PubML - Styles ‹ Jason Davis — WordPress

More tools to make and read ebooks

I thought I’d lump news of a couple of items together for this post – two new tools for ebooks. One that will help Australian ebook readers, and one that could potentially be a game-changer in self-publishing more broadly.

The first – after Amazon released its Australian Kindle store  in November last year, now those without a Kindle (or the various smartphone apps) will now be able to use its Cloud Reader web app in conjunction with the Australian Kindle store. Lifehacker AU explains here.

Its a small improvement, but given how low on the priority list AU seems to be for ebooks, I’ll take it. I see this as most useful for older readers who don’t want to invest in a Kindle and aren’t comfortable reading on their phone/tablet. They can now turn to their PC without messing with country settings to access

PubML - My Books ‹ Jason Davis — WordPress


The second piece of technology could make a much bigger impact on ebooks worldwide. It has that kind of potential.

A developer in the States called David Bricker has developed a self-pub platform that allows folks to create interactive ebooks (or the regular sort, should you so desire) that they can sell and distribute freely on the web. They’re bilt with HTML so they can be read on any web-ready device.

Dave’s even created his own ebook standard format – <PubML>™ – that brings interactive ebooks closely in line with standard HTML5. What does all that mean? It means cool interactive websites = ebooks in Dave’s brave new world. 

I’m not sure if his format will stick, but he’s widely made his software also spit out ePub-format books as well. Champion.
So what magical software stack houses all this coolness? It’s all available as a WordPress plugin. Yup, you can write, format, add interactive content and publish it straight from the WordPress backend. Then I guess you could blog about it too!
Sooo, since WordPress runs 12% of the world’s websites … you get the idea.
It’ll cost $100 for the ability to compile and sell books, but anyone can create, edit and play with it for free (which is what I’m doing right now. It’s pretty awesome). Actually, I just fronted $80 (it’s discounted in the beta period) to sign up, and it’s pretty nice – even in its raw, quivering beta form. The paid version gives you page-preview through the whole book. It’s nice too!
I can see myself writing books straight in WordPress, adjusting the layout and – BAM – I either export to ePub for the various stores, or I sell in-situ. Sweet.
Check it out here, and I’d encourage you to get in while the price is lower. The WP plugin is free to download and try (you can’t preview or export, but you can create and play), but I’ve put some screenshots anyway.
Posted in resources, writing tools.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for your post, Jason. Just to chime in, the “raw quivering beta state” is the result of months of intense testing, but when you make something idiot-proof, the world always builds a better idiot. Whether you’re a tiny developer or a massive software conglomerate, someone invariably stumbles into something you overlooked. I think the PubML platform is pretty solid but figured I’d give users some time and a discount incentive to prove me wrong. That said, another fantastic thing about WordPress as a platform is that I can push updates to all my users as often as needed. Watch for some minor bug fixes in the next day or so.

    Comments and questions are welcome.

    Thank you,

    Dave Bricker

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