Book Oven update

by Suw on September 18, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned Book Oven, the publishing start-up that I have been working with, but great progress has been made behind the scenes. We have removed the need for an invitation, for one, so you can now just pop along to and sign up without any sort of code or other invitation shenanigans. Yay for open doors!

We’ve also addressed something that was really bugging me: you can now invite someone directly to your project. This makes creating your team so much easier. You just go to your project, click on “Invite to Project”, then “Invite someone new to Book Oven”. If your new collaborator accepts they will automatically become a member of your project team. Nifty!

Now those of you who have been with Book Oven from the early days may not have noticed that we had to restrict new project uploads for a bit so that we could deal with some bugs. Those restrictions have now been lifted, so anyone can create a project and upload their content. This means you can take full advantage of Bite-Size Edits to get your stuff proofread as well as enjoy our new(-ish) paragraph-by-paragraph annotations.

Annotations are, by the way, fab. If you go to your project and click on a chapter heading, you’re taken to a reader view which will allow you to leave comments on each paragraph. This is great for leaving feedback more complex than “You’ve spelt ‘misspell’ wrong”. Anyone who can read your project can annotate it, so you have more opportunities to gather feedback from your readers.

We’ve got a new Browse & Read page, where you can see what public projects have been uploaded and, gosh golly, you can read them too! You can tag projects, so if you want to search for some “crime, fantasy, tentacle porn”-tagged fiction, you can. We can’t promise you’ll find any though. If you do stumble across a project you like, you can choose to Bite-Size Edit it, and it alone, from the project page (provided it has been sent to Bite-Size Edits, that is).

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve created a simple messaging system that allows you to send notes to your contacts and project teams. It’s very basic at the moment, but you can rest assured that we have Great Plans Afoot for making the social aspects of Book Oven a lot more sophisticated.

This new release is a major update with lots of really good new (or improved) functionality. We’re still in alpha, of course, so there are bound to be bugs and things that don’t work as expected. In that case, you can pop along to our User Voice feedback page, which now has single-sign on so you don’t need to a separate log-in, to let us know what’s gone wrong and what features you’d like.

I have to say that I’m really proud of all the work that the Book Oven team has done whilst I’ve been busy elsewhere. They’ve done sterling work and it makes me eager to finish my draft of the Book of Hay so I can really start using Book Oven with intent!

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