Top 10 Reads from Yale Book Publishing Course All-Stars

In Guest Contributors & Editorial by Guest Contributor

Top ten books and websites recommended by speakers at this year’s Yale Book Publishing Course to improve the way you work.

By Kate Hampton

Last Friday I offered my thoughts on how to get the most out of the Yale Publishing Course, a week-long continuing education program for mid- and senior-level publishing professionals. As might expect, there were numerous books recommended by the week’s speakers. Below you’ll find a selection.

The good news: at least we’re paying each other’s salaries: I don’t think any of the Yale Book Publishing participants finished the week-long course without going online to buy a book.

Book PublishingWhat follows is a selection of books recommended by the course’s speakers:

  1. The Art & Science of Book Publishing by Herbert S. Bailey, Jr. Recommended by one speaker as “the book to read if you only read one.”
  2. The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis: Craig Mod, deeply interested in the aesthetic shift from print to digital, recommended this book as an example of what a beautiful, printed book can be.
  3. A Dark Room by Michael Townsend: Craig Mod recommended this virtual book/ text-based game as one of the most compelling literary experiences he’s had in the past five years
  4. Introduction to Typography by Oliver Simon: recommended by book-as-art extraordinaire David Godine as a great resource for publishing professionals who are not designers but want to understand book design
  5. On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross: an unexpected number of speakers, including Amy Wrzesniewski and Richard Foster, used this definitive book on grieving in their analyses of how to adapt to change
  6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (the annotated Penguin Classics edition): Liisa McCloy-Kelley of Penguin Random House is setting the standard for enhanced eBooks with this classic, and giving new meaning to the word ‘annotated’
  7. Publishing for Profit by Thomas Woll: Robert E. Baensch, a veritable fountain of publishing wisdom, recommended this book stating that every person in publishing, no matter the job description, should go to the financial management office every month and ask to see the P&L
  8. theSkimm.com: Based on her ten years at Conde Nast, Carol Fitzgerald believes “every piece of messaging should have voice, tone and attitude,” and that this irreverent daily news site nails it
  9. thisiscolossal.com: Emphasizing the simple pleasure in looking, charismatic illustrator Nigel Holmes recommended this site saying, “Just look around at what there is to have fun with…. They have no reason for being there. They’re just nice.”
  10. This Is Your Cookbook: Marcus Leaver, CEO of The Quarto Group Inc., cited thisisyourcookbook.com as one of Quarto’s many projects utilizing technological advancements and innovative partnerships to forge the future of publishing.

Kate Hampton is an editor for Kwani Trust, the leading literary network and publisher in East and Central Africa. She was an associate editor for the first two issues of Jalada, the pan-African writer’s collective. She is a judge for the American Library Association’s Rainbow Booklist, and completed the 2015 Yale Book Publishing Course. You can find her poetry and other scribblings scattered around the world. Tweet her @KateCHampton.

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