news updates & improvements

Fully Operational Again

With many apologies for the long disruption from being able to generate new eBooks and StoryCubes, I am hugely pleased to announce that bookleteer is fully operational once more.

An unplanned server upgrade caused a cascade of problems deep in the core of the Generator, the software that does the actual hard work of taking your content and flowing it into the Diffusion eBook and StoryCube formats. It has taken considerable efforts by Joe Flintham, bookleteer’s principal developer with the forensic brilliance of Yasir Assam, bookleteer’s original software developer, to analyse the root problem, fix it then chase down all the ensuing changes in dependencies.

Here are two fabulous new books created by Canadian artist Joyce Majiski, who has been one of bookleteer’s most prolific and exquisite users for many years:

updates & improvements

New Feature : Collections

We are excited to announce another update to bookleteer including a new feature called Collections. This new feature allows for eBooks or StoryCubes to be grouped together to form a collection. This can be given its own title, author, publisher, colophon, summary, copyright info and a cover image. Collections can be shared or kept private – those shared are listed in the Collections Library.

Viewing Collections

Clicking on a collection box will open it’s unique page – each collection has a unique URL as well as buttons for sharing it on Facebook and Twitter:

Creating a Collection
To create a collection, log in to bookleteer and select the collections button (illustrated above) in the “create + order” bar.

This will open a new page where you can add details such as the title, author, publisher, copyright, colophon, summary and publication date. You can also upload an image to act as its ‘cover’ and select which book or StoryCubes are to be included in the collection.

You can see all the collections you have made by clicking on the “my collections” link, which opens a list. Clicking on the collections in the list allows you to edit each one.

Your Feedback
The Collections feature is a crucial step towards building an internal ‘crowdfunding’ mechanism (“Pledge For Print”) that we have written about before, and which we hope to bring to bookleteer later this year. We’d love to hear feedback about this new feature, please use the comments section here or email us direct.

news updates & improvements

Fresh look and new features

As some may have noticed last week we quietly updated bookleteer to give it a fresh look and to introduce the sharing features we announced previously. We’ve been tweaking and bug-fixing over the last week or so and are now very excited to let everyone know about it.

New Look Home & About Pages
We’ve refreshed both home and about pages to make it clearer what bookleteer is and what it can do.

Public Library Page
The new Library Page allows anyone browsing bookleteer to see what eBooks and StoryCubes have been created and shared by members.

Individual Publication Pages
Each publication that is shared publicly has a unique page created for it which can be linked to and shared via popular social media services (Twitter, Facebook etc). eBooks have an embedded version of the bookreader in the page for previewing as well as download links for the PDFs. StoryCubes also have preview images and download link.

Member Public Profile Page
A new public profile page has been created to list all the shared publications by each member, also displaying a short bio and links to personal blog, website, twitter and facebook pages. These can be added in the member’s account page.

These are just the first in a series of updates and improvements to bookleteer that we’re adding over the next few months – stay tuned for further announcements!

Please Donate or Subscribe
bookleteer is an unfunded project of Proboscis, a non-profit artist-led organisation. We welcome all donations to keep bookleteer running, pay for its development and hosting – please use the Paypal Donate button on the right to make a donation.

To keep bookleteer as a free service we have also devised a new subscription model – the Periodical – where each month we will select, print and post out one of the best eBooks made and shared on bookleteer to subscribers. Subscribe here to become part of this unique experiment in publishing.

news updates & improvements

Evolutionary update #1

In about three weeks time we will be making a fundamental change to bookleteer by enabling public sharing of eBooks and StoryCubes. What does this mean?

  • users will be able to share their eBooks & StoryCubes direct from bookleteer
  • users will be able to add tags to their publications
  • users will have a personal page listing their shared publications and will be able to add links to their own website, blog, twitter and facebook pages
  • each publication will have its own page which can be linked to and shared with the public via popular social media platforms
  • all shared publications will be listed in a public library page on bookleteer for the public to browse through without needing to sign up and be logged in
  • bookreader web-readable versions will be shareable for all users (currently limited to Guest, Pro & Alpha Club members)
  • The new public sharing and library pages are part of a series of changes we are doing this year to make bookleteer even better and they pave the way for the Periodical. Each month we will crowdsource an eBook made and shared on bookleteer to be printed out and posted to subscribers. We will seek out the most beautiful, experimental, thought-provoking and inspirational eBooks made with bookleteer – and once a month subscribers will have 1 or more eBooks delivered to their door.

