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help & guides making sharing updates & improvements

Easy peasy way of making A4 & A3 StoryCubes on any printer

Recently, we’ve discovered a very, very simple way of making your own cardboard, hard-wearing StoryCubes, using only:

  • A free bookleteer account

If you haven’t signed up for a free bookleteer account yet, do so here.

  • A4 single label paper, suitable for Inkjet or Laserjet printers

Full sheet label paper, available from any decent stationers (Avery code: DSP01).

  • Blank StoryCubes

Read about StoryCubes, and order blank packs here.

 

Firstly, design your StoryCube.

Sign into bookleteer. If you’re a new user, read the help page.

Design your cube using the bookleteer templates, export the file as a PDF, then upload to the Create A StoryCube page, or upload each image individually.

Select Generate StoryCube and download the file, from the top right corner of the screen.

Next, print and make.

Print using the label paper, and cut around around only the faces of the cube, not the tabs – it should look a crucifix (You can also protect your cube by using adhesive cellophane, by affixing a layer on top of the label sheet, then cutting out).

Peel off the backing paper, and stick onto a blank cube.

Fold your StoryCube, and voila!

You can even use this method to make your own A3 size StoryCubes, without even owning an A3 printer.

Simply crop the A3 cube PDF into two documents, so that it can be printed across two sheets of  A4 paper.


Then, cut out the two segments as shown, to form a two-part crucifix shape.

Stick onto to a blank A3 cube and fold…

… and you now have an A3 cube, using a standard home printer.

If any bookleteers discover more clever ways to make StoryCubes, do share!

Categories
inspiration sharing

Tube Map CV’s

I have been blogging about creative portfolios recently, with the notion of ‘standing out from the crowd’ as my backbone. This is also relevant to CV’s. Just like a portfolio, you have to stand out from the crowd to get noticed! I came across two fantastic CV’S which mimic a London tube map, and instead of different stops, each coloured line represents a category such as qualifications or education and each ‘stop’ is what the person has achieved or what skills they have or what clubs they belonged to.

On Jonathan Kaczynski CV, the Piccadilly line has been transformed into ‘Education ‘ a timeline reflecting his progress throughout education and the ‘Circle line’ shows off his extra curricular activities, wheres as the longer ‘District line’ demonstrates his computer skills.

However, each line on Kevin Wang’s ‘tube map CV’ reflects places he has worked instead of different categories like Kaczynski’s. It doesn’t matter which way this format is set up, I’m a fan either way! Just how the purpose of a tube map is to figure out how to get you to places, one destination to another, this format for a CV I feel may reflect the same purpose – moving from one job to another, trying to gain more and better skills to get yourself to that next destination – a higher paid job or to become more qualified . An interesting concept, one which I may use myself in the future.

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sharing

Out with the old, in with the iPad

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I like a portfolio which can be hand-held, something I can touch and feel. However I do agree that online portfolios are essential due to its accessibility and sharable factor, as well as the digital side too, including motion – videos, films and so on. So when I came across an article about my recent discovery I was over the moon that someone has created a mixture of online and hand-held portfolios! How, I hear you ask? Simple, the iPad. In my eyes, the 9.5 inch by 7.31 inch tablet has seemingly revolutionised portfolios.

D.Currier’s article I found on ‘A Portfolio Book for the 21st Century’ talks about something which I have not seen before and is a concept binding the online world and ‘real life’ together perfectly! Sean Busher created a portfolio where an iPad has been embedded into the actual portfolio itself, which not only sounds weird and wonderful but looks great too!

Busher has not only embedded an iPad into this rectangular box, but he also created an app showing only his work and the app is the only item on the iPad. I think the motion on the iPad along with the imagery in the portfolio book compliment each other really well and brings his work to life. As the article mentions, this is a fantastic way for artists who are showcasing their work which include both still work and motion. I also love the colour – the bright zingy orange in contrast to the black works well! Along with its ability to also be shipped due to the structure of the box, this really is ‘a portfolio book for the 21st century.’

Jesse Rieser has also used this concept of bringing print and digital together through the use of an iPad and a portfolio book. What I like about Rieser’s portfolio, apart from the iPad, is the colour scheme applied to different categories of his work, which continues on his website too. The pocket inside the portfolio book which securely hold his business cards is a nifty little touch too!

I’m glad I’ve finally found a portfolio which has the best of both worlds, print and digital, a concept which will definitely make portfolios more interactive and creative.

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sharing

British Museum & Bookleteer

Bookleteer, archaeology and local history.

