June 20% Discount on Short Run Printing

To celebrate the launch of bookreader, we’re offering a special 20% discount off Short Run Printing orders this month (June 2011). Check out prices on the estimator & use code : BKLTR0611-20 when ordering.
(This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts).

Happy Bookleteering!

news updates & improvements

Short Run Printing Price Estimator

You can now estimate prices for eBooks and StoryCubes on the PPOD page using the estimator to select size of eBooks (A6 or A5) or StoryCube (A4 or A3), number of pages, quantity of copies and shipping destination (UK / European Union / North America / Rest of World).

Both eBooks and StoryCubes can now be ordered in multiples of 50 (from 50 to 500, then 750, 1000, 1500, 2000 etc). eBooks are printed as soon as payment is received, turnaround from 5-15 days depending on the shipping destination; StoryCubes are printed in batches of 1,000 – orders will be added to a batch and will go to press as soon as a batch hits 1000 cubes.

We believe that we offer some of the most competitive prices for full colour printing of booklets, coupled with our ground-breaking short run service enabling you to print from just 50 copies. Plus the unique Diffusion eBook & StoryCube formats allowing your publications to be downloaded and handmade by anyone anywhere. It all adds up to a remarkably flexible way to create and share both online and off.

If you haven’t already got an account, sign up and get bookleteering.

case study education inspiration publishing on demand sharing

Report from the field: eBooks in Sudan

A report by Julie Anderson, British Museum
In January, I returned from Sudan where my co-author Salah Mohamed and I distributed the eBook we produced last autumn. Frederik Lesage has previously written about the development of our eBook, which deals with the archaeological excavations conducted in Dangeil, Sudan, as a case study for eBook usage, in this blog.

students on their way to school

Salah and I have been excavating in Dangeil for more than 10 years. Over this period, we have lived in the community and have come to know our neighbours well. Every year many work with us in the excavations. The archaeological site is situated in the centre of the village and an increasing number of tourists, both Sudanese and foreigners, are visiting the ruins. There is also a large primary school situated along the northern edge of the site. Students cross the site daily on their way to and from classes. As a means of engaging further with the local community, school children and site visitors, we decided to create a resource which would help them to better understand the excavations, the ancient temple and its importance, and to place Dangeil in its historical context. We were also driven by a need to explain what we were doing and why, in an accessible fashion. The key was communication and the end result was the eBook.

So, what sort of reaction did the eBook receive? Simply put, its reception, both in Khartoum and in the rural farming village of Dangeil, exceeded expectations. We produced 500 English copies and 500 in Arabic, the local language. We ran out of the latter. In retrospect, we should have produced a greater number of copies in Arabic. Copies were given to the local school and arrangements were made so that every household in the village received a copy.

Unloading eBooks and textbooks at the school

Following the distribution of the eBook, teenagers began coming to our door in the village to ask questions about the site / archaeology / their own Sudanese history. In the past, usually they had wanted to have photographs taken, but now instead were connecting with their history as made possible through the booklet. It was astonishing. More surprising was the reaction people had upon receiving a copy. In virtually every single case, they engaged with the eBook immediately and began to read it or look through it. This occurred regardless of location or other business being conducted. Many of our workmen looked for images of things they themselves had helped to excavate and of people they knew, though the latter was true for almost everyone seeing the eBook.

Although our eBook takes the form of a more traditional and perhaps somewhat static publication, its impact cannot be underestimated. The Dangeil villagers, and indeed university students and antiquities staff in Khartoum, viewed the publication as written for them, about them, and in their own language. The eBook has served not only as an educational tool, but has empowered the local community and created a sense of pride and proprietary ownership of the ruins and their history.

