Students Collaborate to Publish Ebooks

Graphic design major Rob Miyamoto drew this for MFA student Doreen Fera's children's book.

Graphic design major Rob Miyamoto drew this for MFA student Doreen Fera’s children’s book.

Most college courses require students to purchase books.  At Rutgers–Camden, a new collaborative project will help creative writing students to publish their own books, by turning their manuscripts into ebooks with the help of graphic design students.

The project pairs MFA students with undergraduate graphic design students to bring written words to life by creating illustrations and animations in digital form. The success of ebooks has been well documented and the new technology has transformed the book business. Lauren Grodstein, an associate professor of English and director of Rutgers–Camden’s MFA program, says quite a few books become top sellers again when they are published in electronic form.

“Publishing your book digitally means that you no longer have to be dependent on the gatekeepers, like publishers and marketers,” Grodstein says. “Those gatekeepers are very important, but they’re no longer the only way to get your work out to readers.”

MFA student Doreen Fera is working with two graphic design students to digitally publish a children’s book she wrote for her now 8-year-old son. Rodney Robin’s Fabulous Adventure tells the story of a little bird who overcomes his fear of a dark forest after flying too far from home. Rob Miyamoto, a junior graphic design major from Moorestown, is illustrating Fera’s book.

“It’s really interesting to see this process in action,” says Miyamoto, a Moorestown High School graduate. “It takes a lot of effort and work to make Doreen’s vision come to life, but it’s an amazing experience to take an idea and make it tangible.”

This semester, eight MFA students and 13 graphic design students are participating in the project, which is serving as a pilot program for a full course, which could be offered in spring 2014.

Posted in: Student Achievement

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