In the Press: bys, abouts, mentions...

Please send all inquiries to holladay [at] futureofthebook [dot] org


  • Blogging, to make a print text better, Jessica Bell, The Daily Pennsylvanian, February 14, 2008

    Wardrip-Fruin, however, said a problem with the traditional process is that only two or three people generally edit manuscripts before they go to press. "If one person says they found a section a problem, it's hard to know how much weight to give it," Wardrip-Fruin said. "Does it only bother them, or everyone else?" Using CommentPress, a tool developed by The Institute for the Future of the Book, Grand Text Auto readers can add online notes to the manuscript.
  • The Death of Reading, Continued..., Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times, "Paper Cuts" blog, January 25, 2008

    At the blog if:book, organized by the Institute for the Future of the Book, the scholar Nancy Kaplan accuses the N.E.A. of “misreading” its own data.
  • Professor uses blog to get peer review of academic book, Heather Havenstein, Computerworld, January 23, 2008

    A professor working on a book about digital fiction and video games has launched what some are calling the first blog-based peer-review process for an academic book.
  • Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better, Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 22, 2008

    He expects the blog-based review to be more helpful than the traditional peer review because of the variety of voices contributing. "I am dead certain it will make the book better," he says.


  • How Reading Is Being Reimagined, Matthew Kirschenbaum, The Chronicle of Higher Education (as syndicated in The Australian), December 7, 2007

    But there is a spectrum of writing online, just as there is a spectrum of reading, and more and more applications blur the line between the two.

    Many electronic book interfaces allow users to annotate their texts, for example; some allow users to share those notes and annotations with others (CommentPress, from the Institute for the Future of the Book, is exemplary in this regard...
  • The Future of Reading, Steven Levy, Newsweek, November 26, 2007

    Stein sees larger implications for authors—some of them sobering for traditionalists. "Here's what I don't know," he says. "What happens to the idea of a writer going off to a quiet place, ingesting information and synthesizing that into 300 pages of content that's uniquely his?"
  • CommentPress: New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, The Journal of Electronic Publishing, Fall 2007

    CommentPress grows out of an understanding that the chief problem involved in creating the future of the book is not simply placing the words on the screen, but structuring their delivery in an engaging manner; the issue of engagement, moreover, is not simply about locating the text within the technological network, but also, and primarily, about locating it within the social network.
  • Google: What Goes on Behind the Curtain? (interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan on The Googlization of Everything), Wendy Melillo, Adweek, October 15, 2007

    What I am after here is instant peer review. I want the readers of the blog to give me instant feedback and corrections on the claims I am making as I propose them. When I am all done with the manuscript, I want to have confidence that most of my claims and assessments have been tested among a very informed public. I am not allowing readers to alter my text. I am allowing them to comment on my text and argue with each other about the direction I am going in.
  • Marginally Better: Software Uses Side notes to turn Books into Discussions (PDF), Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 28, 2007

    With CommentPress, released in July by the Institute for the Future of the Book, designers have endeavored to help digital books capture the immediacy and interactivity of the margin note.
  • The Advantages of Amnesia, Jessica Winter, The Boston Globe, September 23, 2007

    From the Internet to the iPod, technology is bringing rapid advances in memory. What society needs now are new ways to forget.... 'Consumers of Internet-based services do need to press for more humane uses of data retention.'
  • Will E-Books Get Lost in Translation?, Wendy Melillo, Adweek, September 17, 2007

    'I see little evidence that the industry is actually trying to develop new forms and experiences that take the electronic environment fully into account, or that they are engaging in any serious way with younger people who have grown up with the new technology and could handle something more sophisticated than digital facsimiles of print texts.'
  • University presses being left behind by digital era, John Timmer, Ars Technica, August 24, 2007

    The [Ithaka] report's release came on the same day that The Institute for the Future of the Book released a WordPress extension called CommentPress that allows users to post inline comments on web documents....the University of Michigan's publishing office used CommentPress to put the Ithaka report online.
  • CommentPress 1.0 released, Peter Brantley, O'Reilly Radar, July 25, 2007

    In a potentially significant evolution in blogging architecture, the Institute for the Future of the Book has released CommentPress 1.0, a WordPress plug-in. This innovation might well help drive the software infrastructure necessary to produce long-form documents through interactive authoring and editing.
  • Creative Crowdwriting: The Open Book, Kristin Gorski, Wired, July 9, 2007

    McKenzie Wark, Associate Professor of Cultural and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College and the New School for Social Research, crowdsourced the first version of his recently released social commentary, "Gamer Theory"..."It's extremely helpful to have a small number of good-quality discussions, where you can have a conversation" about the book's content, Wark said in an interview.
  • Injecting Life Into the Ebook: Adobe Digital Editions 1.0 Released, Karie Kirkpatrick, Info Today, July 2, 2007

    However, the if:book blog are concerned that Digital Editions, with its DRM capabilities and the user’s expense of having to upgrade to InDesign CS3 and purchase a pricey device such as Sony Reader, benefits the publisher much more than the consumer.
  • No Pain, No Game(space), Laura Stokes, The Brooklyn Rail, June 2007

    Before Gamer Theory, there was GAM3R 7H30RY, McKenzie Wark’s online experiment which reverses the traditional publishing algorithm: public scrutiny before publication. Hosted by the Institute for the Future of the Book, the site allows readers to comment on the manuscript as a way of refining its ideas. Wark’s original text appears on-screen in a cascading series of numbered index cards, while reader comments hover alongside, creating an interesting call-and-response style experience.
  • Ride the Shuffle: The Institute for the Future of the Book, Buzz Poole, The Millions, June 13, 2007

