This would be excellent role for anyone who wants to break into publishing as a career. The project has been featured on Fast Company
, The Washington Post
(among so many other places), and gotten a shoutout on the 99% Invisible
Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for great works in the public domain where anyone can contribute. Why? Sadly, many of the greatest classics in the public domain are left with poorly designed or auto-generated covers that fail to capture what makes these books exciting and inspiring to us. So we invited illustrators, typographers, and designers of all stripes to create new covers for 100 of the greatest works in the public domain.
You would be using a wonderful Macintosh epub layout program called Vellum
(created by engineers from Pixar). We have to deliver at least 100 books to the NYPL by this fall (and possibly as many as 250+ over time). You basically can work on your own pace independently and remotely, coordinating with us over the myriad of collaboration tools available on the Interweb.
• An aesthetic sense of judgment with regard to book layout, such as formatting letters and verses; knowing when to use small caps vs. normal caps; making decisions as to whether to left-justify or right-justify, indent or left-justify.
• Access to your own Macintosh (our layout program, Vellum, is Mac only!), as you need to access files via Dropbox for Business.
• To know the difference between an m-dash and an n-dash.
• A love and appreciation of the classics and their book covers.
• To cringe at seeing "dumb" quotes in place of svelte curviness.
• A copy-editor's eye.
• The ability to get things done while working remotely at a self-guided pace.
• The ability to figure things out when we throw you at a new software program (like Calibre or Yet Another Mail Merge)
• Understanding of the pace and personality of startups.
• Deep appreciation of metadata, cataloguing.
• Ability to write deft prose for book summaries when needed.
• Experience/comfort with HTML and/or CSS.
• Familiarity with Calibre ebook management program.
• Knowledge of epubs (easily taught!).
• Literary judgment with regard to making decisions on versions, translations, titles (not easily taught).• Comfort with a command line interface (CLI), for higher end tasks.
• Familiarity with Project Gutenberg.
• Experience with Github (slight bonus).
• Understanding of Regular Expressions (if this doesn't mean anything to you, don't worry about it).
Programs you will use on this project
Vellum (for layout), Trello and Slack (for communication/collaboration), Dropbox for Business (for collaboration, different login from personal Dropbox), Calibre (for ebook conversion and management), Word (for basic editing), Google Spreadsheets, Airtable (for data management)
Compensation and Hours
Compensation is hourly. We have a base rate for layout, but can go up for more advanced versatile work, such as pulling and converting epubs from Project Gutenberg, proofing, sophisticated find-and-replace (where the Regex comes in), and crafting short summaries. We can basically take as much time as our fellows will give us until these books are done, as we probably have about 1,000 hours of work to deliver these books to the NYPL and DPLA.
Perks and Cool Things
• Your name will be in the credits on the copyright page, in libraries all over the world!
• Book schwag, including Recovering the Classics posters and stickers, as well as cool things from our friends at Litographs and Out of Print Clothing
• Being on the cutting edge of cool things happening in digital publishing.
For those fellows who are especially productive,
• We can invite you to the Sundance Film Festival (January 21-31, 2016). If you are willing to sleeping bag it, we can get hard-to-obtain tickets because we are well-connected like that.
This will give you a sense of what we are asking folks to do: