Artist Books 3.0

Where artists' books and the book arts meet online...


I have just bought the new Kindle; I know a book art friend who has made a Kindle artists' book, but wondered how and where to start searching for others. Anyone have some recommendations?



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I tried to make artists ebook on Kindle

but i think the native kindle  format is not so good, i prefer epub with colors, hyperlinks...and open source coding ! (sorry for my english)


I know what you mean about the colour issue with Kindle, but that is due to the e-ink format thats easier on the eyes (which is what I love about the kindle), so with epub (pardon my lack of knowledge on this) what devices can you view your books on?


and thanks for the links! 

With this format you can read them on Android, Ipad...We just wait for e-color ink, it will be cool. Just to say, ok why not Knidle to read artists ebooks, but i think that it's not so cool cause you can't read epub on kindle and for me it's a "limitative" format).

yeah, amazon definitely have a control over what formats you can use; which I have to admit I dislike too, but I guess I bought it because it is the best e-reader out there right now, and cheapest too. I just got one of your books 'Turn the Page' - love it, brilliantly simple concept. 

Thanks, for example i tried to adapt Turn the page on Kindle but never see it in real ! I decided to adapt it because there is no hyperlinks or colors in ! The other version is here  (i made a 1000 pages version too !)

If you want more tips on epub, i m here !

In France, we could find a cheap reader "Arnova 7" but no e-ink screen, it's a simple tablet.

Abigail, you live in UK or USA ?


Well I can tell you that on a Kindle it works really well! Every 4/5 pages turning the kindle does a little black & white flash, its really distinctive to kindle readers and it works really well with your text. 

I will take a look at the colour version then too. Thanks. 

I am in the UK, London to be exact. 

I've been pondering this question a long time, and provisionally concluded ( ) that there is no such thing as a digital artists book. There might come to be, but it would entail as much change and be as different from present-day artists books as has happened in every previous change since the invention of the bulla. That said. I recently received a dispatch from the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair commenting on e-book panic in commercial publishing. Apparently the London fair was immobilized by it. The ludicrous (European) solution was "that each individual country will develop their own e-book readers. These readers will be sold in bricks-and-mortar bookstores. Each ... shop will have eBooks stored digitally onsite and transfer them directly to the customer's new reader at the time of purchase." On one of my Goodreads discussions recently there were remarks on an equally inert practice concerning libraries. Lying under all this is that e-books rights are apparently governed by media law -- one leases the book, and is severely hindered in what one can do with it. Given this situation with marketing and distribution, it seems quite unwise and probably hopeless for book artists to engage with the existing publishing world. Abigail's search for digital artists books, and her suggestion that something be started, implies to me a specifically artists book site, probably a co-op like Abebooks as Alibris which handles all the display, ordering, and fulfillment functions for its members. Within this scheme, present galleries and other vetted sources acting as representatives would share space with the indies -- there are plenty of models for such a business plan. Given the fragmentation of the artists book world, with no international organization (only forums like this one) which might sponsor or co-ordinate such a thing -- given the nature of the product it would have to be international I think -- it's difficult to imagine how such a thing might be done.

I agree it seems like a improbable thing to happen. It is something that I think libraries might have more of an answer for; but so far I have not encountered many librarians looking after book art collections that are of the view that artists' ebooks are a valid medium of art. 

Ok but artists' ebooks are reality now, like net art institutions take too much time to understand ! We have to make thing for us first !

Yeah they are a reality now I totally agree. 

When I was director of a largely digital library I argued for curated rather than comprehensive collections and got nowhere. I won't go into here what I meant by that. Special Collections librarians are good at curating their own collections as displays (the traditional object-oriented museum model) but not so good at what is wanted here.

A moment ago I posted a long remark about e-artists book distribution. I might now suggest that the prior problem is what is to be distributed, but I won't, because I can envision a situation similar to the European publishers' response to the e-book problem in the article from the Frankfurt Book Fair which I quoted. Here and there some people with the necessary technical savvy (and money) will develop separate solutions to creating a digital artists book and we will have a fragmented world of Apple-like proprietary products essentially no different from the present. I am not suggesting a Jobsish market dominance is what is needed; rather a structure like a leaderless chamber orchestra. That said, what is a digital artists book? How could anyone with sculpural or tactile components in their work participate? How would "books" not essentially bound to the sequential codex be accommodated? (I have a few miserable ideas on this, but for some other time.) Considering  the commercial media's near cluelessness on what anything beyond e-novels and textbooks are, it seems to me that for us this question is awesomely daunting. The Kindle format is utter simplicity to replicate (and utterly useless to us); Epub3 if we ever see it will probably be quite beyond the garage artist, and possibly quite as useless. This is not an environment for individual innovation and is not going to succumb to any Caravaggios among us.


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