Julie Anderson
Assistant Keeper
Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum

news updates & improvements

New pricing coming soon

We’re presently working on a simpler and more flexible ordering system for our Print & Publish On Demand (PPOD) service. The key changes are :

    the minimum total order for StoryCubes will be just 50 cubes (the minimum per cube design). We will print orders as soon as we have received enough for a print run (1000 cubes)
    eBooks will be available to order in multiples of 50 (the minimum per title) up to 500 copies, then 750, 1000 and custom orders for over 1000
    StoryCubes will also be available to order in multiples of 50 up to 500 cubes, then 750, 1000 and custom orders for over 1000
    the website and app will have an estimate calculator for all variables of eBooks and StoryCubes including prices for shipping to the UK, European Union, North America (USA/Canada) and Rest of the World.
    the ordering system will support both online payment via Paypal (including credit cards) and pro-forma invoicing for institutions and for larger orders where electronic bank transfers are preferred.

We are keeping in general to 2010 prices, although since we are changing our shipping methods there may be some small variances in total cost compared to last year. Members overseas will now be able to estimate prices for their location and order direct.

The key difference is that members will be able to order just 50 StoryCubes at a time – much more affordable than our previous minimum of 250 cubes per order. We hope this enables lots more people to experiment with making and using StoryCubes in their own projects and work.

We’re aiming to have the new system in place within the next week or two – meanwhile the 10% discount offer is open until Friday February 4th.


Archive Highlight -Tales Of Things: Objects, Stories & Voices from the BME Communities in Greenwich

This Highlight isn’t actually in the Diffusion archive, as it was created via the bookleteer PPOD service, but I thought it’s a great example of another eBook accompanying an exhibition, similar to the one made for Cosmo China.

“Tales of Things: Objects, Stories & Voices from the BME Communities in Greenwich” was created alongside an exhibition celebrating Black History Month 2010, held at the Greenwich Heritage Centre. Cultural and personal objects were contributed from the Greenwich Black, Asian and minority Ethnic (BME) Forum, to tell stories of cultural identity and heritage.

Each page of the eBook has an image of a particular exhibit, and a QR code that is linked to a digital archive of stories and information for that object, allowing the reader to scan the codes with a phone or computer with a webcam, and access more information than is available in the eBook. This lends a sense of interaction and personal involvement with the object, as they have to physically seek out the tale behind it, not least the addition of  pages at the back of the book for the reader to add their own images, tales and QR codes.

View the tales for the exhibition online here.


The Amplified Author at Crouch End Unlibrary

Yesterday I took part in if:book‘s Amplified Author event at the Crouch End Unlibrary, giving a series of short workshops about bookleteer and print on demand alongside Anna Lewis of Completely Novel. Anna and I introduced 4 groups of people (many local writers) to the opportunities and limitations of print on demand systems (including our own) : what they could expect and how they could use it in their own projects and for their own publications.

Describing the evolution of the Diffusion eBook & StoryCubes formats, as well as the development of bookleteer over the last dozen years gave me an opportunity to reflect on what’s different again about our approach to publishing and sharing of knowledge. It also reinforced for me how bookleteer and our own PPOD service are yet again quite different to other POD platforms (such as Completely Novel, Lulu or Blurb) – offering something more than just a cheap means of producing and micro-selling books. Our public authoring and shareables concepts, which underpin both the eBooks and the StoryCubes, presents exciting opportunities for mixing the digital with the physical in ways that no other POD service can offer. During the workshops I showed the flow of creation from simple blank sheets of paper than can be folded and cut into eBooks, through to their use as notebooks that can be written or drawn in by hand and then scanned in as PDFs to make them printable by anyone, anywhere, on to the next stage of being able to -reflow the scanned pages back through bookleteer to have PPOD versions printed (my examples were the wonderful set we created for the British Museum’s Melanesia Project with Porer & Pinbin from Papua New Guinea).

The response from the participants was very positive : we’re looking forward to welcoming many more bookleteers to the growing community and excited to see what they create.


Christmas Printing Deadlines

If you’re planning to print some eBooks or StoryCubes in time for Christmas, here are our last printing dates :

UK orders : 6th December (3pm GMT)
International orders : 1st December (3pm GMT)

All orders : 1st December (3pm GMT)

Some Christmas Ideas
StoryCubes and eBooks can make great gifts – why not design a Christmas StoryCube to send instead of a card, or print a photo book of family pictures to share with relatives? At bookleteer’s PPOD prices, individual eBooks and StoryCubes can work out at similar prices to traditional designer Christmas cards.

