Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 23, 2011.

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An independent art zine for your iPad, and the source code to build your iPad magazine.

Hello! Thank you for checking out our Kickstarter page. With your help, we'd love to release our next issue: Four Stories; a working title for a new approach we're bringing to the iPad. No static pages or PDF-like experiences that you find with other magazine apps. This issue will be a fully interactive, multimedia rich, online and offline experience. We think it will be our best issue yet and something you'll really enjoy. We also want to help our supporters make their own iPad zines, so we're giving you the chance to download the project source code!


Letter to Jane is an independent arts magazine for the iPad. We give artists an unfiltered platform for them to share their personal creative work and ideas without compromise. Unlike other magazine apps, Letter to Jane is not a copy or port of a print magazine. Each issue is a native app built from scratch, each with its own theme and experience. Our unique approach to publishing has been recognized by The Guardian, MagCulture, Selectism, PSFK, NOTCOT,The Magaziner, The Society of Publication Designers, AppAdvice, Creative Review, and has been ranked in the top 10 Lifestyle apps in the App Store multiple times. Letter to Jane is also proud to be one of the few iPad apps included in Graphic Design: Now in Production.


Why do we need your help? Because we want to bring you great original content that takes advantage of the iPad's unique capabilities. We want to explore multiple narratives in multiple ways with original art and photography, an original short film, and an original soundtrack. Contemporary iPad magazines are too cluttered and complicated, so we want to break it down into easy to navigate sections that you don't need a manual to understand how to operate. We also want to work on the little things like allowing you to select text, share online, and interact with every feature. We want the magazine to able to grow with a special online section so you can read new and old interviews and features from within the app.
What will you receive with your donation? Your support means a lot to us so we wanted to make sure we have great rewards at all backer levels.There's an original soundtrack EP just for Kickstarter backers, a copy of our original short film, special digital art booklets exclusive for the Kickstarter community, and you'll also have the chance to have your name attached to the project to promote your brand in the app. 

What about the source code? Since the start of Letter to Jane, the question we get asked most frequently is, “I’d like to make my indie zine into an iPad app, how do I do it?” We’ve never really come up with a good answer until now. Anyone who donates $200 or more will get the source code to the new issue, so you can learn to do everything the next issue of Letter to Jane does all on your own! You will be able to download the Xcode files—fully commented explaining how everything works—to a special version of the magazine, designed for beginners. We would like to point out that even though you have the code, you will still need some basic knowledge of Xcode and the Apple app ecosystem. Do to the nature of this project we can’t provide technical support, but this is a great way to learn how to make your own iPad magazine regardless of your programming skill level. 


Where can I find some of your work? 

We encourage you to look at our most recent projects: Moral Tales for iPad and iPhone and the latest issue of Port Magazine. You can also view all of our past interviews at http://interviews.lettertojane.com

We're pretty excited to get started on this project, so please help fund our magazine and potentially your new magazine today!

FAQ

  • The first 3 issues were personal experiments, testing what works and what doesn't on the iPad. After I finished Moral Tales I started working on this issue through the summer, coming up with a new design and system that I think will take editorial design on the iPad to the next level. I am very confident in this next step, and believe it will be of great value to everyone interested. This is why I felt Letter to Jane was finally worthy to ask for funding, and that I'm offering the source to help people. While I think this is a good step for Letter to Jane, I also believe it can be a great step for the community overall by giving people a helping hand into getting into the next big area of publishing.

    The first 3 issues were all made out of pocket with my own money. I've devoted the last 2 years to working in this field, mostly for no pay at all, and now there is no money left. I need your help to make Letter to Jane or else there will be no issue, it's just not possible.

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  • Letter to Jane is no longer an experiment, I've done the research and now it's time to do things the best they can be. I want to make content that people will treasure and to do that costs money. A $1,000 is reserved to pay fees and cover the costs to make the rewards. The rest all goes into equipment rentals, comping people's time, materials, studio rentals, etc. Everything that is needed to make content needs to be covered. I still am blessed to have so many great people donating their time and talent, but we need physical goods to make things and that is what the money is being used for. A lot of people think making an iPad magazine is easier because it is digital, but actually it's harder because it's double the work. You have to make the magazine and then you have to design how people interact with it. If I didn't have so many great people in my life helping me out this project would cost twice what I'm asking for, easily.

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  • If you donate at the $200 dollar level you will be getting the Xcode project files. There will be some documents where I'll explain every section, (What's going on in the code and what it does). I will also have comments in the code that will point out what everything does. I will try to make it all as visual and easily laid out as possible. It is still code, you will need a basic understanding of what to do with it. You will need to know how to use Xcode, submit an app, have some understanding of the environment you're getting into, (do a "hello world" app a couple times). What I'm trying to do is to help people who want to learn a new skill get a lot closer to achieving their goals. You won't be able to just drag and drop images into Xcode and have your own magazine. You're going to have to do some work, but you'll have all the hard stuff already done for you. If you don't want to code then Adobe or Woodwing is your best bet, but they will cost you a great deal more and you'll have a lot less control over your product. When you code your own native app you can really dial in the experience you want. The beauty of tablets is finding new ways for people to interact with your work, and that ability is greatly limited with other options at the moment.

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  • Essentially you get everything. You get all the goodies, production credit, the source code, and a full page ad in issue 04. What the ad will be, can really be up to you. I would like to work with you to make it something special so it's something that everyone can enjoy. It can be a mini-feature, a video, something more interactive, etc.

    Between the production credit and the ad, you will be getting great exposure for a very small price. And since you get the source code, you can also look at it as an investment in your brand's future. If you are interested in this level and have questions, please email me at lettertojanemag@gmail.com

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  • I usually pick two film directors and use their filmography to inspire each issue. One director inspires the heart and soul of the project, the other the look and feel of it. Last issue it was Eric Rohmer and Chantal Akerman, this issue it's not really nailed down yet. There's never been a rule about this, it just sort of happens. A lot of my work has been inspired by Wim Wenders. The short film is largely influenced by his early work. There is a simple yet highly stylized look that I think works perfectly on a tablet. There is also a realism in that work and others that inspire me a lot like Jim Jarmusch and John Cassavetes that I want in the content for this issue. When most culture magazines make something like a photo feature or a short film they always feel so empty to me. They're always about the fashion, what you can buy, just style and flash. I want everything in this issue to have a real heart to it and come from a real place. I want to have great design and narrative that comes from real emotion.

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  • No because there isn't an app yet. I have designs and know the tech, but I can't afford to put it together yet. I could make mockups, but I feel that they would be nothing without showing how you interact with it. As I've written in the description above, my previous works has been well received and raved about. You can also see my most recent work in the third issue of Letter to Jane and the third issue of Port Magazine. I'm very proud of those apps and I'm quite confident that this next app will be even better.

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    A copy of Letter to Jane Magazine: Issue 04 + A personal thank you on lettertojane.com

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    Above + Digital download of an exclusive soundtrack for Kickstarter backers.

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    Above + Digital download of our original short film and a special PDF version of issue 04.

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    Above + digital art booklets exclusively made for the soundtrack and the short film.

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    Above + Producers credit on the short film and in the magazine.

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    Above + Xcode sample project that shows how to make everything that's in Letter to Jane Magazine, so you can learn to make your own iPad magazine (some knowledge of Xcode required).

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    Above (including source code) + full page ad.

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