I guess this is a good idea — I’m a little uncertain, and would prefer to try it out before deciding. Book Drum provides a wiki where Tom, Dick and Harry can add stuff to any preexisiting book — annotations, pictures, maps, videos etc. etc. This means, I suppose, that you have to put up with whatever Tom, Dick and Harry may throw at you. They seem to have two books available in annotated Kindle editions. I guess the others involve you in keeping two files open at once. FutureBook, The Bookseller blog, brings us this story about it. But Book Drum’s co-founder Hector Macdonald has moved on from that place to something called Advance Editions, where you can participate in forming the book. The main hope is that people in the know will correct factual errors in new books like the example he gives of Daniel Defoe having the naked Crusoe fill his pockets with shipwreck loot.

Publishing Perspectives has a story of a similar initiative by Stephen Fry and Penguin books, though it doesn’t contain a link to take eager participants to the coal face. This can be found at Yourfry.com. I suppose Penguin and Fry are pretty much onto a win-win here. Yes there may be a few who end up satisfied with the free download alone, but I imagine you’d only do the download and participate in the group-edit if you were a fan of Fry’s; and if you’re a fan, you’ll probably want to go on to buy the whole thing. Your editing suggestions are probably not going to lead anywhere, but if some brilliant idea comes up that’s money in the bank. The only cost is the time of the intern who gets to go through any suggestions.

Amazon, unsurprisingly, is also getting into the act The Digital Reader and Brave New World disclose.

Slightly different, true, but this Guardian story contains the news that this year’s Booker list contains its first crowdfunded book, Paul Kingsnorth: The Wake. This book just won the Gordon Burn Prize.