    In the realm of publishing...the concerns and campaigns are geared to getting better at selling books, not to how the very nature of books is, and has been, changing for years. The Institute for the Future of the Book is on the bleeding edge of this evolution.
  • Gamer Theory, Vince Carducci, Popmatters, June 5, 2007

    Gamer Theory started out a little over a year ago as an experiment in online authorship under the auspices of the Institute for the Future of the Book, a project of Bob Stein, creator of some of the earliest electronic books....More dynamic than a blog but not quite as free-form as a wiki, GAM3R 7H3ORY 1.1 incorporated the deconstruction of its own authorial voice as part of its development.
  • A Rough Start for the Wiki Novel, John Ness, Newsweek, March 5, 2007

    Web-friendly authors had already embraced the notion of wiki-editing. Last year McKenzie Wark, author of "Gamer Theory," a book about videogame culture due out in April, placed a draft of "Gamer" on the Web site for the Institute for the Future of the Book, in Brooklyn, New York. Hundreds of devoted gamers critiqued the draft and provided anecdotes, arguments and feedback. Only after incorporating their criticisms did Wark and his Harvard University Press editor give the book a final edit and send it off to the printer.
  • "The Future of Books," Jessica Winter, Time Out London , February 27, 2007

    "The Institute for the Future of the Book is less interested in hardware prognostications and more in fostering...‘the social life of books’ – a virtual space where books can spontaneously interact with each other and develop through online collaboration."


  • "The Networked Book," Ben Vershbow, Forbes, December 1, 2006

    "’s not the screens that are driving the change, it’s the network that those screens are hooked up to. If we care about the future of books--and I mean the sort of sustained, complex communication that historically has been the province of books--then we're going to need some new ideas."
  • "The Book as Place," Paula Berinstein, Searcher Magazine (Information Today, Inc.), November/December 2006

    "...a networked book is many things: a hub, a facilitator, a lively entity that brings people together to discuss and experiment. It’s both process and product. And it’s organic, changing size, shape, texture — even its nature — over time."
  • Creative Commons featured artists, tools, and works: McKenzie Wark, interviewed by Margot Kaminski, October 2006

    "'What the networked book needs, however, is new tools, new conventions, new economies. That’s where GAM3R 7H30RY and experiments like it are interesting. It’s about reinventing the connective tissue between books, across space and time, and between different kinds of reader. It’s about making an end-run around monopolies of knowledge and culture.'"
  • "The online book: team authors, and it's never finished," Ben Arnoldy, The Christian Science Monitor, October 20, 2006

    "'The skills of an editor are not going to become unimportant; it's just that it is possible that the few hundred editors that work in publishing in New York City may not be the only people who have really good opinions about what's worthwhile in the world....'"
  • "Journal Nature Opens Peer-Review Process To Comments Online," Nicholas Zamiska, The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2006 (subscription required)

    "'Obviously, Nature's editors have read the writing on the wall [and] grasped that the locus of scientific discourse is shifting from the pages of journals to a broader online conversation....'"
  • "Boundless Possibilities," Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2006 (subscription required)

    "As 'networked' books start to appear, consumers, publishers and authors get a glimpse of publishing to come."
  • "Wikimonographs," Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education (cover story) -- July 28, 2006

    "A small band of researchers, working in a Brooklyn row house, is devising big plans for the future of scholarly books and academic publishing."
  • "Writing in Public," (on GAM3R 7H30RY) Holly Willis, LA Weekly -- July 5, 2006

    "Stein calls the new form a 'networked book.' Wark, jokingly, calls it career suicide. In either case, together they're inventing new ways to write that accommodate both new ways of reading and a culture that is busy rethinking ideas of creativity, collaboration and commodities."
  • "Edit Me," (on GAM3R 7H30RY) Julian Dibbell, The Village Voice -- June 6, 2006

    "Not since Steal This Book has a book's radical packaging so threatened to upstage its radical content."
  • "The Book is Reading You," Ben Vershbow, Publisher's Weekly -- June 5, 2006

    "Amid fears of piracy, publishers' instinct is to lock down e-books in proprietary formats and protective enclosures, cutting them off from the complex links and social interactions that make the Net so rich."
  • "The Social Life of Books," Andrew Richard Albanese, Library Journal (cover story) -- May 15, 2006

    "Megacompanies like Google and have grabbed the headlines with their programs to sell book content. But tucked away in a quiet corner of Brooklyn, a small band of big thinkers is plotting the book's true destiny."


  • This Spartan Life: A Talk Show in Game Space - July, 2005 - Episode 1 (interview with Bob Stein - click image to view)


  • "Judging a Book by Its Contents," Ryan Singel, Wired News -- May 5, 2005

    "Benjamin Vershbow, a researcher at the Institute for the Future of the Book, sees Amazon's SIPs as an automated version of tagging, a concept that fuels sites like, a bookmark-sharing site, and photo-sharing site Flickr. Both rely heavily on users attaching descriptive names to websites or photos so others can discover them."
  • "Books Unbound," Bob Stein, Learn NSDL -- November, 2005

    "...On the computer screen was a beautifully designed text and photo of the underside of an automobile. It looked like a page in a book. But when I touched the photo, it turned into a video explaining how to loosen the oil pan. It was the eureka moment. I had seen the book of the future."