When we started to design the ebook edition of The Manual, we knew we’d have to roll up our sleeves and start from scratch to create a unique experience for our readers.
We’re pleased to say the finished sample of Issue 4 turned out beautifully. It contains Wilson Miner’s article, “Perennial Design,” and his companion lesson. We’re excited to share both with you today in multiple formats:
For now, the best way to access our ebook editions is to back our Kickstarter project. Pledge of £25 (~$40 / €30) or more to get ebook editions of Issues 4, 5, and 6 — that’s more than 10% off the cost of buying them separately, and you’ll also get exclusive access to the ebooks two weeks before they go on general sale.
But hurry — there’s only three days left, and ~20% to go on our project.
Later this year, you’ll be able to buy DRM-free ebooks from our shop in both ePub, Kindle and PDF formats. All print and audiobook editions will include a free ebook edition. If you purchased any of our previous issues in print, we’ll send you an ebook for free.
Constraints and Decisions
Compared to printed books, the device-agnostic and non-strictly linear nature of ebooks imply not only different constraints, but also some extra decisions to be made. Here are a few of ours:
When you open our ebooks, you go straight to our content, not a cover followed by legalese or tables of content. Since the table of contents is usually available from a dedicated button or menu option, and readers likely familiarized themselves with the author list before buying, we get out of the way and let readers go straight to enjoying our articles and lessons.
Contrary to our print editions, illustrations aren’t placed amongst an article’s text. In print, a spread with an illustration on one page will always have text on the other, letting you continue to read without an additional page turn. In ebooks, most readers read with a single page visible at a time, so we placed illustrations at the beginning of the article.
We made sure browsing around is easy. Along with the customary Table of Contents and List of Illustrations pages at the beginning of the book, the Table of Contents on your e-reader will show you each author’s article and lesson nested under their names1.
Furthermore, when you jump between chapters2, you’ll find that an article’s illustration is in a separate chapter from its text — meaning you’ll always see the article’s title and author when you use this feature, even if an illustration precedes the piece.
In ebook reading devices and apps that support this new feature found in the ePub 3 specification, you’ll be able to tap a footnote reference to see its content in a popover without being sent to the end of the article.
We hope you like this new way of reading The Manual. More affordable and immediate than our beloved print edition, it will bring our work to a larger audience and let you read our articles and lessons everywhere you want.
If you love The Manual and want to enjoy all our editions in ebook formats, please consider backing consider backing our Kickstarter project.