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Hands On: Vellum 1.2.5 (OS X)

07/31, 10:18am

It's about time we actually reviewed this

There's reviewing and there's reviewing. You know that the tiniest single-function utility gets examined, turned upside down, poked about with and possibly even shaken a bit. You also know that doesn't take long. There are things like Microsoft Word which take a month or more of serious use with betas and previews before more serious use with the final release. Then there's Vellum 1.2.5. We've had this software for about six months, maybe seven. You can't say we're quick with the news on this one, but complete, we are.

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Pointers: Six tools for writing books

07/29, 9:38am

Replace that typewriter and make yourself an e-book

When you've done something once, you can fly through it the second time. Unless that second time is ages later, in which case you spend all your waking hours re-learning something you'd already sweated through. So entirely for you and not at all, not in the teeniest way for us the next time we write a book, here's what you need. It's what we recommend after a summer of working on this, followed up by one or two cases where your mileage may vary and anyway the alternatives are fun. Plus a few quick notes of lessons we learned, mistakes, and evidence -- actual evidence -- that all this works.

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Review: QuarkXpress 2015, part two -- the here and now

07/14, 7:22am

Old friend offers options from subscription-only InDesign

Yeah, that's right, it's a two-part review. Wanna make something of it? To quote a popular Internet meme, "one does not simply review the latest version of QuarkXpress." Although the company has been working diligently to unify its various areas of expertise -- print, HTML5, and e-publishing -- since at least version 9 (2011), this latest edition (initially called QuarkXpress 11, now known as QuarkXpress 2015) may be the one that tilts the digital publishing playing field back in its favor after more than a decade in the wilderness. Is it? We'll find out in part two of our review.

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Pointers: Summer Project: E-publishing, part six

07/01, 2:49pm

Creating e-books and prepping paperbacks

You're at the stage now where you know you will never have to write another word of your book ever again. Meanwhile, we're at the stage of wondering how to break it to you that you still have some writing to do. However, we've decided to build up to that after taking you through the next stage of the e-publishing process. In this part of the Pointers Summer Project, we'll actually, genuinely, thoroughly produce an e-book. We'll also prepare the paperback, and you'll see why that takes a step more.

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Amazon changes KDP Select royalty payments to 'per page' system

06/24, 8:23am

Authors will be paid based on pages read from borrowed Kindle Unlimited titles

Amazon is making a change to the way it pays authors for allowing their books to be included in Amazon Prime's Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. Starting from July 1, rule alterations to the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program will now pay authors based on the number of pages read in their ebooks by users of both services, instead of the previous method which counted the number of times books were downloaded by subscribers.

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Pointers: Summer Project: E-publishing, part four

06/17, 1:30pm

Finally, some actual writing, and thoughts on software to use

Four weeks into the summer project, halfway through to having an actual paperback and e-book, only now do we get to do some writing. Maybe in the olden days, you could just get out your quill pen on day one and craft a masterpiece, but now that you're taking on the production of the book, you have a lot of other concerns.

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Pointers: Summer Project -- E-publishing, part three

06/10, 7:20am

The fun part -- researching the book

We'll be honest. One reason for doing this entire series of articles about writing and publishing your own book is that we've read too many features saying it's easy. Get iBooks Author, get Scrivener, press Print, the end. That's always described as being so easy anyone could do it but we think that's so boring nobody would. Then when you see the junk that gets published this way, you know that nobody should. Instead, you and I are doing it right.

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Hands On: Transcriptions 1.1 (OS X)

05/28, 1:06pm

Makes transcribing interviews less painful

We start the day thankful. We're running this Summer Project about researching, writing and publishing books and in looking up a link for you in it, we found that one of our favorite software tools has been seriously updated. We've no clue how we missed it, but we have transcribed so many countless, countless interviews using Transcriptions 0.8.0.1 that we've worn it out. Now we've found Transcriptions 1.1. So thank you for that, and we'll keep a better eye out in future.

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Pointers: Summer Project E-publishing -- part one, introduction

05/27, 10:48pm

The real business of writing and publishing books on Macs

Self-publishing -- once known as the "vanity press" -- has been around for decades. If you had a burning desire to be a published author, but mysteriously the conventional literary "mafia" couldn't see the value in your heartbreaking work of staggering genius, you could pay to have books created for you in the hopes that this would lead to your "discovery." It rarely worked out that way (until 50 Shades of Gray took that path). With the advent of desktop publishing in the late 1980s and the emergence of e-books into the mainstream more recently, authors can now take much more control over their literary fate. In this new Summer Project, MacNN is going to show you what we mean, by putting out a book ourselves over the next eight weeks. Read on to find out more.

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Briefly: Aquafadas and Kobo magazine collaboration, new Sonos app

05/13, 4:09pm

Aquafada Cloud Authoring platform utilizes by Kobo to digitize its magazine content

Digital e-magazing software publisher Aquafadas and e-reader maker Kobo have begun collaborating, in light of Aquafadas' cloud-based eZine publishing offering. The Aquafadas Cloud Authoring platform allows Kobo to digitize magazines on a mass-focused level, and has done so for more than 200 titles and a total of over 7,000 issues.

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Quark updates DesignPad app; adds PDF, AirPrint, Dropbox

04/04, 12:55pm

Intended to kickstart grid-based design concepts, more

Desktop and web publishing developer Quark has updated its DesignPad app (free) to version 1.5, bringing a number of improvements to the program. The app lets designers concept and start layout projects from the iPad, and now offers precision image placement, the ability to change text boxes to image boxes and vice-versa, undo an re-do, a blank document option, text outlining, shadow colors and new controls for box adjustments. The "Pro" version is an in-app upgrade and adds further features.

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Hearst offers iPad magazine editions ahead of print

01/17, 9:26pm

Exclusive first look should prove a boost for Newsstand

Hearst Publishing, which offers a number of magazines on Apple's App Store and through Newsstand, has given the iPad maker an exclusive on its magazines. The publications will now appear on iTunes "a few days" ahead of any other platform, including print. A new page has been created in Newsstand called "Read Them Here First" to showcase the 20 titles that will debut in iPad versions before appearing elsewhere, including Amazon's Kindle Marketplace. The advance copies are available to current and new subscribers.

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Newsweek ceasing print publication, switches to digital-only

10/18, 1:40pm

Final print edition due at end of the year

Newsweek, a US magazine that has been running since 1933, will be going digital-only at the start of next year. After running for nearly 80 years, the magazine will print its last paper-based edition on December 31, 2012, and will instead be using apps and a website to pass news and articles to its readers.

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