Friday, 24/11/2017 | 10:25 UTC+3

Concerning Booktype

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The latest buzz concerning self-publishing is Booktype. Booktype’s an online collaboration application for the creation of books, both paperback as well digital. It’s page-to-fame article on the Financial Times website, basically proposed that the traditional publishing business will lose even more authors to self-publishing due to Booktype. Does that hold any truth?

In my opinion it does, but it’s not all that amazing, not just yet. First of all, if you’d like to install Booktype, you need to be webserver-literate, have access to a Linux distribution/box, or all of the above. Generally, it’s not very hard to setup, but it does require some separate software to be installed, and the installation will seem cryptic to the uninitiated (it involves Python and the Django framework – scares the willies out of most people).

Anyway, that’s only if you mean to run your own Booktype service, either in a LAN, or over the Internet for a certain project or a small publishing house or just a group of folks. Well, that’s only natural because it’s actually a collaboration software but that means, for the most part, non-fiction books.

On the plus side, I think it provides the possibility to assign different chapters to different writers, and then a team of editors/proofreaders could go over the manuscript in lightning fast time.

But there aren’t any editing/proofreading capabilities built-in, so it’s more like sharing the same files online but keeping separate versions of each edit easily at hand.

In essence, it does look a bit like a glorified versioning system, only not as intimidating or difficult for the end-user to setup. From that point of view, it’s a pretty good idea and a nifty piece of software.

But since I’m using git (and mercurial in one machine) for my versioning needs (and a great backup method as well), then it doesn’t fit my needs (especially since I’m a just one fiction author).

If more specific features are added (revolving around both the actual writing and editing process), it might become a game-changer and the de-facto software of choice for self-publishing.

But it’s more likely everything will center around, a creative-commons oriented website powered by booktype, where people just create an account and then start up their projects, mostly freely available for all to see.

Surely, a similar website with copyrighted material might emerge, either as a paid service to registered users or as an ad-powered and community-driven portal for self-published authors.

I won’t be using Booktype but I’ll keep a keen eye on it.

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Born in Trikala, raised since childhood Athens, torn between the call of nature and the trapping of society. I write books, tell stories and make fun of most things that don't really matter in the cosmic, long view.

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