R & D

PPS - private beta: online .docx and Google docs conversion to eBook

By MrChristian, 26 January 2012
Image: Eureka :-)

Progressive Publishing System - private beta

‘Save as’ eBook?

We're excited to invite you to join our private beta of Progressive Publishing System (PPS), an online eBook conversion service for independent publishers and cultural producers. PPS will convert your word processing files as .docx and Google docs into eBooks as ePub and Kindle's .mobi file formats.

The PPS private beta address is https://mute-www.lshift.net/  

As part of a first round of fine-tuning, we’re interested in seeing how other users experience the tool. If you'd like to have a go with PPS as part of this process, you’ll need an account. Please drop us an email (on simon@metamute.org) and we'll get one set up for you straight away.

The back story

With Metamute's new website we've looked to bring together various strands of Mute’s activity. This encompasses editorial work (Mute magazine, Mute Books, our blogs and events documentation), as well as the technology work carried out by sister project, OpenMute  (which now sits under the ‘Services’ menu item). See: http://metamute.org/services/about

OpenMute work has always been driven by a desire to support independent media production and is informed by our experiences as an editorial and production group, responding to the same challenges that our peers face in their attempts to create critical yet sustainable projects.

PPS is the latest in a series of tools and infrastructures projects we’ve initiated, including YouAreHere wireless, the OpenMute self-publishing and collaboration platform, MoreIsMore networked distribution and Web2POD, for creating personalised collections of Mute content.

As it stands, PPS converts your Word and Google docs into eBooks. But this is only the beginning: at the core of the tool sits a technical design architecture for what’s known as ‘single source publishing’. This responds to the difficult scenario presently facing publishers/writers, where multi-platform publishing presents itself as both opportunity and threat, since making an expanding number of versions of the same material (Print on Demand, tablet, eBook, mobile, for-syndication, for-library, etc.) offers a chance to be remunerated for work, but is also extremely time consuming or prohibitively expensive. Single source publishing means that the processes demanded for these, the ‘workflow’, is made more sane, since your all important edits, proofs, and careful crafting only have to be done once and, from this ‘single source’, all the multi-platform publications can be automatically outputted.

What does private beta PPS do?

PPS allows you to convert .docx files and Google docs into ePubs. The current conversion process produces a very simple ePub document and as we develop PPS well introduce more styling features and output formats like HTML5 for tablets.

The private beta phase will run until the end of February and which time we'd look to review the project for a future release after the end of the beta phase.

PPS has been developed by a partnership between the companies; LShift, Mute and MiniBar Ventures. With support from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

PPS private beta address

PPS user manual

Comment and bug reporting wiki

Background to the PPS project