wrt fall 2011 book design project

Project Overview

In this project students in small groups will solicit content for, find public domain and Creative Commons content for, compose original content for, design, promote, and sell online (and, if possible, in independent book stores) an on-demand book. This book will look and feel like any other book that is sold, including having a Library of Congress Control Number, an ISBN number, and bar code. The book will be published and vetted by Composing with Images Press, a non-profit publisher. All proceeds from the book will be donated to a charitable organization of your groups’ choosing.

Project Specifics

There are several constraints to this project in order to ensure that the workload is tolerable, everyone is able to get the most out of the project, and the project stays within the short 12-week time frame:

  • Without exception, all students must work in groups; the project will be too much of a burden for someone working individually.
  • The class will brainstorm ideas for charitable organizations. BW will narrow that list down to those that he thinks have the best potential in terms of subject matter, content, and sales. Students will then select their top 3 preferences and BW will form groups based on those.
  • Students will have to show evidence of the work they completed in order to receiving a passing grade for the project. We will go over presenting that evidence at a later date.
  • Once a theme and charity are chosen they cannot be changed.
  • All books must be designed using Blurb.com’s BookSmart software and sold online in Blurb’s fundraising platform, the Blurb for Good bookstore.

Each book must have at least the following in order to be counted as completed:

  • A dedicated charity or cause that will benefit from book sales;
  • A theme that complements the goals of the charity in a fun and innovative way (think toy camera photographers raising money for Toys for Tots);
  • Content that has been solicited from the public, composed by group members, remixed from public domain still and moving images and containing certain Creative Commons licenses;
  • Content that is mixed genre and include alphabetic text and images;
  • A dedicated audience in mind (that is, your group must be able to answer the question: what groups of people would want to read your book?) and content that is appropriate for that audience(s);
  • A list of contributors with bios and citations for all material borrowed from the public domain or containing certain Creative Commons licenses;
  • A design that is informed by theories and best practices on book and font layout and design;
  • Unique cover and back cover designs, as well as unique uses and applications of fonts;
  • Title and copyright pages that are composed and presented according to industry standards;
  • A bar code with ISBN number and book price on the back cover;
  • Between 21 and 80 pages, including front and back matter (if your group decides to compose more pages, you must be able to justify the higher price point).

Timeline and Documents

  • 9/13: Hand out assignment
  • 9/15: Brainstorm charities and causes; vote for your top 3 preferences
  • 9/20: Groups announced
  • 9/26: Book Proposal due online by 11:00pm
  • 9/29: Call for proposals due
  • 10/1: Call for proposals posted to the Composing with Images Press web site
  • 10/17: Submissions due
  • 10/17: Individual Original and remixed content due
  • 10/18: Joe Carlough to present on making books
  • 10/25: Joe Carlough to present on making books, part 2
  • 11/10: Individual Handmade Books and reflections due
  • 11/22: Book Proof and individual reflections due online
  • 11/22: Order copies of the book proof
  • 11/29: Individual book industry interviews and reflections due
  • 12/13: Final book and individual reflections due online

Specifics for individual assignments will be provided as listed on the course schedule.

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