Some pre-bookleteer Christmas cubes by Proboscis, 2006

examples publishing on demand

Some Recent PPOD books

September was a busy month here at Proboscis and on bookleteer: we sent seven books to be printed via the PPOD service as well as 10 different StoryCubes. The range of publications was very broad, from books about exhibitions and art projects to a book in Arabic about a major archaeological excavation in Sudan and a special notebook for a symposium on digital engagement and another full of QR codes. The StoryCubes included an 8 cube ‘cube of cubes’ set by artists Joyce Majiski and Alice Angus on their Topographies & Tales project, a promotional cube about bookleteer itself and a cube by artist Melissa Bliss to promote her installation, Bird Song, at the b-side media festival in the Isle of Portland.

The photo above shows the various StoryCube and printed eBooks :

  • Excavations in the Temple Precinct of Dangeil by Julie Anderson & Salah eldin Mohamed Ahmed (in both English and Arabic versions)
  • In Good Heart; what is a farm? by Alice Angus
  • where it ends and we begin by Fian Andrews
  • Tales of Things: Objects, Stories & Voices from the BME Communities in Greenwich by TOTeM
  • Graffito by BigDog Interactive & Proboscis
  • Inspiring Digital Engagement Festival by Ann Light & Karen Martin
  • Bird Song by Melissa Bliss
  • bookleteer StoryCube by Proboscis
  • Topographies & Tales by Alice Angus and Joyce Majiski
  • Categories
    case study

    Case Study – Julie Anderson and the British Museum

    As with every previous case study I’ve posted up to now, this week’s case is an example of a very distinctive context for the design and use for the eBooks. Today’s post is the first of two cases that involve the British Museum which means we’re dealing with a far larger institution than in previous cases. Nevertheless, as I hope you will see, this case has quite a few similarities with other approaches we’ve explored to date.

    I had the chance to pay a visit to Julie Anderson, Assistant Keeper for Ancient Sudan and Egyptian Nubia at the BM on the 14 September to talk about her work with the eBooks. Julie is the project leader for what is known as the Berber-Abidiya archaeological project in Sudan. She and her collaborator Dr Salah eldin Mohamed Ahmed in Sudan have been working with Proboscis to develop a version of the eBook as part of this project. This was my chance to find out a bit more about the project.

    Sample project: Excavations in the Temple Precinct of Dangeil

    examples publishing on demand

    Excavations in the Temple Precinct of Dangeil, Sudan

    This recently published eBook by Julie Anderson and Salah Mohamed Ahmed describes the progress of the Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project in Dangeil, Sudan. Julie is Assistant Keeper of Sudanese and Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum and Salah works for the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, Sudan and the eBook was written for a conference Julie attended. It was then printed at A5 size using the bookleteer Publish and Print on Demand. Download the A3 / Ledger PDFs here.

    The eBook is full of rich details about the site in Dangeil (which sounds huge – 300x400m) and the remarkable and beautiful statues and buildings they’ve uncovered there. Intriguingly the site consists of several mounds covered with fragments of red bricks, sandstone, pot shards and plaster and each mound represents a well-preserved ancient building. It’s even possible to see traces of colour left on the stones.

    As well as describing the buildings there are also fascinating insights into the rituals, food, rulers and everyday life of the temple, including the information that the Kushite language, Meoitic Meroitic, is one of the few remaining languages in the world which has not yet been translated. And running all through the book are casual glimpses into the detective work of the archeologist.

    The idea is that Salah will now translate the eBook into Arabic so it can be distributed to schools around the archeological site to help them understand what’s going on and what has been uncovered. Which would be very exciting for bookleteer because that would allow us to produce our first eBook using the Arabic font and right-to-left reading that we worked so hard to include!