It is now a year since we launched the short run printing service so now seemed like a good time to reflect on what people in different areas have been using the printing service for. In this post we reflect on its use in two projects connected to the British Museum.

Julie Anderson, the Assistant Keeper of Egyptian and Sudanese Antiquities at the British Museum used Bookleteer to create 1000 books in Arabic and English about the 10 year Sudan excavation to share the findings with the local community in Sudan.

Following the distribution of the book, teenagers began coming to our door in the village to ask questions about the site / archaeology / their own Sudanese history… connecting with their history as made possible through the booklet. It was astonishing. More surprising was the reaction people had upon receiving a copy. In virtually every single case, they engaged with the Book immediately and began to read it or look through it….The Book has served not only as an educational tool, but has empowered the local community and created a sense of pride and proprietary ownership of the ruins and their history.

Bookleteer was used in the Melanesia Project to record, Porer and Pinbin, indigenous people from Papua New Guinea discussing objects in the British Museum collection. Bookleteer was used first to create simple notebooks that were printed out on an office printer and handmade. Anthropologist James Leach used them to note the discussion in both English and Tok Pisin, next to glued in polaroid images, to produce a record that involved;

capturing the moment of what we were doing and what we were seeing.

Once filled in, the notebooks were scanned and professionally printed to share with the local community in Papua New Guinea (who have a subsistence lifestyle without electricity).

“[…] As something to give people, they’re an extremely nice thing. People are very keen. I also took some to an anthropology conference before I went [to Papua New Guinea] and would show them to people and they’d immediately say “Oh, is that for me?” People kind of like them. They’re nice little objects.”

Researcher and community education worker Gillian Cowell has used the books as part of a community project with Greenhill Historical Scoiety:

“I think, for community work, it’s really important that you engage in much more unique and creative and interesting ways as a way of trying to spur some kind of interest and excitement in community work […] The books are such a lovely way for that to actually fit with that kind of notion.”

Bookleteer is an online service to help you create and publish booklets and StoryCubes. It’s simple, quick and free – print and make them in minutes using only a pair of scissors, or share them online, anywhere there is an internet connection, computer and standard inkjet or laser printer.

If you are interested in finding out about how you could use Bookleteer, come along to one of our Pitch Up & Publish Workshops or Get Bookleteering sessions this summer.

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sharing

‘Virtual Bookshelf’ Portfolio

Similar to the Jesse Willmon online portfolio I blogged about previously, I have come across another fun and imaginative online portfolio. As I describe what is a ‘virtual bookshelf’ portfolio, I really like the idea here of searching through the mounted bookshelf and being able to click on the specific illustrations. These range from a variety of books which illustrates Foxie’s work from print and web to ‘about.’ If you want to give any feedback or read up about awards the graphic designer has been given you simply click on the pictured telephone or the shining golden trophy – fun and playful! Additionally, there’s a delightful picture of Foxie in a virtual photo frame hung above the bookshelf, which once clicked on gives a short snippet of what she is all about.

Once clicked on your desired interest, there is a wonderful large picture frame hanging from the bookshelf which displays an example of the work as you click through the list beside on the left hand side of the frame.

I like the way this has been designed. Everything is on one page, without being taken away to another page once clicked. Each graphic makes me curious, leading to me wanting to click and find out more. I think this concept works and is a fun, adventurous and creative portfolio.

Categories
sharing

Soap Box

Upon my search for weird and wonderful publishing methods for portfolios, I came across this very imaginative concept. I feel like in order to be noticed you need to stand out in the crowd, especially with portfolios and Nicholas Wilson’s portfolio hits the nail on the head!

Wilson created ‘An Interactive Hand Made Package‘ known as the ‘Soap Box.’ I think his idea here is genius. Firstly, I like the fact that it’s handmade using recycled cardboard and wood. Not only was the box handmade but he also hand bound and stitched the portfolio too! For the printed materials he used the old printing method known as Letterpress. This method of printing, whereby a raised surface is inked and then pressed onto a sheet of paper, was invented in the 15th century and was the traditional form of printing right up until the 19th century. This printing process was widely used for books up until the mid 20th century.

The idea of the Soap Box was to create an item which the recipient could actually be apart of and the way Wilson did that was by recording his voice inside the Box, as the portfolio.

I think this is a perfect example of how, even though technology has expanded immensely since the 15th century , you can still stick to the basics and create a fantastic and unique portfolio, compared to if your were to print or create it online.

