Summer sees a few brand extension campaigns by publishers to promote their print titles. The return of Good Omens on Prime Video, the release of Shadow of the Wind by The Folio Society as a collector’s edition, and mindfulness workshops to promote After The Rain are a few of this season’s highlights. Also in the news is the ongoing debate on generative AI. Is AI good or detrimental to book publishing? Read on.
The Folio Society presents limited edition of The Shadow of the Wind
The Folio Society, the publisher of beautifully crafted limited-edition books, has released The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This story-within-a-story fiction is presented as a Folio collector’s edition with a new preface by translator Lucia Graves and atmospheric artwork by Jorge González.
Exclusively available from foliosociety.com, the book comes bound in blocked leather, set in Sabon font in 496 pages. It also features seven double-page spread colour illustrations. The book comes with gilded top edge, ribbon marker, printed cloth slipcase with illustration inside and an exclusive print in presentation folder.
The Folio Society offers a selection of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books of various genres, for gifts and collectibles. To discover more gift ideas, check out www.foliosociety.com/uk/gifts.
More on The Folio Society
- Five Minutes With: Mandy Kirkby, Non-Fiction Publisher, The Folio Society (Story Of Books, 23 November 2023)
- MCM Comic Con 2022: Day 1 In Photos (Story Of Books, 28 October 2023)
Good Omens returns with Season 2
We had to wait for over a year but Season 2 of Good Omens is finally out on Prime Video, the Amazon streaming service. Read our coverage of Michael Sheen, the actor of Aziraphale, who explains his portrayal of the angel to die-hard fans at MCM Comic Con in 2022. Also discussed is his approach to playing a vampire and a werewolf. Think Underworld and Twilight.
After The Rain inspires mindfulness photography workshops
In the first half of 2023, GLUE Studio, our parent company, launched two mindfulness photography workshops in West London featuring flowers for Spring and Summer 2023. The inspiration behind this is After The Rain, the magazine on the environment and mindfulness published by Story Of Books.
May 2023 saw us running a workshop on spring flowers. We returned with a second workshop in August 2023 with a focus on summer flowers. They were run by Zarina Holmes, Creative Director, Story Of Books, who is also a photography tutor, an ikebana practitioner and author of After The Rain.
The workshops were launched in a studio garden environment at Missionworks Holistic Co-workspace at Hammersmith, part of the Lamington Group.
We’ll update you more on this in an upcoming report.
More on After The Rain
Generative AI: the good and the bad
The question creators are asking right now about AI is: which part of it can be used to make a book? Sure, generative AI affects the labour landscape of publishing significantly. Google algorithm not bringing up news outlets at the top of its search is already a problem. Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg told the Press Gazette recently that online news is suffering from competition from TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. The uncertainty that AI brings is making things harder.
We observe that for big organisations, AI is already in use by IT for their back-end operations. The application isn’t as ‘generative’ as we know it but it’s used to design workflows using AI-driven platforms. For the general public, it’s more B2B2C in application. Independent businesses and creators subscribing to applications such as Adobe, Shutterstock and Microsoft would have noticed that the software they subscribed to are now enhanced with noticeable AI capabilities. We say ‘noticeable’ because these capabilities have been around for a long time. But now you notice the emphasis on the ability to search, to prompt and to speculatively expand on an artwork.
Here’s the catch. To generate a good piece of artwork using AI for, say, a text-heavy fiction of 30,000 words and above, and not a picture book, you still need a creative director knowledgeable in design, art history, typography, typesetting, book editing, repro and so on. Sure, anyone can do it with AI, but can everyone do it well?
A survey to measure level of anxiety over copyright
Our friends, the kind librarians at IFLA brought this survey to our attention. The University of Oxford, led by Principal Researcher Chris Morrison, a member of staff at the Bodleian Libraries, is carrying out a survey “to explore levels of copyright anxiety across the UK higher education sector, and determine the extent to which copyright law inhibits innovative research and teaching practice.”
It’s said that “the research will compare UK responses with those in Canada to investigate the extent to which legal and cultural differences impact on copyright anxiety as a phenomenon…”. The survey is done in collaboration with City, University of London and the University of Alberta.
Probably a different kind of anxiety than those faced by SAG-AFTRA writers and actors who are currently on strike. But the common theme here is copyright and intellectual property (IP). Lawyers, publishers, studios and unions will battle it out for some time before creators have an idea where we’re at in terms of IP and copyright in the age of AI.