The good times keep coming with last night's Page Turn event at The Cleaners. Based around a series of talks by publishers, writers, editors, and designers, the evening was about business and creative people finding innovative ways to keep publishing and literature alive and profitable in the digitized world.
As Dave Weich explained, none of the big publishing houses (mostly in New York) seem ready to embrace the changing landscape of publishing. But here in Portland there are a number of small, independent companies and artists making their own way incorporating new methods and old ones.
The format was innovative, each speaker was given seven minutes to speak, during which they presented a slide show. The images changed every twenty seconds, rigid parameters that some speakers rushed through, but most seemed to feel at ease.
The night was not so much about solutions and opinions as it was about experiences and ideas. The audience learned why Wordstock doesn't have the word "book" in its name, and why it's more about conversation than reading. We learned why it's better to pay for a specialty ebook designer than outsourcing it to a cubical farm. (Because a cubical farm puts it the book through a standardized wringer while a designer actually tries to translate the book's content to screen.) There were lectures on the importance of book arts and how they might play a major role in keeping printed books alive, how innovative publishing applies to education, and how networking and the internet can help you put out your own book. At worst, the presentations felt like investor-bait, but this was rare. At best, it was an optimistic and informative night.