Categories
case study education inspiration publishing on demand sharing

Report from the field: eBooks in Sudan

A report by Julie Anderson, British Museum
In January, I returned from Sudan where my co-author Salah Mohamed and I distributed the eBook we produced last autumn. Frederik Lesage has previously written about the development of our eBook, which deals with the archaeological excavations conducted in Dangeil, Sudan, as a case study for eBook usage, in this blog.

students on their way to school

Salah and I have been excavating in Dangeil for more than 10 years. Over this period, we have lived in the community and have come to know our neighbours well. Every year many work with us in the excavations. The archaeological site is situated in the centre of the village and an increasing number of tourists, both Sudanese and foreigners, are visiting the ruins. There is also a large primary school situated along the northern edge of the site. Students cross the site daily on their way to and from classes. As a means of engaging further with the local community, school children and site visitors, we decided to create a resource which would help them to better understand the excavations, the ancient temple and its importance, and to place Dangeil in its historical context. We were also driven by a need to explain what we were doing and why, in an accessible fashion. The key was communication and the end result was the eBook.

So, what sort of reaction did the eBook receive? Simply put, its reception, both in Khartoum and in the rural farming village of Dangeil, exceeded expectations. We produced 500 English copies and 500 in Arabic, the local language. We ran out of the latter. In retrospect, we should have produced a greater number of copies in Arabic. Copies were given to the local school and arrangements were made so that every household in the village received a copy.

Unloading eBooks and textbooks at the school

Following the distribution of the eBook, teenagers began coming to our door in the village to ask questions about the site / archaeology / their own Sudanese history. In the past, usually they had wanted to have photographs taken, but now instead were connecting with their history as made possible through the booklet. It was astonishing. More surprising was the reaction people had upon receiving a copy. In virtually every single case, they engaged with the eBook immediately and began to read it or look through it. This occurred regardless of location or other business being conducted. Many of our workmen looked for images of things they themselves had helped to excavate and of people they knew, though the latter was true for almost everyone seeing the eBook.

Although our eBook takes the form of a more traditional and perhaps somewhat static publication, its impact cannot be underestimated. The Dangeil villagers, and indeed university students and antiquities staff in Khartoum, viewed the publication as written for them, about them, and in their own language. The eBook has served not only as an educational tool, but has empowered the local community and created a sense of pride and proprietary ownership of the ruins and their history.

Julie Anderson
Assistant Keeper
Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum

Categories
inspiration making sharing

IDEO’s The Future of the Book

On the fabulous The Literary Platform I came across this video Ideo have produced showing three concepts they have created around the future of the book. I love Ideo, they consistently come up with inventive and imaginative technological developments that take account of social factors and personal practices. However, I have to say, I am disappointed with their ideas for the future of the book and I’m surprised that they appear to have overlooked so many of the interesting questions around books as objects, the challenges of e-Readers and the augmented reading experience that are currently being considering in so much detail by others.

All three of the concept designs (called Newton, Coupland and Alice) are shown as prototypes for the iPad. This suggests to me that the idea that a book might be a souvenir of an experience (e.g. James Bridle) or an object for sharing (e.g. Bookcrossing) does not appear to have been considered in the design process. In my exploration of augmented reading over the past few months I have come to think of a book as the amalgamation of object, content, design, distribution method, author and reader. It might be getting a little pedantic but I would say that what Ideo have produced are prototypes for the Future of Reading rather than the Future of the Book.

So what will this future reading experience be? We are offered three versions.

Newton might best be described as an application for managing material already published on the Internet. It allows you to collate, compare and contrast different sources and materials around a particular topic.

Coupland is a form of book-related user-generated content and social network. Reading lists and recommendations can be compiled and shared allowing everyone to see and comment on the most popular books within a professional network. Individuals can contribute book reviews and content can be shared between different organisations and networks.

Alice combines hypertext, hypermedia and location-based services to create an augmented, reader-created narrative path through a story. Primarily presented as text-based Alice suggests that readers actions (in the example, tilting the iPad in a particular direction) might open up new branches to the story. Other actions might include being in a specific location where a particular set of GPS co-ordinates would trigger more of the story.

