Saturday, January 9, 2010

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary... and some technological aspects of publishing



This post is not intended to endorse or denigrate the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary OT series. Rather, I'd like to note a couple 'technological' aspects of this work that reflect the evolution of publishing today.

First, as you would expect, you can buy the collection as a hardcover set. Meanwhile, it's also in development as a digital resource for the Logos/Libronix platform. (I'm not sure whether it will be available for Accordance, but they do have a working relationship with Zondervan also.)

Second, as a way of promoting the series, Zondervan has been publishing excerpts of it on Scribd. The most recent is the release of the commentary on Daniel by Ernest C. Lukas. (This is probably only available for a limited time. You can also check out Zondervan's excerpt from Kostenberger's A Theology of John's Gospel and Letters.) Scribd is an interesting presentation format that allows you either to scroll down through the pages, view it as a book where you turn the pages, or view it as a slideshow a page at a time.

Third, you will note that this background commentary is highly illustrated. And from where did many of those pictures come? (Cf. the Acknowledgments, pages vi-vii.) In addition to ones from publishing sources, some come from the usual suspects that are probably familiar to those who inhabit the web, e.g., Todd Bolen at BiblePlaces or Tim Bulkeley's eBibleTools. The first listed in the acknowledgments are those from ... Wikimedia and Flickr

So, publishing a book today may include getting quality resources like pictures (free, no less!) from the web. It is not simply a matter of getting a hardcover out the door, but it also involves promoting it by sharing digital excerpts and publishing is simultaneously in a digital edition. These things have really only become feasible within the last 10 years.

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