Categories
examples inspiration making

James Bridle: Bookcubes and bookleteer API


A set of Bookcubes generated using the bookleteer API

James Bridle of booktwo.org was one of the participants at the Pitch Up and Publish: Augmented Reading a couple of weeks ago, and he talked a little about the idea of books as symbols and the related BookCube project he’d done using the bookleteer API.

Here, I’ll just give a summary of the project. James has written a post on booktwo.org describing the project which I really recommend you to read because it’s seriously interesting and covers more topics than I describe here…

James started with the idea that the lifespan of a book looks something like the drawing in the image above. There is a short period of the book-as-object acting as it’s own advertisement, then a period of time where you are reading the book and taking in the content, then during the final, and longest, amount of time the book-as-object acts as a souvenir of the reading period.

James has already begun to address the idea of digital souvenirs for eBooks with his bkkeepr project and with the bookleteer API he extended this to create automatically generated Bookcubes. These cubes display the information collected by bkkeepr and includes an image of the book cover. Over time James imagines the Bookcubes to build up on your shelf as a visible and tangible souvenir of your eBook reading. For bookleteer, this is an interesting tangent – instead of being an object to read it becomes an object that marks the fact that reading has taken place – and the content becomes separated from the form.

Categories
help & guides publishing on demand

bookleteer user guides

pitchupandpublish

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.

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eBook formats Classic Portrait and Classic Landscape

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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!

Categories
publishing on demand

bookleteering is go!

As of Monday 28th September 2009 we have a working ‘alpha’ version of bookleteer deployed on our production server. Over the next few months we will be refining the user interface, developing contextual help and user guides and workflows for how to prepare files for upload. There’s also much work to be done on site functionality and some new shareable formats we’ll be introducing for the first time. We’ll also be testing and tweaking the API to be able to offer eBook and StoryCube generation to other websites and organisations.

Its been a long road to get this far and the way ahead seems yet more daunting, but its a hugely exciting leap forwards. The future begins now.

Our vague timeline is:
Sept 2009 to January 2010 – ‘alpha’ testing
January 2010 – ‘beta’ testing
Spring 2010 – launch of bookleteer

A big thanks is due to the team who’ve brought this to fruition: Stefan Kueppers (technical direction), Simon WhitesideYasir Assam (coding); Paul Makepeace (sys admin) and Carmen Vela Maldonado (illustration).