One of the most interesting aspects to me is how these future ‘books’ conceive of authors. While all three concepts require authors for the ‘book’ to be complete they each have a different model. Newton relies on writers who are producing content elsewhere on the Internet and Coupland relies on people within an organisation creating content for the ‘book’. Only Alice has bespoke writing and a dedicated author at the heart of the project which is then augmented by existing content. These approaches to authorship are not new of course but I find it fascinating that Ideo consider all of them to be examples of ‘books’ and I wonder how these fit with my concept of book-as-object-plus-content-plus-design-plus-distribution method-plus-reader. I can’t help feeling that the ecology of books is broader and more diverse than these concept designs acknowledge.

ps. There’s a fascinating commentary and discussion going on around this video at facebook.com/ideobigconversations

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inspiration making sharing

Piece of Paper Press

bookleteer has collaborated with writer Tony White a number of times on workshops and publications, however, I only became aware of his publishing venture – Piece of Paper Press – this week despite the fact that it’s been running for 16 years! In this time, 25 publications have been released, the latest one being Atomanotes by Liliane Lijn which was launched just this week.

Each Piece of Paper Press publication is a run of 150 books and each book is made from a double-side-printed sheet of A4 paper, folded three times and cut and stapled to create a 16-page A7-size book. Once printed the books are given away to people who attend the publication launch, to participants and to supporters of Piece of Paper Press. Despite the technological developments that have occurred in the 16 years since Piece of Paper Press began the production process is the same as it was at the beginning and Tony believes that it’s simplicity and low cost are the reasons why he has continued putting out these books for such a long time.

In a fascinating post on The Literary Platform, Tony writes that he feels the flipside to these methods of production and distribution is that “producing something this ephemeral in such relatively small quantities seems to go against the grain.” I would argue that Piece of Paper Press’s methods of making and sharing are actually adding value to their books in ways that digital accessibility is often unable to do. Printing only 150 copies gives a rarity to the books that will only increase with time and touches on ideas in this post on 3 Ways to Share.

In the same post Tony describes the process of physically making the books as a simple, repetitive and social occasion.

“for the past 16 years once or twice a year I’ve sat down for a morning or an afternoon with a pile of printed A4 paper, a stapler and a Stanley knife. With me more often than not will have been an artist or a writer who will have spent a year or more producing a literary or graphic work that is suitable for a 16 page, A7 book. A few cups of tea and some conversation form the backdrop to a task that is a by definition repetitive, but which is also very social and above all is simple and functional.”

With only 25 publications in 16 years very few people will have had the chance to sit down with Tony and enjoy this time and these conversations and it seems to me that these social aspects of Piece of Paper Press publications have a value in terms of the relationship between author and publisher and book and reader that may not be as easy to achieve with digital books despite being able to reach a wider audience.

Categories
inspiration sharing

Every Book tells a Story


Visual description of how bookcrossing works from www.bookcrossing.com

Label. Share. Follow. That’s how bookcrossing.com describes the process of setting your book free to go out and explore the world while you follow it’s adventures, the places it goes and the people it meets from the comfort of your home. According to the Book Crossing website almost seven million books have been registered by over 850,000 active BookCrossers and are traveling around 130 countries as I write.

The way it works is that each book is tagged with a label recording its unique Book Crossing ID (BCID) and starting location. The books are then shared, either being passed onto a friend or stranger, mailed to a Book Crossing reader who’s advertised for that title, or released ‘into the wild’, for example, on a park bench, a café table or at the train station. They can also be taken to Official Book Crossing Zones where books are regularly caught and released.

When your labeled book is ‘caught’ the finder enters its BCID into bookcrossing.com to find out who released the book and where it’s previously been. The finder can then record a journal entry telling the next stage of the book’s story. In this way you can find out where your book is, who’s reading it now, and follow where it goes next. Leave your book at an airport and it could cross continents!

Of course, theory is all very well but practice is what counts so I set out to catch a bookcrossing book. I chose my quarry carefully, discounting books that had been released on the tube or park benches as I couldn’t believe they would last more than a few hours in these locations. Eventually I settled on hunting down a book at the Camel and Artichoke pub behind Waterloo station where 89 books were listed – suggesting that I had a good chance of finding one!

I entered the pub and casually browsed around as if I was looking for a friend. And there, at the top of the stairs was my target. Four book shelves all stuffed with books. They were even spilling onto the floor. There was a wide variety of authors, topics, even languages (Simone de Beauvoir in German anyone?) but I finally settled for revisiting my childhood with The Silver Chair by CS Lewis.


My caught book

Returning home and entering its BCID into bookcrossing.com I discover that Lydiasbooks left it in the Camel and Artichoke as she had a duplicate copy. It’s been there about a month and I am the first person to pick it up.

My plan was to complete my bookcrossing experience before writing this post by releasing my book back into the wild. However, I kind of feel like re-reading The Silver Chair now. Perhaps this is how bookcrossing works. Serendipitous and random sharing leads to serendipitous and random reading..