Monthly Archives: December 2024

Happy Holidays from the Queen and Vook

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

Our friends at CodeMeetPrint alerted us to an announcement that Amazon will be distributing the Queen’s Christmas address as a free Kindle eBook on December 25th. Thanks to a Wodehouse inspired youthful Anglophilia, I’m a casual fan of the royal holiday address, most particularly George’s VI’s eve-of-WWII 1939 broadcast which he concluded with the quote, “I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year / Give me a light that I may tread safely into the   Read more…

New Media eBooks Done Right

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar
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I’ve been a long-time subscriber to food culture daily email Tasting Table (I think I was getting the test-sends) so I’m pleased to see their editorial team produce eBooks as expertly as they do short form emails – it’s like they’re now offering Lobster Thermidor in addition to excellent lobster rolls. Their most recent eBook — the Sous Chef Series 2024 Recipe Collection — features 12 dishes from established chefs across the country, including the Slanted Door and Blue Hill.   Read more…

Appification Nation: Too Big Too Fail?

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

What is it with our Nicholas Carr fixation? Authors take note  –  mention us in print and you’re guaranteed Vook blog coverage. Today, I want to call your attention to a piece Mr. Carr wrote for the Nieman Journalism Lab on the coming appification of content. Carr’s predicting that newspapers in 2024 will monetize and engage readers increasingly through apps. It’s an area we’ve been thinking about as we find more and more content holders getting interested in eBooks. Mr. Carr’s   Read more…

The Kim Jong Il Omnibus

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar
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If Christopher Hitchens is wrong about the non-existence of a soul, he and Vaclav Havel must be giving Kim Jong Il a drubbing in whatever forum the afterlife offers political brawlers. While we’d expect Havel and Hitchens to eventually win a war of words, perhaps, in the long stretches of eternity, the three can find common ground by trading essays for peer review. Like Havel and Hitchens, Kim Jong Il had a literary ouevre too. Both GalleyCat and the BBC today   Read more…

An Enhanced Book Tribute to Christopher Hitchens

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

I was surprised and deeply saddened to learn of Christopher Hitchens’ death this morning. I’d known he was sick but hadn’t known his health was so poor. I hadn’t read Hitch 22, hadn’t read his more recent essays. I wanted to read them while he was still living, before he became his admirers. Now he’s gone. The first eulogy  I read was Graydon Carter’s, then the piece from Christopher’s brother, Peter Hitchens. Powerful reflections both. Others soon followed. In honor of   Read more…

Vook Is Cooking

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

We began onramping beta users on Tuesday—and the turn-out for online training reminds us of the end of “Ghostbusters.” We thought we had a lot of demand, but we were still surprised when a Mr. Staypuff sized colossus suddenly materialized. But it did. And we’re kind of awed. Our users are hungry to make books. We’re moving fast to meet the demand. We’re instructing registrants in groups, walking them through the platform, then handing over the keys so they can build   Read more…

History Repeating

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

We opened Vook to our first group of beta users today. We trained the early adopters in online sessions, fielded questions, and handed over accounts. The first eBooks produced independently with the new Vook are now rolling off the digital press! It’s a big moment for the company — and it’s got us looking back on our precursors. The first typographic printed books — produced with Gutenberg’s moveable type press — were called incanabula; which means, ‘the first infancy of   Read more…

Dostoevsky & Interruption Marketing

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

Turning an unknown author into a surprise bestseller is publishing at its finest—and a classic example of old fashioned interupption marketing. The author toils in obscurity for years and emerges with a work that transfixes an audience that hadn’t previously existed. That’s art. Great art, more often than not, finds an audience (even great-but-completely-insane art, a la Henry Darger). But it’s a hard task. You’re convincing people to pay attention to something new. Stephen Elliot, who often reflects on art   Read more…

Apps and eBooks or Becalmed in Harbor vs A Piratical Life

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

When I present Vook to people who can take advantage of it – anyone with content and an audience, basically – I like to stress three key things you can do with the platform: Productize your content Ship eBooks fast Reach the booming marketplace of digital readers When you’re working at speed, you can achieve all three in the same day. We call it Extreme Publishing; more formally, Last Minute Book Manufacturing—it’s what Diversion Books experienced when they built Mark   Read more…

Four Whip-Smart Digital Publishing Projects

Posted on by Matthew Cavnar

Last night I attended CodeMeetPrint at General Assembly where Findings, Projeqt, Urtak and MagAppZine (now MAZ) presented and sat for a Q&A. The last time I was at General Assembly for a presentation, Steve Jobs died—so happily this time I remember the products and the entrepreneurs. Here’s a wrap-up of what we saw. The pitch lines are mine, and definitely not company endorsed. Findings: Like Instapaper meets highlighting in Kindle I’ve liked this company for a while. They allow you   Read more…