Monday, September 05, 2011

Nice to catch up with our new "New Literacies"


We've arrived back to the summer's accumulated mail, right ahead of the new semester, and the postal delivery man has just dropped off the authors' copies of the new edition of New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning.


We are thrilled with the way it looks and love the cover designer's wee insider joke with us about the two child pirates that we wanted especially among the icons and logos in the front cover illustration. (Clue: When you turn to the back cover to read the information contained there you are greeted by the same cheerful faces.)

We were also intrigued to find a late acknowledgments slip inside the front cover of the book, thanking Yahoo/Flickr, Facebook, eBay, the Wikipedia Foundation and Twitter for permission to reproduce their logos for the cover design. The cover designers worked overtime to get us the cover we wanted, and by the time their work was done the book's contents had already been typeset and through the final proof reading stages -- hard up against deadline. This generosity and good will toward us as authors has been our experience, without exception, throughout the 15 years we have worked with Open University Press. It has been for us a wonderful publishing experience. They have produced our books beautifully and made them the best they could possibly be -- given our limits as authors. They have had great success in getting some of the books into other languages, and they have kept them in print. They have played a superb role in getting the books out there and giving us every opportunity as authors.

And the reading public has likewise been kind to our work. We want to thank everyone who has read and used our work. It is a real privilege to be able to get ideas in front of people and to have those ideas explored and responded to. We don't take this for granted, by any means.

The people who have provided Forewords, cover endorsements, reviews, and who have adopted the books as texts have likewise been very kind to us, and we want to thank you for this support. In this latest book, Donna Alvermann has written a superb Foreword that cuts to the chase and picks out beautifully the things we have tried to do in the book. And our Spanish colleague, Daniel Cassany's back cover endorsement is a gem, and Daniel has been a strong supporter of the Spanish language version of the second edition of the book. We are truly grateful to Donna and Daniel for their contributions to this third edition.

The three editions are very different from one another. The broad umbrella of "New Literacies" has provided the perfect cover for exploring diverse themes that are of interest to us. It is great to be able to write about stuff like Jeff Bezos' concept of second phase automation, and about the Lost Frog meme, and about Blogging Project Runway, social networking (and social media generally) as means for trying to build concrete bridges to wider processes of historical, social, economic, pedagogical, cultural and epistemic changes going on all around us -- such as the focus on social learning in the new edition.

This will almost certainly be our last throw of the dice at "New Literacies". It's been a blast. We have laughed much more than we have cried throughout the demanding process of sitting down and writing to contract parameters and deadlines. The subject matter has suited us perfectly in terms of our temperaments and dispositions. But being able to get multiple bites at the cherry has been down to the generosity and receptiveness of many people, from the publishers all the way to the readers.

So, thank you, and to any of you who may read the new edition we hope you find it worthwhile.

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