A Book Apart: Digital design publishing for people and planet

Written by Marketa Benisek - September 27, 2023

In the fast-paced world of web design, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial. Thankfully, there are remarkable publishing houses like A Book Apart that publishes thoughtful examinations of digital design topics, written by a diverse range of voices for readers in the tech community. They make the learning process about various topics not only informative but also enjoyable. In this article, we want to delve into what makes A Book Apart truly exceptional and why we’re excited to celebrate their pivotal role in the creation of the ground-breaking book Sustainable Web Design by Tom Greenwood. 

On a mission to move the web forward

A Book Apart stands as a beacon of clarity and knowledge in the world of digital design literature, aiming to shed light on essential subjects in a format that is practical, easily understandable and, most importantly, fun. After all, as A Book Apart claims, when you enjoy what you read, learning becomes easier. Their overarching goal is to help move the web forward in a direction that not only benefits society but also the planet, firmly believing in the power of information to inspire positive change and best practices within the industry. They have achieved something truly special by creating a publishing house that shares a vision for a better web and can effectively deliver complex and new topics to a broad audience. Their cult-like following stems from their commitment to providing a platform for sharing essential information and ideas about the web that benefit us all.

The journey of the Sustainable Web Design book

It’s almost two and a half years since Tom Greenwood published Sustainable Web Design, which has since become the go-to reference for anyone interested in digital sustainability and the process of greening the web. However, something that hasn’t been fully explained or highlighted is just how pivotal A Book Apart was in the creation of this remarkable book.

Tom chose A Book Apart as his publisher because he had thoroughly enjoyed reading some of their other books, including Accessibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag. He appreciated the way they delivered such a crucial and meaningful topic in web design in a concise and engaging format. Instantly, A Book Apart became the perfect match between a soon-to-be author and publisher.

It takes a team to birth a book

When Tom began writing Sustainable Web Design, he was uncertain about the role his publisher would play, beyond printing and distributing the book. However, what he discovered was that A Book Apart’s involvement in the writing process was instrumental in the book’s success and quality. This commitment to editing and refining made all the difference, and the result is evident in the consistent quality that runs through their publications. It may surprise you to learn that the editing process took several months with many people involved. Lisa Maria Marquis, author of Everyday Information Architecture, was the lead editor and provided the reader’s perspective and constructive challenge needed to help shape the book. Sally Kerigan was the editor who helped Tom improve his writing style to ensure that it would be enjoyable and accessible to a wide audience (and also help Tom convert from UK English to US English). Mat Marquis, the author of JavaScript for Web Designers, then provided technical editing, reviewing technical information within the book, providing expertise and oversight to ensure that the information presented was robust. After all of this, the book then went through proofreading before being signed off for publication.

While Tom admits that the editing process was challenging, he also acknowledges that it’s thanks to A Book Apart’s expertise that his book turned out the way it did. In retrospect, he believes that this process made him a better writer.

Screenshot from the book collection web page showing the cover of the book, Sustainable Web Design and a quote

Launching the Sustainable Web Design starter pack

To celebrate this wonderful relationship and support a publishing house that creates such important work for anyone in (or with an interest in) the digital sector, we are thrilled to collaborate with A Book Apart and present the Sustainable Web Design Starter Pack. This pack includes four books that we will surely appeal to anyone interested in digital sustainability.

1. Sustainable Web Design by Tom Greenwood

2. Responsible Javascript by Jeremy Wagner

3. Progressive Web Apps by Jason Grigsby

The bundle saves you 15% on ordering the books individually. You can order the bundle directly from A Book Apart, or purchase individual books from bookshops around the world. These short, practical books, authored by experts in the field, provide an excellent starting point for learning how we can collectively create a more sustainable, responsible and safe web for everyone.

At the time of writing, A Book Apart is also currently running a promotion where you can get a free paperback when you buy an ebook. Just shop for your favourite book, add the paperback & ebook bundle to your cart, and use the code FREEBOOK at the checkout. Then, download your ebook right away and await the delivery of your physical copy!

A Book Apart stands as a shining example of a publishing house committed to advancing knowledge and improving our digital world. Their dedication to delivering essential information in an engaging format is commendable, and it’s partnerships like these that drive positive change within the industry. So, here’s to A Book Apart and the incredible books that continue to light our path towards a better web. Happy reading!