London Book Fair prep • 8 April 2013 • The SnowBlog

London Book Fair prep

          I really must update this blog more often: we add features so frequently, I end up forgetting them. I'll go through the code commit log to update you on all the recent changes. But first: prizes! 

We're one of four companies to be selected to present at a pitch session at the Digital Minds conference the day before the London Book Fair. Part of our prize is a space at Tech Central, an area dedicated to start ups and innovation, stand number Z505. We'll also be presenting on the Wednesday from 14.30 on Wednesday 17 April, Digital Theatre 1, Digital Zone. We'd love to see you there! 

You'll notice that Bibliocloud has unveiled a completely new look this week, both on the guest website (the bit that you see before signing in) and on the main Bibliocloud site itself. We're in the happy position of having some very engaged customers whose insight and feedback is invaluable in improving the software (thanks, chaps). Based on their thoughts and experiences using Bibliocloud, we've radically changed the navigation to be more straightforward and more aligned to real life. Log in to have a look, or see the screenshots on our new guest website. Part of the new look is a Quick Jump section, to be found on the left when you're editing a book, book proposal, rights edition, non book product, printing, contract, rights deal and address book entry. It lets you see at a glance info associated with the record. For instance, if you're editing a book, you can Quick Jump to the book's authors, its printings, contract, rights deals and schedules. If you jump to a printing, you can then see and jump to the contracts, schedules and other printings. 

We've added a notes section in to a lot of the areas. You can add a note, then other users can reply to it -- so you can track a conversation. 

In the printings area, we've added Dues as well as Estimates to help you decide how many to print. You record both dues and estimates in the book proposals area. There's a brand new, comprehensive Shipments report, again accessible from the printings area, which summarises printing deliveries by shipment and calculates prices based on carton count, carton weight and pallet costs and from shipping rates which you can store by channel and supplier. 

The schedules area has had a lot of work done on it, including validations to see at a glance which tasks on which schedules are failing. There's a missed mllestones report for management to see a summary of problems. Schedules are now polymorphic meaning they can belong to one of many sections: printings, contracts, books, and contacts, for instance. 

We've introduced the idea of being able to lock fields. We've only implemented it in a few areas so far, but it allows the user to lock fields such as the price or the contributor statement. Handy if you don't want anyone to accidentally change something such as the price or the blurb after the book's been printed and published.

There's a new Design section. This allows you to track the cover design process, and any other design elements. Cover design meetings can be contentious and so we allow you to record minutes and agreements as well as key cover briefing information.  

There's a new section for non book products: we call it Maps, Stationery, Display and Merch. We could call it Everything Not Books, I suppose... it's where you'll store info about dumpbins, spinners and things included in books such as crystals or pens. 

We've improved the search in the digital assets area, so now you can search by book title to retrieve everything about that book: the barcode, cover, print files, contract, AIs etc. 

We've hidden the concept of a Work. It's still in the system but we've reduced the user interface complexity by tucking it away. Now, you simply edit a book -- but if you come across data which should be held at work level, Bibliocloud will store it as such behind the scenes. You get a cleaner interface whilst still being able to share data properly across the editions of a work. 

We've done a new catalogue for the London Book Fair next week. You can download it here. 

We've made it easier to get your ISBN13 list from Nielsen into Bibliocloud. Now, simply paste the whole lot -- thousands, if necessary -- from Excel into Bibliocloud. You'll be able to automatically allocate them to new books. 

There are dozens of little smoothings and tweaks that have come about from the redesign of the site. Best thing is to have a look around and come across them as you're using the site. The idea is that things will just magically be in the right place when you need them. Hopefully, that's your experience: as ever, we thrive on feedback so don't hesitate to send through wish-lists, comments, complaints and more! 

The SnowBlog is one of the oldest publishing blogs, started in 2003, and it's been through various content management systems over the years. A 2005 techno-blunder meant we lost the early years, but the archives you're reading now go all the way back to 2005.

Many of the older posts in our blog archive suffer from link rot. Apologies if you see missing links and images: let us know if you'd like us to find any in particular.

Read more from the SnowBlog...

« Resurrection Engines in the FT