Ben Crowder /blog


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Update on projects: I’m working on a short story. All of my story drafts of late have turned darker than I’d like, so this one is intentionally not dark. Seems to be going better than the others.

I’m also partway through revising my next picture book. This one is a story (as opposed to The Circle Book, which was just a list of random things) and I’m excited. The urge to design a typeface for it has proven too strong to resist, though, so I’m working on that as well. The typeface is called Golly. I’ll post some screenshots soon (I’m almost done with the lowercase letters).

Sidenote on type design: I built Curves (a Python library for designing type, via exporting to UFO and compiling that to OTF) to see whether designing type in code works. Turns out it doesn’t. Even with easy previews (SVG and @font-face), the cognitive gap between the code and the points seems to be a little too much. I have some other ideas for type design tools that seem more promising, though. More on that later.

And I’m slowly working on the remaining reader’s editions (print/PDF of D&C, Pearl of Great Price, and Words of the Prophets).

Book of Mormon reader’s edition 3.0

After far too long, the re-typeset print edition of the Book of Mormon reader’s edition is now available. You can download the PDF or purchase a perfect-bound paperback via Lulu.

There’s also a new spiral-bound wide margin edition. It’s basically the reparagraphed text of the reader’s edition in the wide margin style of the study edition.

Print editions of the D&C reader’s edition, the Pearl of Great Price reader’s edition, and Words of the Prophets are all still forthcoming. (I’m hoping to get to them soon.)

(Note: the EPUB and Kindle editions are still at version 2.1 since nothing changed.)

Book of Mormon reader’s edition WIP

I’m currently retypesetting the print edition of my Book of Mormon reader’s edition. The 2006 edition was one of the first books I ever typeset, and my skills then were, well, limited. (Because now they are unlimited. I jest.)

Here’s a glimpse at 3 Nephi 5 (which is normally 3 Nephi 11, but in this edition I use the chapter breaks from the first edition of the Book of Mormon):


I’m using Arno 11/14 for the body text, and the paperback will be available at cost via CreateSpace. The good news with the move to CreateSpace is that the book will only cost around $9 instead of the $18 it is at Lulu. (And I should add that I make no profit on these, nor do I want to.)

I will also be typesetting a matching, combined reader’s edition of the D&C and Pearl of Great Price. And after that, I’ll be doing a study edition of the D&C and Pearl of Great Price, as a companion piece to the Book of Mormon study edition.

Book of Mormon reader’s edition EPUB

The ePub edition of my reader’s edition of the Book of Mormon is now available. You can read it in Stanza or iBooks on your iPhone/iPad, in Aldiko on your Android, or using any number of other EPUB readers. (For iPad reading, I should add that the PDFs work nicely in iBooks, and the typography is (ahem) much better than iBooks’ EPUB display.)

Maker’s note: I’m finding that my md2epub script has made EPUB production incredibly easy. Granted, I’m working with books that don’t involve charts or tables or images or pull quotes or anything complicated, just straight text, but it’s still a breeze.

Doctrine and Covenants reader’s edition

My new reader’s edition of the Doctrine and Covenants is now up and ready for download (PDF and EPUB).

Basically, I’ve taken the text of the D&C, stripped out all the verse numbers, reparagraphed the text, reorganized the sections chronologically (I only had to move a handful of sections), gave each section a name (based loosely on Dane Laverty’s post, but I think I only kept around 10% of his titles), and pulled the date and place of each revelation up to make them more visible.

This also marks the release of my first EPUB. I’d thought about exporting straight from InDesign, but I’m a do-it-myself kind of a guy (at least at first), so I handcrafted this one. The process: I exported the text from InDesign to a plain text file (before I did copyfitting), then used Vim and some regular expressions to put a marker in between each section. I couldn’t figure out how to split the sections into individual files from Vim, so I wrote an awk script that did it for me, then wrote a Python script to take each text file and put it into an HTML file formatted the way I wanted it. And there were a few other scripts I wrote to generate various parts of the EPUB. All in all, not too bad, though I wish EPUB readers like Stanza would give me at least a little more control over formatting. (None of my CSS worked. Sigh.)

I should add that I’ve tested the EPUB in Stanza on my iPhone and in iBooks on my iPad and it works fine in both places. Let me know if it doesn’t work on your reader (or if it looks weird).