• 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”. […]
  • Vanity Press Plus: The Tweetbook
    Well, someone had to do it, and I think I’m the first. I’ve archived my first two years of twittering to a hardback book. (For those of you who don’t get Twitter, and those who are just bored by it’s sudden, seeming ubiquity: move along. Nothing to see here.) → The full photoset is here. […]
  • 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 […]
  • Faber Finds & the new business of POD
    Faber Finds is the new print-on-demand (POD) offering from Faber. It’s a classics list made up of old Faber titles, with the intention (I believe) of extending to a wider range of ‘forgotten classics’. Slowly, the larger publishers are coming round to the view that much smaller publishers (such as Salt) have had for a […]
  • We suspect this manoeuvre
    If you’ve not been keeping up, Amazon is making a massive and highly controversial land-grab for POD and the long tail of publishing. More info here. As this is a very big issue indeed, and no worthy body on this side of the pond seems to be making a fuss, I’m only too happy to […]
  • POD: Why it’s a good thing
    After the recent, ongoing hullabaloo over Amazon’s attempts to monopolise the print-on-demand market, I thought I’d point to some interesting uses of POD that might change some peoples’ perceptions of the technology, and show it’s not all vanity presses and Lulu photobooks. First up is, a project by book geek and hacker Yakov Shafranovich, […]
  • Amazon’s POD monopoly
    I wanted to post this quickly, before it gets lost in the weekend. Authors and publishers who use Print-On-Demand printers in the US have recently been hearing that Amazon will only continue to carry their works if they switch to Amazon’s own POD property, BookSurge. WritersWeekly has the full story. This is a pretty big […]
  • DIY: Classic Notebooks
    The Great Escape cover above, designed by Abram Games for Penguin in 1951, is one of my all-time favourites. And when, Moleskined-out, I needed a new notebook, it sprung to mind. So here’s what I did. I scanned in the cover, and created a dummy edition, complete with 200 blank, numbered pages, which I had […]
  • Printing the Obvious
    So, what a surprise. Amazon has announced that it’s starting a Lulu-type POD system, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CreateSpace, which has been churning out self-published CDs and DVDs for several years now. The difference to Lulu being that products of said service will be searchable and buyable through the mighty, making them much more […]
  • Bookmobile: Books everywhere
    One of the subjects touched on in the fascinating talk by Brewster Kahle which I linked to yesterday was the Bookmobile, an on-demand books service in the back of a van connected to the Internet Archive’s hundreds of thousands of free, digitised texts. The set-up, which cost around $15,000 including the car (breakdown below, no […]
  • Digital Print World
    Our spy at the recent Digital Print World expo at London’s Earl’s Court reports that Canon was displaying a new set-up they call “One Book” – a digital printer combined with a perfect binding machine. The system requires the addition of a separate colour/litho printer for the covers, which are then fed into main set-up, […]
  • The Times they are…
    In Sunday’s Times, Bryan Appleyard wrote about the future of books. It’s a great article and deserves to be read in its entirety, but since we’re here we’ll note the key points, which are tantamount to articles of faith around these parts: “Over the past decade, power in the book industry has drained away from […]
  • Epstein on the future of books
    The latest New York Review of Books, a special edition of which is produced for the book fair, carries an article by Jason Epstein, venerable founder of the NYRB and husband of crusading refusenik Judith Miller, entitled Books@Google (it´s also available online). A flavour of Epstein´s wonderful prose can be found in the following analysis […]
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