I can't believe how quickly we turned into such a Kickstarter cliché! Behind schedule in building the tool. Behind schedule in filling every reward. Behind schedule in updating our backers on our progress. All the things we'd seen with other projects so many times before, and swore wouldn't happen to us. I guess the cliché is a cliché for a reason, it's often true.
Despite the silence and delay, we have been working steadily on the tool. Shortly after our last update though, we ran into a number of unforeseen interface issues. There were just certain things that didn't feel right, or that got in the way of a smooth and simple publishing experience, that needed to be addressed. So we spent the last few weeks re-working the interface design of The People's E-Book. And after lots of Skype calls from Tucson to Oakland, and lots of sketches and screenshots, and some invaluable help from the talented Andrew Venell we came to version 2 of The People's E-Book before version 1 was ever fully built. Cleaner, more functional, and more extensible than our original architecture.
The primary change has been to move the tool bar to the right side and integrate the Add Page, Assets, Draft Pages, View, Your Books and Create controls into this single location:
This allowed us more vertical space for editing, which is now done seemlessly in the zoomed in page flow, rather than in a separate overlay window:
The righthand tool bar also gives us a better visual and organizational structure for things like your images, videos and audio clips:
I can't stress enough how excited and eager we are to get this thing built and get you using it. Days jobs, families, technical glitches and other unforeseen complications aside, we will get The People's E-Book built and out to you absolutely as soon as we possibly can. Our working goal is to be beta ready by the end of June.
Updates on Rewards
The Bookmarks and Stickers shipped last month, and I'll be sending out another batch this week for anyone who sent their addresses in after I made that first shipment.
The Buttons will ship out this week too.
The Booklets of the "Essential People's E-Book" are on hold. I want them to be reflective of the tool itself and so when we started redesigning the tool, it also meant redesigning the booklet. Now that we've got the tool set though, I'll be going back to work on the booklet.
I gave the live "E-Book Reading Revealed!" and "Cracking and Hacking the E-Book" online seminars earlier this month and I'm working on getting the video's formatted and posted for those backers who wanted the recorded session. I believe we'll have "Cracking and Hacking" up this week, and "E-Book Reading" next week.
Once the booklets are done, and the videos are prepped, backers at the Winner Take All level will be getting their complete package as well, which is, as the name implies, everything above.
The E-Book Shelf Surrogate prints and the Hol Art Books e-books for the $100 and $35 backers have been sent, or are available for those waiting to select their books until later.
And finally, I've just been in touch with our upper-level backers late last week to get them their rewards, including special online e-book workshops, and some Kobo eReaders.
We're buried (happily) in buttons, bookmarks, envelopes, stickers, notecards, and stamps over here at People's E headquarters, but developer Oliver Wise is above the rewards fray and has been diligently working on building The People's E-Book. We're just over a month from the end of our Kickstarter campaign and, in Oliver's words, "all the big scary stuff is starting to be done" :) We're thrilled to share with you this new video preview of the tool in action, featuring Wonder Woman and some super-easy image handling.
At midnight last night, exhausted and ecstatic, our campaign ended and The People's E-Book officially became people-funded! Thank you again to our amazing backers, and to the many many people that helped us spread the word along the way. It has been an amazing month, and now comes the really fun part.
We'll be contacting backers in the next couple days about their rewards, and this week will be starting to build. There will be many updates along the way, but come May-June of this year, we hope to be welcoming in to your People's E-Book!