• On Book Guilt
    We need to talk about something. It’s quite serious. It affects a lot of people. And I genuinely believe it costs the book industry millions of dollarpounds every year, in addition to incalculable personal misery. We need to talk about book guilt. When I created bkkeepr, it had (still does) three commands: start, finish and […]
  • On covers
    I’ve been thinking about covers for a while now. One of the many great debates around the ephemeralisation of music has been the lamentations for the loss of cover art: now, we are reaching the same point with books. I say ephemeralisation rather than digitisation because it’s not just a physical transformation we’re going through, […]
  • Of gays and griots: sexuality, technology and story-telling
    This post is going to talk about sex quite a lot. I’m going to assume you’re all OK with that. For me, technology, literature and sex are all bound up together, and this entanglement can be traced back to a single book: JC Herz’s Surfing on the Internet (Little, Brown; 1994). An exploration of the […]
  • Metronome and Semina: Publishing as artistic practice
    I’ve written about Metronome Press before, in a series of articles at the old STML Litblog in 2005 – 2006. If you recall, the Metronome series commissioned contemporary artists to write novels, presented as much as art pieces or artefacts as well as traditionally published books. At least one of the authors, Tom McCarthy, has […]
  • On Bookmarking, Dog Ears and Marginalia
    I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people recently about how they bookmark stuff. It seems to be on a lot of peoples’ minds as more and more of our reading moves onto screens. So I thought I’d share a few things, and ask for some feedback. Firstly, here’s what I do: I dog-ear […]
  • Maps, Books, Spimes, Paper: Post-Digital Media Design at SXSW
    Ten days ago, at South by South-West Interactive in Austin, Texas, I took part in a panel discussion entitled Maps, Books, Spimes, Paper: Post-Digital Media Design (#mbsp). It was good. One peculiarity of SXSW is that the panels are picked months in advance, long before the participants have come together to actually discuss what they’ll […]
  • SXSW 2010: Fieldnotes
    So, I’m off to the SXSW Interactive festival in a couple of days, where I’ll be going to lots of talks, meeting people, and appearing on a panel. You should come to that if you’re around on Tuesday. It should be fun. The panel’s about post-digital design, or what we could and should be thinking […]
  • Everything Broken, Everything Burned. Or not.
    Tomorrow is T-day. Or iDay. Or whatever. It’ll be fun. Nobody knows *anything* yet. Well, apart from the folks at McGraw-Hill and Hachette, probably Kobo, and a whole host of others. But for the purposes of this discussion: nobody *knows* *anything*. About the Tablet, that is. Because, actually, we know quite a lot. We know […]
  • Vastly more ink
    Quote above from Alex Petridis’ review of the decade in music from Monday’s Guardian. And it strikes me that this is increasingly true of the publishing business too, and perhaps it is something we should be concerned about. My own approach has always been: literature first, technology second. What are the needs of writers and […]
  • The Personal Anthology: Five Dials + Lulu
    I’ve long been a fan of Hamish Hamilton’s Five Dials magazine, an occasional, elegant, high quality and free literary journal – except that I have a huge problem with its attitude. Five Dials is only available as a PDF, intended, say HH, to be “downloaded, printed out and enjoyed (we hope) away from the computer”. […]
  • iPhone Book Concept
    Inspired by the Japanese iPhone/Book mashup that appeared in the Stop Press links recently, I made this rough concept of an in-book mobile app, riffing on ideas of the “enhanced edition“. Imagine if when you got a book, you also got a mobile app that contained the footnotes and index, supporting material and the searchable […]
  • Quietube: A surprise proxy for the Middle East
    Back in March, I launched a little site called Quietube, which is basically a little bookmarklet allowing you to watch YouTube videos without all the comments, ads and so on (original booktwo post is here). Well, it turned out to be very popular, currently edging towards two million views, with a daily average of 10 […]
  • On eBook distribution, and Artistry
    I’m working on a couple of eBook projects, and thinking about distribution. Sales figures are important: in the music world, we’ve already seen the move to recording downloads in addition to physical sales for compiling charts. (Chris Heathcote has some thoughts on the latter, and notes we’re not yet at the per-play stage – c.f. […]
  • Enhanced Editions: Bunny Munro and eBooks for the iPhone
    At the weekend, the fruits of several months of work at Apt finally hit the App Store in the form of Enhanced Editions‘ first title: The Death of Bunny Munro, by Nick Cave. Enhanced Editions ebooks are a different breed to most, as our mission is to work closely with publishers to obtain the best […]
  • All Hail The Book Seer
    In case you don’t read Times Emit (which you obviously should), Apt just released a fun little literary app onto the web that I designed and built: The Book Seer. I wrote about it over at TE (and had a bit of a rant about book data): It’s very simple. It’s just pulling suggestions from […]
  • Josipovici, Rabelais and the Little Room
    For a while now, I’ve been slowly reading my way through the works of Gabriel Josipovici, one of our more interesting contemporary authors, but one little known outside lit crit circles. If you haven’t had the pleasure, go pick up Moo Pak or Goldberg: Variations for a taste. His most recent book, Everything Passes (Carcanet, […]
  • The Jaipur Literary Festival, Part 1 of X: Chetan Bhagat
    As regular readers know, I’m currently in India as part of the British Council’s UK Young Publishing Entrepreneurs scheme. We’ve spent the last few days at the utterly wonderful Jaipur Literary Festival, and while I’ve got some time online I thought I’d write up one of the many talks I attended, and its associated lessons. […]
  • Get Satisfaction
    It’s rare that I out-and-out praise a service, particularly here, but if you’re running any kind of customer-facing service on the web I can’t recommend Get Satisfaction highly enough. In fact, if you’re not using it, you’re doing it wrong: it’s up there in a select set of absolutely essential tools like Google Analytics, Feedburner […]
  • Jocelyn Brooke
    As a little end-of-year project, I’ve just launched, a site dedicated to the life and work of English writer Jocelyn Brooke (1908—1966). I’ve become somewhat obsessed with Brooke in the last few months, and have begun a small campaign to revive his reputation. Brooke’s writing, which clusters in the decades around the Second World […]
  • On Winning and Failing
    FTW (“For The Win”): An enthusiastic emphasis to the end of a comment, message, or post. Sometimes genuine, but often sarcastic. Originated from the game show Hollywood Squares where the result of the player’s response is expected to win the game. [Urban Dictionary] The term ‘Win’ and its antonym ‘Fail’ have outgrown their origin in […]
  • Older Posts →

    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.

    I am also a member of the Really Interesting Group.

    You can follow me on Twitter.

    Speaking Engagements:

    I am available for conferences and other events. For examples, see my talks at Interesting, Playful, South by Southwest, dConstruct and Tools of Change Frankfurt.

    A complete list of talks, with links, is available.