Recently I came across Smallpdf – a web service dedicated to all things PDF. They have a range of services which simplify creating PDFs, extracting them, manipulating them and compressing them. The service is free and very fast – and a worthy companion for anyone who struggles with compressing PDF files to a small size (without degrading image quality for print), merging PDF documents or extracting PDF pages. It has a very simple menu, doing what it says on the tin. Highly recommended for all bookleteers out there.
As part of the indigenous public authoring / TEK (traditional environmental & cultural knowledge) project I am working on with anthropologist James Leach in Papua New Guinea we have created a simple 1 page poster of folding instructions for making up bookleteer/diffusion books in English and Tok Pisin. Thanks to Porer Nombo and Rembi Yemui of Reite village, Rai Coast, who helped with the description, translation and localised spelling.
Download it here (A4 670Kb)
During our recent pop up publishing workshops I was able to observe that one of the most common tricky aspects of using bookleteer for new members was remembering the steps for setting up a new document to create the ‘Content PDF’ to upload. I’ve now put together a very simple crib sheet for users to download to remind them how.
Click here to download it as a PDF.
Recently, we’ve discovered a very, very simple way of making your own cardboard, hard-wearing StoryCubes, using only:
- A free bookleteer account
If you haven’t signed up for a free bookleteer account yet, do so here.
- A4 single label paper, suitable for Inkjet or Laserjet printers
Full sheet label paper, available from any decent stationers (Avery code: DSP01).
- Blank StoryCubes
Read about StoryCubes, and order blank packs here.
Firstly, design your StoryCube.
Sign into bookleteer. If you’re a new user, read the help page.
Select Generate StoryCube and download the file, from the top right corner of the screen.
Next, print and make.
Print using the label paper, and cut around around only the faces of the cube, not the tabs – it should look a crucifix (You can also protect your cube by using adhesive cellophane, by affixing a layer on top of the label sheet, then cutting out).
You can even use this method to make your own A3 size StoryCubes, without even owning an A3 printer.
Simply crop the A3 cube PDF into two documents, so that it can be printed across two sheets of A4 paper.
Then, cut out the two segments as shown, to form a two-part crucifix shape.
If any bookleteers discover more clever ways to make StoryCubes, do share!
We’ve updated the help page to reflect questions arising from the new features and services we introduced last week. Please refer to it for information on the differences between designs, page sizes, image dimensions and ordering. Do please give us feedback (via this blog, our twitter account or by email) if you have further questions or queries.
We’ve recently posted some new videos demonstrating how to fold, cut and make up the 4 different types of Diffusion eBooks that can be made using bookleteer:
Giles asked me to help put together some user guides for bookleteer so I took the opportunity of the first Pitch Up and Publish event to see how people went about using bookleteer and to ask them the kinds of problems they encountered. Having worked with the original Diffusion Generator it was really satisfying to see how far the new bookleteer version has come in making the process of creating an eBook or StoryCube an intuitive one.
During the event I took notes on Giles’ introduction on how to use bookleteer and noted down the questions asked by participants. These are the basis of the help guide and faq on bookleteer that you can see when you login to bookleteer.com.
Currently, the user guide describes how to create an eBook in one of the four available formats (shown below). A guide to making StoryCubes will be added soon.
eBook formats Classic Portrait and Classic Landscape
eBook formats Book Portrait and Book Landscape
In the future we plan to add more detail to the help section and divide the user guides and faq into separate pages. If you have any comments on the usefulness of these guides, or how we could make them more relevant to you, or if you’ve had any difficulties in using bookleteer that we haven’t covered, please do get in touch and let us know..
And don’t forget Pitch Up & Publish 2 tomorrow night!