• Samuel Pepys and the POD Diary
    Phil Gyford, who amongst many other things curates the excellent and veritable, is rightfully annoyed at HarperCollins for pulling a bait-and-switch with their print-on-demand reissues: The new volume, again on the right, is much whiter. It’s only when you compare standard books with really white paper that you realise they’re usually a bit yellow, […]
  • A journey through formats: Blair, Hardbacks and Ebooks
    I won’t get into the politics here, because this isn’t the venue, but since the lying, warmongering scum former Prime Minister Tony Blair is all over the news today, I thought I’d look around to see where and how his book is available. A Journey is officially released in hardback today, with the RRP of […]
  • 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 […]
  • Cassava Republic
    This morning, on as wet and dismal a Tuesday as London has to offer, I had the pleasure of meeting Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Jeremy Weate from Cassava Republic. Cassava Republic was founded four years ago in Abuja, Nigeria, with the intention of introducing African readers to local writers too often celebrated only in Europe and […]
  • Words In Progress
    Yesterday I spoke at Words In Progress, an event convened by Hannah Gregory, of Vertigo of the Modern, and Monster Emporium Press. There was much goodness there, from such fine folk as Ambit, CB Editions, antepress, Strange Attractor and Zero Books—the latter represented by Nina Power of Infinite Thought, whose book One Dimensional Woman is […]
  • 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”. […]
  • Frontline Futures and the rebirth of Vinyl
    A couple of weeks ago I took part in a panel at the Frontline Club on the future of publishing. It was an interesting evening, and I spoke alongside Tom Tivnan of the Bookseller and Chris Finnamore, test editor at WIRED. The whole thing’s now online if you’re so inclined: During the talk, one particularly […]
  • Artists’ eBooks
    I’m pleased to announce that Artists’ eBooks, a project first mooted in this post a couple of months ago, is now live at eBooks, as we’ve been saying for some time, have massive potential to revolutionise not only how we read, but what we read. The incorporation of audio and video, the possibilities for […]
  • 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 […]
  • Going Solo; in which there is an announcement, a few observations, and an offer.
    A couple of months ago, I drew this on the back of an envelope: That’s pretty much the best representation I could come up with of what I do. I encompasses all my major projects of the last few years: this site; Bookkake, my print-on-demand, experimental small publisher; bkkeepr, the web app for tracking your […]
  • Amazon turns publisher, finally. Encore!
    Amazon have just announced AmazonEncore: “a new program whereby Amazon will use information such as customer reviews on to identify exceptional, overlooked books and authors with more potential than their sales may indicate.” They’re now a publisher. It’s been a while coming, but some of us have been predicting this move for some time: […]
  • Free; and this parasitical dependence on ritual
    I’ve been thinking about “Free” again, in the context of, well, art. Specifically books of course, but lets look again at some other spheres of free. With all the discussion of what Free means, we haven’t been talking a lot about perfectly viable models of Free that are happening right now. Newspapers and music occur […]
  • 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 […]
  • Bookkake; Or, putting my money where my mouth is
    “How do you make a small fortune in publishing?” “Start with a large fortune.” First of all, I must apologise for over a month’s silence here at I have, as I promised, been working on something, and it’s finally available for inspection. I hope you won’t mind me discussing it here: certain aspects of […]
  • The divided book
    I’ve wanted for some time to create a simple infographic of where a book’s cover price goes, and the Observer published a nice one in their Book of Books a few months ago. The figures made sense, so I’ve created a similar one here, in colour. The Observer’s figures were based on a notional £20 […]
  • 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 […]
  • On publishers and software development
    “The blogosphere has been buzzing since the App Store launched over last weekend with comments about ‘dozy publishers’ who have missed a great opportunity to make their books available on the iPhone. But apart from a few digital PR points scored against competing publishers, there doesn’t seem to me to be any huge value in […]
  • A salute to Michael Stackpole
    So the iPhone 2.0 is here, and with it a slew of reading apps. There are two approaches here: create a standalone ereader that can be used to read ebook files, or create standalone apps for each book. The former is definitely better, and the reader of choice so far appears to be Lexcycle’s Stanza, […]
  • Semina works
    Last night I attended the launch of Semina, a new series of experimental novels from Book Works, at Housmans. The novels are the result of an open call for submissions, and are being selected by series Commissioning Editor Stewart Home. The first two titles in the series, Bridget Penney’s Index, and Maki Kim’s One Break, […]
  • It was terrible, but it was wonderful!
    In 1928, a cartoon character was born. An early Mickey Mouse made his debut in May of that year, in a silent flop called /Plane Crazy/. In November, in New York City’s Colony Theater, in the first widely distributed cartoon synchronized with sound, /Steamboat Willie/ brought to life the character that would become Mickey Mouse. […]
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    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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    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.