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Birthing MCTB2

Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 12:05 AM
Well, I have been working on MCTB2 for a while, and I am actually pretty close to being done, I think. There are a few hard decisions to make, a few organizational things, and the like, but it seems that it is time to have people start reading the most recent draft of the thing, or at least parts of it, so as to give feedback, catch typos, and help me with a few final points.

I have been debating where to put it. Could create a community here where people could see it, could start putting it in the wiki, could put it on my website: www.interactivebuddha.com, could put it on www.mctb.org, which is something I created and never really used.

Thoughts?

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 12:35 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Oh, yes, the cover...

Sometimes I think about doing something really, really simple, as the first cover, well, how to put it, really did annoy some people. I personally really liked it, as I designed it, but then there is no accounting for tastes, is there?

Here's a cover idea: 

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 1:47 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
If this is just a "beta version" then post it only on the forum or the less trafficked "mctb.org" or both.  Start a post here where people can make comments about it.  Put it up on all of the above when it's a more finalized version.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 2:13 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hello Daniel,

it's a good idea to put it on one of your websites. Maybe you could open up another forum where things can be discussed chapter by chapter. A subforum just for typos etc.

Looking forward to reading MCTB2!
Andreas

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 2:21 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
As a former graphic designer I must say that your cover is better than 98 % of what is out there. But I would love to see something more unique. I mean your book and writings are such a gem and wouldn't it be nice to hold it in your hands/open it up on your computer and be welcomed by a unique and beautiful cover? I'd definitely go for simple, clear and light-hearted, as you did with your cover. Maybe something in black and white (you probably know these sumi-e paintings, don't you?). Maybe just something at the periphery. Something that corresponds with the title that says: this book will give you everything you need - nothing more, nothing less. Or some simple photography like these ones.

http://imgur.com/PuKFNQy
http://imgur.com/Vo0ccy0

I also love the pictures of Goh Shigetomi (just google him). Would make a nice background or ornament at the periphery, but is pretty zen-like. Don't know if that fits your style.

Just some ideas...

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 2:38 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
I also love the playing around with typography, like can be seen for example on Sam Harris' 'Lying' cover or some of these logo examples. E.g. the 'Core' in your title would work well for that. Maybe replace the O with a photo of a simple seed or something like that.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 3:27 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
Actually, in my dream world, it would be bound in leather, with ivory pages, with a really old-school typeface, such as some antiquied Caslon font, done to look like it was hand typeset on an old press, with all that cool irregularity of that printing technology, with the cover embossed with gold type, and a black or dark purple bookmarking ribbon.

The problem is that each book would cost about $75 at least, and the price is already too high.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 3:42 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Actually, in my dream world, it would be bound in leather, with ivory pages, with a really old-school typeface, such as some antiquied Caslon font, done to look like it was hand typeset on an old press, with all that cool irregularity of that printing technology, with the cover embossed with gold type, and a black or dark purple bookmarking ribbon.

The problem is that each book would cost about $75 at least, and the price is already too high.

LOL, yeah, I believe that. But maybe there's someone in the community who would design it for free (sorry have been out of business for too long. But if you need help/have questions about the process, please let me know). Plus high-quality stock photography is also available for free or just a few bucks. And if it's b/w it wouldn't even add to the printing costs.

Whatever the cover looks like, in the end it's the content that counts. And I'm sure it will find its readers. : )

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 8:07 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Would it be totally crazy to post the whole thing chapter-by-chapter as separate posts in a dedicated sub-area here at the DhO forum? A stickied post could serve as an index to facilitate front-to-back reading and easy reference to specific chapters. It seems like feedback would basically self-organize into more manageable chunks as readers respond to each thread / chapter.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 11:08 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I demand the original cover for MCTB. Not the flaming chakra wheel, the uh... the psychedelic one. Can't find a link...

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 11:32 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel

as much as I dislike the Boorg, er, Google, and avoid recommending their services, you could think about uploading the chapters to google docs. People can then directly add notes, mark typos, and so on, and you are spared the work of re-applying the changes to your master version. I've worked on documents that way.

Second choice would be the wiki, which also allows peopole to edit the document, and provides a history.

Cover: something like the iconic Mahasi Sayadaw photo, the one where he sternly stares down the photographer like Darth Vader or Granny Weatherwax on a bad day, done Banksy street-art style?

Cheers,
Florian.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 5:47 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
> Oh, yes, the cover...


My favorite Dharma book cover is the one created for 'The Progress of Insight'. 

http://www.wisdom-books.com/CoversLarge/1396.jpg

It's simple, but it gives me an other-worldly vibe, like I've meditated myself into another plane of existence, watching the sands of time ebb and flow.  It's totally like "woah man".

