A Digital Catalogue

A Digital Catalogue thumbnail

A Digital Catalogue

Posted on August 29 by admin
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Pinterest

Even in an age where data flows like water in a stream and goes out of date the moment it sits still, it’s still a huge deal when a publishing house receives final approval on a catalogue. The mind-boggling amount of tasks and processes that go into just a single book title – from the author catching the spark, to the designer drafting covers, to the details and minutiae that go into editing, printing, distributing, and marketing a basket of books, there are countless steps along the way. It’s like streams and brooks join up to become branches of a river, dutifully winding from foothills to the sea. But that moment in time when the catalogue is sent to the printer, that’s where the freshwater of the river first touches the brine of the ocean, and it’s a special moment.

Most bookstores and booksellers never see the actual catalogue that goes to press, the vast majority of information is shared online now, but there is still a moment when the draft hits a press and becomes a document in time. Today, that's when we make the catalogue available on BNC CataList. Years later, when future generations of publishers look back on the titles that came before, they’ll still be grouping baskets of books together as Fall 04 or Spring 11 or, in the case of the basket of books that went out today, Winter 15.

In an age when we read the books on devices and the forthcoming titles are broadcast to screens on our wrists, there is still that solemn moment where we can say “This is happening now.” The ink might not rub off on our sleeve cuffs, the paper might not cut our fingers, the document might not have that fresh new-paper smell and spine of the PDF might not make that wonderful skricking sound that a paper book makes when it’s first opened, but it’s a special moment when a collection of ideas becomes a cohesive plan and theories become real possibilities, it's what makes publishing real.