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A free, beautifully-simple tool to make e-books better.
A free, beautifully-simple tool to make e-books better.
920 backers pledged $28,872 to help bring this project to life.

We're such a Kickstarter cliché

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.

The Tool

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:

Moving Forward

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.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Bonnita Solberg on June 19, 2014

      I am a backer and have received nothing. Should have gotten "Essential People's E-Book" a year ago. Please advise.

    2. Jason Valendy on June 20, 2013

      I am a clergy in the United Methodist Church. My entire life is being surrounded by people who "back" the ministry we do. And every one of them feel like they are my boss. I know what it is like to have 1,000 bosses. It sucks. I will remain a supporter and let you be your own boss. Thank you for being awesome.

    3. Zon Petilla on June 12, 2013

      No prob, thanks for the update :D.

    4. Jeremy Douglass on June 10, 2013

      Thanks for these details on your status -- it sounds like you have accomplished a lot, and things are going well. Good luck with all aspects of this ongoing project.

    5. bowerbird intelligentleman on June 6, 2013

      reiterating my willingness to help you if you want.


    6. Hol Art Books Creator on June 6, 2013

      Thanks for love. We'll keep on keeping on!

    7. Ryan Estrada on June 5, 2013

      Hey, I just want this thing to exist, and want it to be the best it can be. I ain't gonna get all up in your junk.

    8. Paul Richards on June 4, 2013

      Please take your time. Money is a fire under you making the stove top hot. And like they say, he who sits on a red hot stove shall rise. But one of the most irritating things about software is the constant upgrading and changing. Better to get it right the first time and leave the upgrades to the minor role they deserve. The rush of the internet is one of the bad influences on creativity which happens not only in the mind with logic but in our dreams through the passage of time.

    9. Paul Samuels on June 3, 2013

      While i am a small backer I took advantage of an offer you made where everyone who responded would get a copy of the program. Cam you confirm that fo me please. PAULSAMUELS1@GMAIL.COM