News, updates, and the Icelandic book market

I’ve been mouthing off all over the place over the last few days, as usual.

I’ve been trying to convince my sister to blog here but she’s suffering a bit of blog anxiety.

One of the subjects she wants to blog about is one she cannot believe anybody would be interested in. The conversation went roughly as follows (translating and paraphrasing from Icelandic, of course):

Jenný: I’d like to blog about the Icelandic book market. There are a few books coming out that have unusually good covers. I’d also like to write about some of the weird and quirky books that are published here on a regular basis. And there are a few really interesting reissues of historically important Icelandic books that I think I could blog about. Do you think anybody would be interested?

Me: Awesome!

She: Does that mean you think people would be interested?

Me: Would they? Of course. Book geeks love hearing about that sort of thing. Hell, I’d love to read those posts.


Jenný remained sceptical.

My sister works in the Icelandic book industry and has a front row seat for observing the Icelandic Christmas book season. I can’t think of anybody more qualified to comment on it than her.

And I’m pretty sure that updates, weirdness, and stuff about the unique Icelandic book market would make for great blog posts. So, am I right or am I wrong? What do you guys think?

What I’ve been up to

I’ve been quite busy over the last couple of weeks. Some of it may interest you.

I wrote up a long post over on baldurbjarnason.com called ‘Is it safe?’ on some of the issues currently facing web and ebook development, especially focusing on the spiralling complexity.

Then I told the world about some of the things I’ve learned while setting up Studio Tendra, namely that all ebook publishing platforms are a joke

This was followed by a trip to the Frankfurt Bookfair and a talk at Tools of Change Frankfurt. The talk was on design and readability in ebooks. Presenting the talk with me was the fantastic Dan Rhatigan of Monotype Imaging, whose knowledge of type and typography is awe-inspiring.

One of the announcements at Frankfurt was that of Bookshout’s Importer where they ask you for your Amazon account details and password and try and import all of your Amazon books into Bookshout’s reader. I explained why this is an incredibly bad idea. Read my responses in the comments as well. Asking the reader for these details is never acceptable.

Finally, this week I posted a Design Features Grid from my Frankfurt talk with some explanatory notes. You can see the grid here and read the notes here.

This one’s older but still relevant. The first children’s book that my sister (Brynhildur Jenný Bjarnadóttir, the other half of Studio Tendra) illustrated has been adapted into an interactive children’s book app. Intended for young children. My sister is a little bit embarrassed by this early work, and I’m not the target audience so can’t judge, but it seems to be getting good reviews. Go have a look at Perky Pranksters.

The comment-fiction challenge is continuing apace as well. I’m up to chapter 32 and have a few more to upload later today.

::looks up at the post::

Sheesh. That’s more than a little bit, isn’t it?

What have you been up to? Feel free to tell me in the comments.