August 28, 2010


Posted in Meta at 11:06 pm by India

1918 Republic Trucks Moving Van

After years of waffling, I’ve finally moved this blog onto my own domain. The new address is Addresses over there should be otherwise the same as over here. So, for example, if you’re looking for
you’ll find it at

Tell your friends!

Illustration: 1918 Republic Trucks Moving Van by aldenjewell / Alden Jewell; some rights reserved.

February 16, 2008

Search Engine Terms, 2/23/2008

Posted in humor, Meta, Tools at 12:02 am by India

Search Engine Terms

This makes me happy.

December 3, 2006

“India, Pixels” doesn’t have much of a ring to it, sadly.

Posted in Meta, Work at 9:48 pm by India

Okay, so, you know how I’m always talking about pretty things you can make out of dead trees? Well, how would you feel if I kind of maybe mixed that up with some stuff about the pretty things you can make out of living, blinking pixels? Because as of January 15, 2007, I’ll no longer be designing book interiors full-time. Nope, instead, I’m switching gears—again!—to go manage this Web site. I’ll also be doing a bit of print-related stuff there, and, because I’m an idiot who doesn’t know how to say “No,” I’ll probably continue doing freelance work on print publications; but overall you should see a shift on this blog from print-related verbose rambling to Web-related verbose rambling. It’ll still be book-related, because I’ll be working at a literary organization with book right there in the name, but the nerdy parts may sound different.

(For those of you who’re amused by how-did-I-get-here stories, this latest transition was brought to you by two friends and former coworkers from the Academy of American Poets, who now work at Nextbook. There was some stuff that needed doing, and they thought I’d be a good person to come do it. There was lunch; there was tea; there was no interview-for-which- I-had-to-wear-grown-up-shoes. I feel guilty about leaving my current sweet gig so soon—I like it just fine and had intended to stay there at least five years—you know, until I was fully vested in the 401K—but the new gig is even sweeter, and I have friends and admired colleagues there already, and I dearly hope that I will like it even finer.)

So, if you have any outstanding questions about what it’s like to design book guts in house for a mainstream publisher, now’s your chance! Ask me before I forget everything!

And if you have any observations about (which is about to be relaunched, with a redesign that I’ve had nothing to do with—exciting!), feel free to shoot them my way, either in comments or by e-mail. It’s been more than five years since I was responsible for a big-ass Web project, and it really would help me get up to speed with this new job to hear what some of you think of the existing site. I have my own vague opinions about it, and I’ve yet to thoroughly examine the redesign that’s still under wraps. But I don’t have any sense (much less hard data) yet of who visits the site, how they use it, and what they think of it. I’d love to hear your impressions, whether you’ve ever visited it before reading this post or not.

In other news, I’m on vacation. Hello, London! Any book nerds here? And Tuesday: Paris!

October 28, 2006

Now roosting with a flock near you

Posted in Meta, Off-topic at 4:03 pm by India

You may have noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of linking to posts over at the clusterflock MMGB. Well, rather like when the owners of the candy store that I used to visit every day on my way home from junior high school offered me a job, finally (I declined, on health grounds), the friendly people at clusterflock have offered me a spot. I accepted on the condition that I not be expected to actually post anything new—I was told I could just cross-post content from here—but already today I’ve posted three entries, none of which is book-related.

So if you want more of the incredibly fascinating India Amos™ Experience, you’ll have to go over there. Which you should do anyway, because there are lots of clever, funny people in the flock, and it’s become one of my favorite blogs.

(Before I started posting there, I mean.)

October 13, 2006

DrawMo! launched

Posted in Drawing, Meta at 11:35 pm by India

For those of you who haven’t been following the comments on the drawing thread, I’ve just set up a separate blog for DrawMo!.

DrawMo! (”Draw Month” or “Draw More,” depending on your fancy) is a project whereby interested parties will try to post at least one drawing per day during the month of November 2006. This will be a group blog, most likely, and there will be a Flickr pool for the results (using the tag “drawmo,” I suppose).

