• Invisible Stock
    Kate Pullinger’s column in today’s Guardian – Writers deserve a better deal from digital publishing – is very good on why authors should get a better, not worse, deal from digital publishing, and on the role of publishers in the new digital world. But it’s particularly priceless for this anecdote: At the moment the entire infrastructure of the publishing industry is geared toward shifting retail units; the head of digital publishing at a large publishing house told me that because their accounting system is entirely warehouse-based, for a time they had to find a way to represent the units shifted ...
  • Transf(orm)ats
    I’m currently reading a book in three formats at once. I’ve got a nice paperback copy for bed and sofa reading. I’ve got an ebook formatted for my mobile phone for tubes and buses. And I’ve got a free audiobook—an MP3 also on my mobile phone—for when I’m cycling along the canal to work in the mornings. (I could also read by email and RSS, if desired). None of this is perfect. The pbook is an old photostat copy – it was cheap, but it’s poorly set, there are a lot of (uncorrectable) typos and there’s little metacontent ...
  • Bkkeeper: Quick Idea
    I’ve been thinking about how to create RSS feeds and achievements for pBooks, almost an API. Here’s a quick, on-the-way-to-work scheme. Think Foamee. Bkkeeper monitors your twitter feed for @bkkeeper notes – just text an ISBN and ‘start’, ‘end’ or a page number to your Twitter stream. On ‘start’, bkkeeper adds that ISBN to your LibraryThing account and fills in the ‘started on’ date. It continues to follow your progress as you read the book, then when it gets an ‘end’ message it fills in the ‘finished on’ date. Further enhancements could include blogging dog-eared pages – although limited ...
  • LibraryThings
    I got my Cuecat a couple of weeks ago and spent a happy couple of hours scanning in this whole bookshelf, which consists of approximately 90% of my library. The above is a detail from the resulting author cloud. I like the cuecat as a nice little interface tool, necessary now like a CD reader was when you fed all your old CDs into iTunes, then promptly put them all away in a box. In this case of course, we’re only ripping the metadata, not the books themselves. LibraryThing works very well, even if it’s pretty raw-boned ...
  • Going mobile
    So, I just finished reading a novel on my phone. Stepping up to the plate, I downloaded Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (which is a blast, by the way) from and gave it a go. And you know what? It was great. It was easy to read. It didn’t strain my eyes. It slipped into my pocket when I changed tube trains and it jumped straight back to the right place when I slid it open again. Alex has a few good points on problems with booksinmyphone’s interface, but overall the experience was a joy. ...
  • For Hire is the blog of James Bridle, a book and technology specialist with specific expertise in planning and producing web and new media projects for clients in publishing and the arts. If you'd like to hire me, have a look at my CV and portfolio, and feel free to get in touch.

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