How do we make electronic reading experiences rich and pleasurable? How can we use the world’s infrastructure of phones, tablets and computers as a way of putting stories into everyone’s hands, with as little additional expenditure of resources as possible? How do we expand what’s possible using digital forms of storytelling?
Digital is the reason I enrolled in the Portland State book publishing program. I had been experimenting with ways to combine different forms of storytelling — movies, prose, illustrations, photographs and more — and I went to code school to learn how I might do that. But I found I needed more than just technical know-how. I needed an understanding of long-form storytelling and of the artistry of editing so that my digital skills could serve a deeper narrative purpose.
Here are some of the projects I’ve worked on:
For 2017-8, I was the manager of the digital department at Ooligan Press. As manager, I supervised students’ work on our websites, e-books and other digital projects. The department’s accomplishments during my year included:
- PSU Book Publishing program: We maintained the website that represents the PSU Book Publishing program to the world.
- Ooligan Press: The most actively evolving of our sites, this is the site for the trade press run by our students. The digital department upgraded it regularly to add new books, events and more.
- Oregon Authors: We collaborated with the Oregon Library Association on this site, which contains information for and about authors, publishers and libraries in the state of Oregon.
- Frontlist e-books:
- Ocean in My Ears
- 50 Hikes
- Three Sides Water
- Backlist e-books:
- Final work on and release of the Lincoln “Out of Time” trilogy: Abraham Lincoln: A Novel Life; Good Friday, and Lincoln’s Daughter
- Cataclysms on the Columbia
- Audiobooks Project
- To help Ooligan explore ways to incorporate audiobooks into our workflow, I did research on the subject (my final report is viewable under Strategy), and I initiated a partnership between Ooligan and the Sonic Arts and Music Production program in PSU’s School of Music & Theater.
At the Waterline
I created the e-EPUB and Mobi e-books for At the Waterline, a novel published by Ooligan Press in Spring, 2017.
Seven Stitches is an young-adult Ooligan Press title. The design included multiple fonts, which had to be properly reproduced in the EPUB and Mobi e-books, as well as images that need to be styled so that they would appear properly sized in the flow of the text.
Edtech for the K-12 Classroom
I built this e-book for the International Society for Technology in Education. It’s a collection of previously published material intended to help new educators become familiar with technology. The challenge with this project was that some of the material was in the form of video and webinars.
For my full two years in the PSU Book Publishing program, I worked on all three websites run by the digital department. The tools I used included:
- Genesis Framework
- Author Pro and Magazine Pro themes
- Multiple WordPress plugins