Archive for March 2014

Softcover offers frictionless self-publishing platform for tech e-books

e-publishingToday, we report on a subject not often reported on this Website – e-publishing. Softcover, an e-publishing platform that just came out of private beta, is, according to the founders, a “frictionless self-publishing platform” for tech-savvy e-book writers. To be specific, it allows you to create, host & sell professional looking e-books in multiple formats.

The best part is that you just need to be able to provide the Content, & use a text editor & a terminal window. There’s none of the usual hassle of setting up a Website or Online store with an attached payment gateway for selling the e-books.

You also don’t have to take on the task of creating e-books in HTML, PDF, EPUB & other formats, & inserting media files in the right format for each one.

As an author, you’d be writing in Softcover-flavored Markdown or PolyTeX language on Softcover while you’re editing the e-book & getting it ready. Once you’re done, you can auto-choose which formats (HTML, PDF, EPUB & MOBI) you want to publish them as. With one command, you can thus build all 4 output formats & upload these to Softcover’s integrated sales platform. You also get to include screencast videos & other media files & bundle the whole thing up for publication on the Softcover platform.

Authors get the right to retain copyright on everything they produce, get access to their entire customer email list, and can use a custom domain (including Google Analytics) so that they can own traffic. Payment is done by Stripe. In return for all this, Softcover takes 10% of the revenue. Payments from any sales are instantly divided up, & you get your 90% right away. Unlike other publishing platforms, you don’t have to sit around waiting for a monthly royalty check or minimum payment thresholds.

The platform is also quite flexible as far as your pricing model is concerned. You can put up an e-book for free if you want, or make it a premium package. Writers also maintain full control & access to all their sales & other data.

The self-publishing platform is based on the business model & production system used by the Ruby on Rails tutorial that was created by Michael Hartl, who is one of the co-founders of Softcover.

The Venice, CA-based Softcover was founded in Aug 2013. Apart from Hartl, the other co-founders are Nicholas Merwin & Lee Donahoe. Merwin works on startup development, & Donahoe on front-end design & development.

Since Softcover is now out of private beta, so you can sign up now as an author if you want to give it a whirl.

Image Credit: Softcover

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….and now, a mobile video chat app

Windsor, Canada-based WeCam Inc. announced the launch of the WeCam mobile video chat app that helps you discover & connect with like-minded people anywhere in the world.

They’re calling it a mobile video chat app, but WeCam is more of a matchmaker service that lets you find & hook up with people whom you’d like to meet. The socially-integrated WebRTC mobile video chat app makes use of Facebook, Twitter & Google+ along with a patent-pending matching algoritm to find people on social networks who match your own profile.

wecampageIt also has a geo-location feature that filters down the possible matches to those who are located nearby, so you can connect with the right people in the right place. You can do the search yourself too, sorting by interests, age, gender, interests or location. You can let others discover you as a person with common interests & activities by adding tags to your profile – gaming, SXSW, surfing, the big bang theory, & so on.

Since it’s already making use of social networks, it’s no surprise that friends of friends are put forward as people you’d like to meet.

WeCam Inc. President & CEO, Rob Whent unveiled the app at the MacWorld conference in San Francisco, USA recently. Whent said WeCam was established to be a leader in the space of mobile video calling & communications using WebRTC. He said the choice to utilize WebRTC & the OpenTok platform has proven to be invaluable.

The app is free to download & use, & is available for both Android-powered devices as for iOS devices. The free version is ad-supported, but a $0.99 in-app purchase will make it ad-free.

WeCam Inc. was founded in 2013, & has offices in Windsor & Toronto.

Click here to download WeCam on your Android device.

Click here to download WeCam on your iOS device.

Image Credit: WeCam

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