Four people have already signed on, and we’re choreographing the secret handshake right now. If you’re one of the apparently large proportion of India, Ink. readers who are currently being terrorized by an empty sketchbook, this may be just the thing for you.

Come on over! It’ll be fun!

October 6, 2006

Borat? Is that you?

Posted in humor, Meta at 10:05 am by India

I apologize for being so. incredibly. boring. the last few weeks (or in general, esp. if you’re also subjected to me in nonblog contexts), but I must pop my head up out of the burrow for this: on my stats page, today, two visits from

Kazakhstan?!? Are you kidding me? This is even better than getting quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Kazakhstan. I shit you not.

September 19, 2006


Posted in Editing, humor, Meta at 9:59 am by India

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. You know how I was procrastinating for a while? Yeah, well, sometimes fake deadlines turn into real ones. I’ll be copyediting and typesetting interviews all this week.

In the meantime, you can develop a sympathetic editorial cramp by contributing to the e-book booty-creation process over at Distributed Proofreading, where for One! Day! Only! they are celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day in style:

Ahoy There: About This Site

Distributed Proofreaders be founded in 2000 by Cap’n Charles ‘Squirrel King’ Franks to support th’ digitisation o’ Public Domain book-booty. Originally chartered to assist Project Gut’nberg (PG), Distributed Proofateers (DP) be now th’ main source of PG e-books. In 2002, Distributed Privateers received their letter of marque from Project Gut’nberg and as such be supported by Project Gut’nberg. All our proofreaders, managers, developers, deckhands and so on be volunteers. . . .

Here be th’ Site Concept

This ‘ere site provides a web-based method o’ easin’ th’ proofreadin’ work associated wi’ th’ digitization o’ Public Domain books into Project Gut’nberg e-books. By divvying up th’ work into individual pages many fine, feisty swashbucklers can be attacking th’ same book at th’ same time. This significantly speeds up th’ proofreading/e-book booty-creation process.

My project goes to press on Friday. See you after that date.

September 3, 2006


Posted in Meta at 2:04 pm by India

The procrastination continues apace!

This post covers three things, all of which may bore the pants off you (which, depending on where you are when you’re reading this, could be exciting): (1) the XML feed, (2) affiliate links, (3) new! shorter! sidebar! If you don’t care about any of these things, go back to frolicking in the sun.

For the rest of you nerds:

  1. Those on the feed have probably figured this out, but just in case: when I write a very long post (which is most of them) and use the “click through to read more” option, to my annoyance WordPress does not give any indication in the feed that there’s more to the post. The text just stops before the Read the rest of this entry »

July 13, 2006

Ultrasparky makes my heart sparkle!

Posted in Meta, Reading at 8:49 pm by India

How interesting it’s been checking out all the Web sites that have been linking in since I got Kottked a week ago, and how sad it’s been to see the line on my WordPress traffic graph slope back down toward its normal point of zero. But today, today, my obsessive checking-out of every site listed on my referrer page paid off: I discovered Dan Rhatigan’s Ultrasparky, which is just delicious.

Hours and hours of happy reading.


July 8, 2006

Study Questions

Posted in Design, Meta, Work at 9:46 pm by India

I have been shocked—shocked!—by the amount of interest in this post since it was written up on Usually when I talk about what I do, people are like, “Uh huh, that sounds really, um, interesting. So, do you design covers, too?” Covers are sexy; everybody notices book covers, even if they don’t read much; no, I don’t do covers. (Well, I’ve done three. One was an unfortunate accident, and the other two are nothing special.) So, yes, all this sudden interest is very interesting to me. Plus—happy graph! Woo!

Graph of the Kottke Effect, about half an hour after his post; the day's peak was actually twice this number

What’s been even more surprising, though, is that so far no other designers have dropped in to say, “You’re reading the castoff numbers all wrong.” “I can’t believe you used a typeface called fucking ‘Manticore’ for a fucking fantasy book!” “Trim size is actually determined based on X, Y, and Z.” “Quark is the best piece of software in the universe!” And nobody’s said, “But, the process for designing a cookbook/dictionary/art book/computer book is totally different; your half-assed workflow would never work for that.”
Read the rest of this entry »

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