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The Book

This is Not a Book. Finally.

Craig Mod wrote in 2011 that ‘the essence of digital’s effect on publishing requires a subtle shift towards the query: “How does digital change books?”’. Mod’s essay: ‘Post Artifact Books & Publishing’ examines how to address that question in light of the potential of non-analogue (to be as inclusive as possible) systems to impact the way we write and publish.

Baldur and I wrote this book fully aware of how simply and effectively that essay sets out the landscape. We wrote it in public – the text was hosted on penflip and extracts were published as blog posts, as short and longer pieces, as essays and as tweets, lectures and talks. We iterated chapters, and changed things (there’s at least one thing that needs to be changed as of last week, given that Faber have finally released Arcadia) as the whole thing began to make some collective sense.

We threw together most of a first draft of it 2013 for an academic publisher, and then decided they couldn’t have it and took it back. There were many reasons, and most of them had nothing to do with money. Some of them are alluded to in this version of the book.

Late in 2014, my employer gave me a day a week to finish writing it (for which this is a public thanks), Baldur was working for Unbound, and we decided that it was about time this was done. A year later, and while it isn’t done, it is in a shape that we think can be read and that makes a sustained argument.

It also has a title. This edition of the text is called ‘This is not a book’. Although if there’s ever a print edition, it’ll be called something else.
You should start with the Introduction and work from there. There is a site map, although the whole thing has been written to be read from within each page.
It is incomplete, and will be added to over the coming months. There are two chapters that are unwritten so far (that we know about) and probably more. There are also case studies of works that we think are either important to the whole project, or are deserving of a fuller description. We haven’t included them yet, but they’ll be the first major addition to the site.

And there’s a newsletter. We’ll shout through the usual channels about updates, but please sign up if that’s your thing. We want this to be a conversation too; we’ll gather stuff in the newsletter that we think is worth sharing, but please send us things. Tell us what we’ve missed, and point out what we don’t know.

There’ll be something else too. In a week or so.


Tom (& Baldur)

Two things:
1. The link to the book. In case you missed it: http://thisisnotabook.baldurbjarnason.com/
2. Baldur’s introduction to the project. It’s not the same as mine: https://www.baldurbjarnason.com/notes/launching-thisisnotabook/


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