Tech Review

Storytelling Platform Storybird Makes Publishing Social for Young Writers

Toronto-based “visual storytelling” platform Storybird has garnered a large and engaged online following around the simple premise of enabling users to read, write, and share their own picture books.

We spoke to Mark Ury, Storybird’s CEO and cofounder, about reader trends, monetization, user experience design, and more.

If You Build It, They Will Build

Publishing Hackathon logoAs the book industry focuses on reaching web-enabled readers, there’s an increasing need for technologies, like apps and APIs, that can be built quickly and altered often. This is why last month, a week before BookExpo America, New York played host to a significant publishing event: the Publishing Hackathon!

Just Browsing

How do you like to browse? Browse the internet, that is.

So many of us simply use whichever browser came pre-installed on our computers—and if you’re using a desktop PC, chances are that browser is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. If you click on a big blue ‘e’ to get to the internet from your computer, then you can count yourself among the Internet Explorer users across the country. 

CMPTO Goes Retail

Last week, we hosted CMPTO’s very first retail edition. It was about time we got down to business with the fascinating new avenues of retail that are being introduced or re-introduced in the book market. We had three amazing speakers from vastly different backgrounds and organizations who each brought their own take on what retail means to them and their work.

Pack Your Books We're Going on a Field Trip

Last week, Google announced a new app called Field Trip for U.S. Android phones. While this isn’t an app specifically about books, it’s relevant and worth keeping an eye on because there’s room for collaboration and it can serve as inspiration.

EPUB Validation Made Easy

Having had the opportunity in the last year to help write and edit the EPUB 3 specification, I can commiserate with people who find the process of putting a publication together a little daunting. It can be a challenge to pull all the basic requirements together and verify whether you’ve met them all. Fortunately, there are tools that can help make sure that your coding is correct and that your book will open and work in reading systems. Not surprisingly, the IDPF maintains a free validator called EpubCheck for exactly this purpose.

The tool hasn’t always been the simplest for lay people to use, however; it has a bit of a reputation of being built by geeks for geeks. If that’s been your perception, don’t fret because help is on the way!