1. Hadrien
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    Hadrien New Member

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    FeedBooks: Share your creations

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Hadrien, Dec 15, 2006.

    URL: http://beta.feedbooks.com

    What is Feedbooks.com ?

    Feedbooks is a new website made from the ground up with e-ink devices in mind. The goal of this website is to provide a whole new experience, delivering books in the public domain, user submitted content and news. It is divided in 3 main sections:
    - Discover: download books from the public domain and submit additional books
    - Share: using a simple dynamic (Ajax) interface, any member can create a book easily. This way you can upload and tag your works, making them available for everyone
    - News: generate customized newspapers using RSS feed or create your own newspaper with friends using a simple Ajax interface
    Any content on the website is stored in a database, from which we generate PDF for books and newspapers. All of our books have table of contents and can be completely customized.

    What's the difference between the beta and the final release ?

    Because we generate books instead of storing them, we need to test a lot more how we could handle thousands of requests at the same time. The beta is a nice way for us to tweak everything.
    The news section is not available yet for the beta, but the first members of the website will get a special beta status, giving them access to the beta for the news too.
    The beta will also be a nice way for us to get a lot of feedback from everyone. We'd like for example to poll the users in order to tweak our PDF templates for the Sony Reader and the iLiad iRex, giving them the best font and font size.

    Any screencast presentation of the website ?

    Yes, we did 2 screencasts, showcasing book creation and the beta release.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=remG1b-QHnE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o-66_ZxTR4

    How can I add a book ?

    There's 2 different cases:
    - adding a book from the public domain: http://beta.feedbooks.com/book/choose_author
    - adding your own creation: http://beta.feedbooks.com/userbook/add_book
    To add a book from the public domain, you need to select an author, edit the book properties and the book contents. If the author you're looking for is not in the list, then you can add him/her. We check each and every book submitted from the public domain before publishing them.

    If it's your own book, you just have to be logged in. You can edit the book as long as you want, and once it's ready, just hit the publish button and the book will be available for everyone (check the first screencast for an example). Make sure that you tag your book the right way, that's the easiest way for other members to find your book, and this way, we can show similar books too.

    Why PDF ?

    In order to create good looking books with an auto table of contents, we use LaTeX. There's really powerfull tools available to generate PDF files with LaTeX, and using PDF + LaTeX, we can include characters in any language, add support for math formulas, show footnotes etc...
    Since books are not stored as files, it doesn't mean that we won't support some other formats in the future, we're just making sure that every content that could be available on the website (a russian math book for example ?), would work on this format.

    Which templates are available for direct download ?

    A4: 210x297 mm, font is T1 in 12px, margins of 25mm except for the bottom which is 30mm, headings are turned on
    Sony Reader: 90x120 mm, font is bookman in 12px, margins of 1mm, no headings
    iRex iLiad: 122x150 mm, font is bookman in 12px, margins of 2mm, no headings
    For all of these 3 templates we generate files only once, to put them in cache. You won't have to wait a single second once they've been generated once.
    We'll poll the users during the beta to make sure that these templates are the best suited for both readers.

    What can I customize on the PDF ?

    All of the above settings:
    - PDF Size
    - Font
    - Font Size
    - Linespacing
    - Margins
    It'll take just a few seconds when you generate your own customized PDF. You won't have to deal with the settings for each and every download, as long as you're logged in, we'll store these settings.
     
  2. Hadrien
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    Hadrien New Member

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    Last screencast presentation before the beta: http://youtube.com/watch?v=remG1b-QHnE

    For those of you who write poetry, I also added a special mode, this way poems will be formatted like they should (different line breaks for example compared to a novel).
     
  3. Hadrien
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    Hadrien New Member

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    The beta version of the website is now available: http://beta.feedbooks.com

    You'll see that it's really easy to add a book and it will generate a great looking PDF file with table of contents, nice headings etc...
    It's not exactly like being published but this way, you can make your creation available for a LOT more people online (and it's pretty much like reading a printed book for those who'll read your work on an e-ink reader).
     

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