The music industry went through radical changes but musicians are still being signed, new music is constantly being produced, and people are still buying music, but the format has changed. No longer are people buying CDs, but downloading MP3s to their iPods. These days, as a book publisher, we need to be more certain than ever about making books that designers want and need. Budgets are tight, and the publishers are cautious, if not down-right conservative about what gets approved.
As an art director at Rockport Publishers I feel like I am walking a tightrope across a deep chasm. On the one side I have incredibly talented designers telling me that if they are going to buy a book, they want to spend the money on a high-end production piece. Something really well designed with extraordinary techniques and materials. They want it to be a treasured piece to put on their coffee table and admire.
However, as I turn on my tightrope and look to the other side, there is another group of designers shaking their heads, saying no, no, no. They tell me they want to spend their money on design books that inform and inspire them. Books that are jam-packed with resources, rather than elaborate productions. This group is more happy to fill their bookshelves with reference material, than to adorn their coffee table. Are there really two specific camps that never cross? Are there more of you on one side of this chasm than the other? The bottom line is that you guys are the audience that we love, and we want to make books for you, so tell us what you want.
What you are looking for in books?