sentences atop the verso, a grid at the bottom of the recto. A designer – the human hand – would never let this happen.

Finally, although I was pleased to see that the gutters in 8x10 (collage version) were generous, the type was smaller. Worse, because of the haphazard “event” spacing, 8x10 (collage version) is 234 pages to Doubleday's 166 —a difference of almost 50%! What they save on ink, they lose on paper.

Last night, while flipping through 8x10 (collage version), I found a sequence of three events that meant something to me -- 5C, 5I, 4D. I will read this sequence tomorrow at Word on the Street, 1PM.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I heard Ivan read last year at the Writer's Festival and I was riveted - but I too felt I was riveted more by the performance (which was strong and flawless) than by the story (which was very very good). I wanted to hear a tremor in her voice - to see her sweat just a little.