Links of Interest

Holiday Hiatus Links of Interest

I’m in France for a week and while there might well be an internet connection, there will be better things to do than post (hopefully).

Here are a few thoughts while I’m away
Some out of print issues cropping up again. The Bookseller has a piece on it here.
Laurence Orbach pours cold water on digital community building, rightly I half think, here.
If Waterstones is stocking the sony e-reader in the UK, does that mean I can get one here?

So I’ll be back in early August.
Eoin

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 6/04/2008

Eoin Purcell

More from the guardian on the Weidenfeld & Nicolson story I wrote about before
Here

The Irish Independent comments on the shortlists for childrens literature prizes (i disagree in places, no doubt it will be clear where)
Here

The hype surrounding Robert Miller’s coming imprint and the reality (Judge which is which for yourselves)
Here and Here

An interesting little rant on the current status of some hallowed Company/Imprint names
Here

Liking time
Eoin

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 22/01/2008

Walmart hits magazine publishers with a bit of a whammy.
Here

Nice post from Lessig on ideas and the future.
Here

Blurb seems to be rocking the self publishing boat pretty impressively.
Here

How cool are Flickr and the Library of Congress? I wish our own museums and libraries had such an approach.
Here

I’m testing out how well Google Docs works for posting to WordPress. So if this is a little dodgy pray allow some leeway!
Eoin

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 19/01/2008

Eoin Purcell

The video is relevant but more on that below:

I don’t know how I missed this but The Editor’s Corner at The Book Depository has a wonderful interview with one of my favourite History writer: Ian Mortimer. Pick of the words (though I’d like to write more later on some of the great lines to do with keeping non-fiction relevant for 40 years):

How could I not grow to like a man who was trilingual, literate, who read history, was the greatest jousting champion the royal family ever produced, travelled further than any other English monarch before the twentieth century, who was politically tolerant (for the middle ages) and who was faithful and dutiful to both his wives. Who used cotton for toilet paper, who had the first known chamber stool and perhaps the first portable clock, who was a ‘sparkling’ musician, and designed his own cannon.

Here

If their recent video hadn’t taught you some respect for Snowbooks then go and read their application for the IPA innovation of the year prize. It’s in a natty PDF download and would be worth reading for the style even if the contents were pants which, I stress, they are not.

Here

Oh no, here we go again. If The Australian is to be believed Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone might be a long tall tale! I wonder if it matters for this one? Seems like a terribly worthy book one way or the other but let’s see what comes of it! [Thanks to PND for linking to this one]

Here

Planning for 2008

Eoin Purcell

Overambitious

So I foolishly announced that I would lay out a plan for blogging in 2008 in response to Bloglily’s tag. Thinking it over it sure offers a challenge. Such a big challenge and the world being so terribly random and unpredictable* that I think I made a foolish promise. So I need to do something else. If I cannot predict the blogging year, I can at least offer some thoughts on what I see playing a role in my year ahead and about which I will probably be writing a great deal.

1) Digital projects & technology

- In the next few weeks Mercier Press will be launching one of its first major digital efforts. I’m not going to talk too much about it right now but the basic idea will be to capture digital content online and take that into print. It is an experiment for us and I can see the short term element proving to be a successful precursor to a much longer term goal for us.

- What is more, 2008 sees the start of something very exciting for Mercier. We will be launching our first blog to book product. The wonderful Murphy’s brothers from Murphy’s Ice Cream will launch a book that build on their blog Ice Cream Ireland and offers all Irish ice cream lovers what is going to be a very beautiful book. There will be more of these types of books in the future (not just from Mercier) as blogging makes real talent more visible and findable on the web.**

- These are not the only reasons I think this area will be a huge part of my year in 2008. If you have been following the links both on the blog and on my linkblog at Google Reader ***, you will have seen that these issues are looming large in my thoughts. If you fail to be inspired by these I suggest you check out a few of Snowbooks videos on using Onix data to make life easy. that ought to bring the point home forcefully.

- Mercier have just started the process of moving to an integrated system (Using Anko’s Publishing Manager). it will be tricky as so much of our legacy information is in people’s head and not digital systems, but once we have finished the process we will be in a great place to make much better use of all our content.

- And then there is this, e4Books, which will probably be honoured more in the missing of the target than in the achieving it.

2) Books: reading & commissioning

- Ha, I’ll bet you saw that one coming! The To Be read pile is now insane. Though again I’m feeling a little better about that (thanks NTT). I do try. I read a good few books this year but not nearly as many as I had hoped (closer to 60 than the 100 I had planned). Spending too much time online and reading for work perhaps.

- Of course the other aspect of books will be the process of publishing and building the list here at Mercier. 2008 is now more or less to bed and it is time to get cracking on commissioning 2009. It is nice to be in a more relaxed place with this commissioning but I am conscious still that the competition is hotting up in Ireland with the arrival of an Irish based Transworld office. This side will definitely make for an exciting year.

- And while we are on the subject of books, I need to mention that Litlove has just published one, The Best of Tales From The Reading Room (you can buy it here). A collection of her very, very fine essays from her excellent blog: Tales From The Reading Room.

3) Events & Trends: the unpredictable

- Who knows what will happen to prompt a blog post. Sometimes I have been inconsistent in covering topics here and I have no doubt that will continue. One area I know I have yet to really write much on is the effect that the iPhone is having on the world of mobile devices and online reading. Apple’s OS X has taken a lump of market share in this space very rapidly implying firstly that iPhone users browse the web more than the users of other smart phone/mobile computers and also that consumers are not put off by mobile internet they just want it to be user friendly.

- Here is a list of words that I suspect (but with no real level of confidence) that we will see much more about this year: Onix, Community, Digital Publishing, Online Reading, Ebooks, widgets, content, micro-chunking, CS 3, XML. Of them, for publishers I think XML is going to be the big one! But Community will be too. Just check out Authonomy and see what I mean.

So there you go BL. I hope that my lack of planning is up to scratch.
Pleased with the outcome
Eoin

* And my reading of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan is sure not helping me remain confident of my ability to predicate anything reliably, though it is making me much more comfortable with that. More of that soon when I finish the book and process my thoughts.

** Hint! Hint! Authors, start blogging if you don’t already!

*** Who also have a shared items page which I find a it confusing.

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 02/01/2008

Author beta tests a book on Amazon:
Story Here, link Here

Reporting On is Ryan Sholin’s project. I like the sound of it.
Here

Scott Karp tries to lay out a route map for changing your old media firm into a new media one, interesting.
Here

LibraryThing finishes adding Thomas Jeffersons library.
Blog post Here and library Here

Damn its cold
Eoin