    We’ll be following these updates with other new features over the coming months – stay tuned for further announcements.

    Subscribe to the Periodical
    UK – £3 monthly or £30 annual (Pay by Direct Debit, Barclays Pingit to 07711 069 569 or Email to Subscribe by Credit Card/Paypal etc)
    European Union – £12/€15 a quarter or £40/€50 annual (Email to Subscribe by Credit Card/Paypal etc)
    Rest of World – £15/US$24 a quarter or £50/US$80 annual (Email to Subscribe by Credit Card/Paypal etc)

    And don’t forget – minimum print runs on eBooks have dropped to just 25 copies and prices for A6 books have dropped by 30-50%.

    news publishing on demand

    Testing a New Payment Service

    We’re just testing out a new ‘cardless’ payment service as an alternative to Paypal – Go Cardless. It works by creating ‘Paylinks’ that enable customers to buy something via the Direct Debit system direct from their bank account (and consequently covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee so highly safe and secure).

    To test it we’ve created Paylinks for some of the recent eBook sets we’ve published (UK bank account holders and delivery only for now) – we’re interested to see if people find this more attractive or safer than using Paypal and/or credit cards. According to Go Cardless they expect to extend their service to European Union bank accounts later this year and to other places further in the future.

    So, if you’d like to pay for a copy of one of our fabulous sets of eBooks by bank-to-bank transfer, then try out a link below:

    Professor Starling’s Thetford-London-Oxford Expedition

    Material Conditions 1

    City As Material 1 (London) –

    You can find a range of our publications (both bookleteer and other productions) with Paylinks over at the main Proboscis Online Store.

    news updates & improvements

    What’s next in bookleteer’s evolution?

    Following our major updates of last year – the user API, bookreader and integration of QR codes and short URLs bridging the physical/digital divide – we’ve been concentrating on using bookleteer in our own projects like Agencies of Engagement, Material Conditions, Professor Starling’s Thetford-London-Oxford Expedition and Pallion Ideas Exchange, helping others create their own eBooks and StoryCubes and generally getting on with the business of keeping things going through these tough times.

    More recently we’ve had some time and space to think about what else bookleteer could do and how we might make some adjustments to improve its usefulness. Over the past month or so, these ideas have been gestating into actual plans, scenarios, requirements and site maps for our next round of upgrades and improvements. And these themselves follow the price drop for Short Run printing of A6 books, as well the new minimum eBook print run of just 25 copies, which we recently announced.

    Going Public
    The first change we plan to implement will be to allow users to publicly share their eBooks and StoryCubes direct from bookleteer. Members of the public will, for the first time, be able to browse (without needing an account) library pages containing links to eBooks and StoryCubes which users have shared. We also hope to build in simple social media links to enable these pages to be tweeted or shared on Facebook. And sharing via bookreader will also be available to all members. In addition to this, and reflecting our own practice of publishing series of eBooks and StoryCubes, we plan to create Collections – a new way to organise own eBooks or StoryCubes into named and distinct series.

    Making bookleteer Economically Sustainable
    To keep bookleteer going we need to encourage more people to use the Short Run Printing Service service to print their eBooks and StoryCubes. Other than donations to the Alpha Club this is the only source of income to pay for our hosting, bandwidth, development and maintenance costs. As you may have heard, Proboscis no longer receives funding from Arts Council England so we are having to find sustainable sources of income for projects like bookleteer. If we can significantly drive uptake of the Short Run printing service, then we hope to sustain bookleteer as a platform indefinitely. To help people with ordering we’re already working on building in pricing estimation direct into the ordering page. This should make it much simpler to see print estimates when you are considering using the Short Run Printing service.

