At the (San Francisco) Bay Area Editors' Forum

by | May 24, 2011

I was invited to speak to the Bay Area Editors’ Forum (BAEF) at the Mechanics Institute Library tonight, and it was both a pleasure and an honor.

BAEF meets in a lovely meeting room in the historic Library building in downtown San Francisco. We had wonderful support from the Library events staff, a huge screen, projectors, microphones, the whole deal. Very nice.

An interesting group gathered for networking, refreshments and the presentation.

Although I had been asked to speak about designers interfacing with editors, my presentation went in a different direction. I don’t know how to explain that, but stuff happens.

In the end I presented a talk called “New Technologies and the Publishing Process.” It focused on the changes that have happened, that are happening, and that will happen in book publishing and how those changes affect those of us who participate in the publishing process.

I’ve linked to a downloadable version of the slides I used at the presentation below, just click the box:

Technology Changes Everything in Book Publishing

Click for slides download or right click and "save as..." (9.8 MB)

Topics covered in this talk:

  • Change from the old publishing model of specialists within a codified structure
  • Publishing is becoming faster, digitized and widely distributed
  • These changes affect the standards of the profession
  • Print on demand first brought publishing outside the citadel
  • Subsidy publishers have had a negative effect
  • Print on demand has been absorbed as just another manufacturing process
  • Kindle and e-books have accelerated the process
  • Even faster, cheaper, and more widely spread
  • Merging of different kinds of texts is eroding editorial standards
  • What editors can do to educate writers

After the talk there was a spirited discussion, and we did spend time on the editor/designer work relationship. As working editors, the members there could have used an entire presentation on this topic, but perhaps there will be other opportunities.

Karen Asbelle, BAEF Chair, and Jim Norrena, program coordinator were gracious and welcome hosts. Opportunities like this are terrific for keeping up with changes, for networking with other editors, and for “getting out of the house,” as one editor put it.

Recently I’ve given presentations on Author Blogging, Book Design for Self-Publishers, and self-publishing in general. I really enjoy sharing my passion and enthusiasm for publishing, and would welcome the opportunity to speak more often.

Here are some of tonight’s reactions:

“Excellent presentation, I learned a lot!”

“Required information for anyone even thinking about writing a book.”

“Excellent analysis of changes in editing, design, and distribution of books and e-books.”

If you would like me to speak to your group, please send me an email at jfbookman (at) I’d love to hear from you.

Photo by bjohnson

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. John A Weir

    I have put four years plus in to writing (plus researching) this book, my third. None published, no attempt was made to do so. Its name is Virgilio, and and is 26 short chapters (Written in third person omnibuss) about an Italian immigrant, my wifes grandfather, coming to america in 1913, his hardships and successes. It was written for friends and family and has about 30 plus photos & goverment documents, ie. citizenship papers, that kind of documentation.
    I know what style and cover design is already done. I have a prototype of my past endeavors. That book took me 12 years to complete and I have lost track is book designer. My background, in the dark ages was commercial are, however at 72, well… I am slightly anticuated. Best of all I am easy to work with and money is not an issue.
    Let me know your thinking,


  2. Lynne Spreen

    Joel, I’m unsubscribing from your blog but only because I’m going to get it from Google Reader. Looking forward to many more of your great tips and educational posts! Thanks.

    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks for the alert, Lynne. I’m glad to have you as a reader and hope to continue our dialogue, so click over from Reader when you have a comment to add to the discussion.


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