next-book

book publishing on the web

💌 #1 Digitization in schools, Tabook and our Lean Canvas.

oh, it’s really here

Here’s Jan, pictured blinded by the sun and writing to you for the first time! (And nervous!) Thank you for subscribing, dear person! 🙃

I met a lot of people in the last few days: publishers, partners, potential project, partners, friends who help us, etc. And I wrote a lot of e-mails and project ideas — more than I would think I even could write in just a few days.

After our first team session on September 23rd, everything sped up: the possibility of sharing stuff with each other made everything much more meaningful. We want to build an open platform, so we’d like to be open, too — sharing interesting bits, events, experience… and very soon, next-books!

So, here are three exciting bits from the past two weeks!

Photo of a screen with colorful text “books are next”.

This is a very quickly created promo I put together before the WebExpo conference in Prague. Appropriately ominous, but also friendly, or so I hoped. I printed in a drugstore on their express-photo printer.

1. Stavanger declaration

My wife had told me there’s a conference about digital reading: Reading in a Digital Environment 2019 (Regensburg, DE on November 8), so I checked it out… and last Monday morning, the bus, airbnb, and fee were all paid. I even submitted a poster 🙂

The exciting part was project E-READ that focused on “the impact of digitization on reading practices”. I discovered it via the keynote speaker Anne Mangen.

As a closing statement, they published the Stavanger declaration.

“Research shows that paper remains the preferred reading medium for longer single texts, especially when reading for deeper comprehension and retention, and that paper best supports long-form reading of informational texts. (…) In addition, as screen use continues to grow, it will be one of the urgent challenges to discover ways in which to facilitate deep reading of long-form texts in a screen environment.” (from introduction)

One finding caught my eye, regarding next-book:

“Benefits for comprehension and motivation have been demonstrated where the digital reading environment was carefully designed with the reader in mind.”

So, let’s carefully design with the reader in mind! Check out the whole document, it’s interesting and VERY short. I’ll try to check out what were the digital materials performing bad and well.


2. Tabook and bibliodiversity

Last weekend, we spent two great days at a small-publisher’s festival Tabook (in Czech town Tábor). LOTS OF B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. BOOKS THERE, yes. We were very brave and bought only about 5 books.

One of them was Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing by Susan Hawthorne. I liked the opinionated style, even when sometimes disagreeing with the content. She mentions a lot of topics — feminism, ecology or systems thinking. The last chapter is literally the few main lessons from Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows (that’s one life-changing book). Also, the Czech edition of Bibliodiversity by wo-men is gorgeous!

I want to get deeper into the independent publishing mindset, so If you have any books to recommend, please do. 

A recommendation from grammarly.com to change bibliodiversity to biodiversity.

3. A blank canvas (not anymore!)

Today, we had a great team session: we tried to map out our strategy, how to find potential partners/customers, and what do we actually provide. Our goal is to become sustainable by April 2020.

It’s kinda hard to merge research, documentation, and partnership making… but today, it seemed possible. Below is our lean canvas on a flipchart and in digital.

Lean canvas on a flipchart.
Digitally reproduced lean canvas.

We spent a lot of time today discussing a potential new grants project, but the outline is very blurry now, so I’ll leave it for the next time.


Team & thanks & see you!

I’ll be adding the team to our website tomorrow, but you can read it here first: it’s Josef KocurekJan Martinek (me), Matěj Málek, and Lukáš Porsche. And we hope that soon enough we’ll be a little bit more diverse than this

And I hope there aren’t too many typos above. It will always be our first newsletter! Stay tuned, we’ll be back in two weeks. And if there’s anything you’d like to know — get in touch!

Take care!


Many thanks for support and collaboration along the road go to Ivana Lukeš Rybanská, Jan “Vlki” Vlček and friends from Nová Beseda, University of Palacký in Olomouc, Mladý pes and all of you, dear subscribers.

Finder screenshot with a few files from 2017.

Prepping this one, I found a template for the “previous first one” — expected to be sent on May 15th, 2017. Well, well, well… it took some time.