    Pledge For Print
    This leads on to the biggest and most exciting aspect of what we’re planning. A couple of years back I wrote a post speculating on how a crowdfunding marketplace within bookleteer could transform the way people create, print and share their publications. We have been working on a model for such a concept – allowing users to offer Collections of eBooks or StoryCubes for others to “Pledge For Print“. We won’t be handling financial transactions to begin with, simply creating a mechanism for users who want to print an edition of 1 more more eBooks or StoryCubes (in a Collection) to know that there are people out there who will pledge to buy a copy from them once its printed. Ultimately we would aim to build in a full crowdfunding-type system, accepting pledges and automating the process of collecting donations once the pledge target has been reached to trigger the print run & shipping. Its a huge project for us – but we think it will transform bookleteer and publishing on demand in the process.

    Community Support is Vital
    To fund the development we’re hoping to entice more friends, fellow travellers and supporters to donate and join the Alpha Club and take an active part in the developing ‘community’ of bookleteers. We’re also aiming to attract a main sponsor for bookleteer – a company or organisation which shares our values and ethos of creating Public Goods and enabling people to make and share hybrid physical/digital stuff. If you also think what we’re planning could be the next best thing since sliced bread – please donate today!

    And do please get in touch with your feedback, comments and suggestions.

    news updates & improvements

    Big Price Cut & Minimum Print Run Halved!

    selection of highlights printed with bookleteer's Short Run service

    Today we’re very excited to announce a couple of major changes to bookleteer’s Short Run Printing service :

    • Minimum print run is now just 25 copies per eBook – half the previous minimum of 50 copies
    • We have also slashed the cost of A6 printed eBooks between 30%-50% (depending on quantity ordered)

    Check out the eBook price estimator to see how much your eBook would cost to print (we’ll also be overhauling the ordering system in the next few weeks to integrate the estimator there too).

    We believe this makes it much more accessible for people wanting to experiment with having their eBooks professionally printed and bound but only want a few copies at a super competitive price.

    We’ll be posting soon about our other plans for bookleteer which we aim to introduce in stages over the summer – all in all its going to be a very exciting year of changes for bookleteer and its users!

    updates & improvements

    New feature: bookleteer online bookreader

    We’re really excited to announce a major new feature to bookleteer : an online bookreader allowing you to read and share your eBooks online. The bookreader is built in HTML5 and can be opened by standard web browsers – so now your eBooks can also be read on screen on a computer, laptop, smartphone (iPhone/Android etc) or tablet (iPad etc). Anyone can read an eBook that’s been shared via bookreader, but authors wanting to share their eBooks with bookreader will need to join the Alpha Club for the time being or have a Guest or Pro account.

    Short Codes for easier linking

    Each bookleteer publication has a unique short code for its bookreader version (e.g. which make sharing the links easier. The short codes also have QR codes (e.g. for mobiles and other enabled devices to open the link directly:
    For instance the eBook, “City As Material : Skylines Ancient Shadows, City Lights” can be found here: and its QR code is

    The QR code image can be embedded in websites, or downloaded and printed onto stickers, or incorporated into other things (postcards, business cards, other publications etc).

    Embedding your eBook in your website or blog

    The bookreader also allows you to embed a ‘mini reader’ of your eBook in web pages or blog posts (see below). You can share it in single or double page mode, as well as specifying a specific page to open to:

    A link in the mini reader opens up the full screen version.
    To see more examples please visit where we’ll be adding more embedded eBooks into the post pages over time.

    Re-vamped interface for creating/editing eBooks

    We’ve also re-vamped the interface for creating and editing eBooks to make choosing the right format easier. Selecting which design (Basic or Custom) you want to use is done by toggling the panes, then selecting the radio button at the bottom of each icon to decide which binding and orientation you want. The drop down menus below allow you to select the Sheet Size (A3 or A4) and the Reading (Left to Right or Right to Left) :

    A new section now enables you to add more information to your book such as a short summary, an author bio, the name of the publisher, and copyright statement. This information show up in the bookreader’s information window.

    You can add your own personal bio in the “my account’ page then simply click the “add my bio” button to add it to each publication you make rather than fill it in each time:

    Acknowledgements & Thanks

    The bookreader is open source software from the Open Library, who maintain one of the largest online knowledge resources and are part of the Internet Archive. Huge thanks to them for making this fantastic piece of software available to others to use.

    help & guides updates & improvements

    FAQ page and User Forum

    We now have a Frequently Asked Questions page and User Forum for members of bookleteer to post questions, comments, tips and answers.

    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.