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 6:28 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Good news!

You could post it wherever you want and still have comments from all of us. I'm with Florian when he talks about sharing the book on a good online collaborative text editor, where each of us could read, comment and annotate your writings.

Google Docs sure is nice and easy to use, I use it myself professionnally and personally. There are also a lot of other free text editor online, but I can't say what they're worth.

Now I'm eager to read it.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 8:19 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Oh, yes, the cover...

Sometimes I think about doing something really, really simple, as the first cover, well, how to put it, really did annoy some people. I personally really liked it, as I designed it, but then there is no accounting for tastes, is there?

Here's a cover idea: 

The font you used has a weird transylvanian vibe to it. It would be more fit if it was signed "By the vampire Daniel M. Ingram". You can achieve a classical "Dharma" look by using a different font, saphran color and a basic generic graphic design related to Buddhism. 

http://www.asanghaofbooks.com/images/the-pali-dhammapada.jpg

http://ennapadambhagavati.blogspot.ca/2011/09/hinduism-way-to-ethical-and-noble.html

http://www.dharmanation.org/media/Dharma-Manifesto-Front-COVER-194x300.jpg

http://www.dechen.org/files/2012/12/roc_cover_001.jpg


But I like how MCTB 1 cover was standing out, despite its new-age-ish vibe from the eighties. 


For the pre-publication, a plateform that allows for feedback without too much hassles would be the best. Only being able to add a comment at the each page would be enough. I also appreciate that MCTB 1 is available as a wiki for most part as I rely on Google sometimes to search in it and bookmarks parts that I refer too frequently.

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/24/14 9:06 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
The font you used has a weird transylvanian vibe to it. It would be more fit if it was signed "By the vampire Daniel M. Ingram".

Hee hee... honouring the lineage of The Vampire Mahasi Sayadaw: 
http://www.yogideb.com/images/MahasiSayadaw.jpg

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/25/14 4:00 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
This is a great thing you're doing Daniel.
I'm sure we can add our comments in whatever way you decide to publish online.

I would certainly go with more geeky/scientific approach.
Just to draw folks with those backgrounds. You know, people with
background in natural studies.

Frontpage?
I nice graph with curve and marked vipassana stages in the background.
Fuzzy image of Something like this:



Foreground, just the title with _nice_ fonts. 
I'd change the title too but I guess it's to late for that. Hehe.

Good luck!

PS:Any chance this will get published in electronic "kindle" format?

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/25/14 9:32 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Given that there are 16 stages in the Vipassana Map, why not trying to depict each stage with a face in a 4x4 table? It would stand out in the bookshelves, be easily remembered and referred, get rid of the pomposity/dryness of the classic dharma books and at the same time differenciate from new-age vibe, also be a cover likeable for baby-boomers and Generation X and Y as well.   

If this it's too much, you may still consider inserting an ilustration alike for the Dukka Ñanas: "A Hard Dark Night". emoticon 


RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/28/14 1:28 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Oh, yes, the cover...

Sometimes I think about doing something really, really simple, as the first cover, well, how to put it, really did annoy some people. I personally really liked it, as I designed it, but then there is no accounting for tastes, is there?

Here's a cover idea: 
I see you're still going with the "Arahat" claim. Are you open to further discussion about that, or is the horse well and truly dead? :-)

tpk

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/28/14 2:55 PM as a reply to Tee P Kay.
Tee P Kay:
Daniel M. Ingram:
Oh, yes, the cover...

Sometimes I think about doing something really, really simple, as the first cover, well, how to put it, really did annoy some people. I personally really liked it, as I designed it, but then there is no accounting for tastes, is there?

Here's a cover idea: 
I see you're still going with the "Arahat" claim. Are you open to further discussion about that, or is the horse well and truly dead? :-)

tpk


And Daniel dropped the "interdependant universe" title. I suggest "By the lump of organic matter generally identified as Daniel Ingram". 

RE: Birthing MCTB2
Answer
7/28/14 4:59 PM as a reply to Simon T..
The reason I ask is that I find MCTB to be the book I most often refer people to who are interested in "serious" Buddhist practice. I consider it, in that respect, to be one of the most important such books out there. But I think the arahat claim is *possibly* a hinderance to the uptake of the book. In my own experience, I often have to qualify my recommendation by saying "Don't let the 'arahat' claim put you off", and it would just make my life easier if it weren't there!

That said, I've seen discussions involving Daniel where he explains why its inclusion might be a good thing. So I don't want to, as I said, flog a dead horse. But if there's still time/reason to discuss it, I'd be interested. It is, as I say, a very important book and it would be a shame if people who could be helped by it never even opened it based solely on that claim. 

tpk