packagr

This is a screenshot of the publish page inside Packagr, our multi-platform digital publishing tool. Packagr helps people turn the content they’re creating into beautiful products like ebooks and iOS apps that work on a variety of devices, and can be sold in app stores - a great way to get lasting value out of the things we post online.

We are very pleased to announce that the folks at The Texas Tribune used our multichannel publishing tool Packagr to collect, curate and package an amazing series of posts about the Texas Legislature into an ebook called “Bidness as Usual.”

From the Tribune:

Over the course of the 83rd legislative session, the Tribune produced more than 60 articles on ethics and transparency among the state’s elected officials, a project we dubbed “Bidness as Usual.” The revelations: Some members of the Legislature routinely carried bills and took votes on issues near and dear to their pocketbooks — and used the weight of their office to enrich themselves and their families.

But this series, reproduced in full in our e-book, sparked the loudest conversation in years around ethics and transparency reform in Texas.

Using Packagr, the Tribune was able to import their content directly from their existing web CMS, restructure and reorder the raw content into a book, and publish it in multiple formats. Bidness as Usual is available on Amazon, or directly from the Tribune in multiple DRM-free formats.

Congrats to the Tribune on publishing this exciting and timely book!

Where do old posts go when they die?

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This post originally appeared as part of XOXCO Dispatch #1. Sign up now to be among the first to read our posts.

It is amazing how much content is poured onto the web every day. Just yesterday, our friends over at Pando Daily posted nearly 9,000 words of original writing on their site in form of 14 essays. The homepage holds only 16 posts, which means that some time this weekend, all 9,000 of those words will, as far as most people are concerned, disappear from the space-time continuum.

The articles in your city’s weekly paper are allowed to live for a week. Magazines sit on the shelf for a month. But the things we create for the web content get one shot, 24 or maybe 48 hours on the front page before disappearing into the archives. Surely, in this age of unlimited, flawless reproduction, we can do better than leaving the things we create to crawl slowly backwards towards infinity, away from anyone who might care.

A site that publishes as much as Pando Daily does creates almost a novel’s worth of content every two weeks. Yet rarely do we spend the time to pause and look back at what we’ve got once the initial flourish of chart beats end. Are we missing something?

The second page of XOXCO’s blog gets just 3% as many hits as the first.

Our visitors are left to search or crawl backwards themselves, and our editors don’t have the tools to curate and repurpose the content they already own. How can we look back if there is only the stream?

This is one of the reasons why we created Packagr. We want to help publishers tap into their content archives and give some of the best stuff a second chance to shine - perhaps in a different format or venue, perhaps to a new audience. After all, who doesn’t like a good rerun?

The future we’re hoping to build through Packagr is filled with short, interesting ebooks containing essays and reporting pulled from blog archives a decade long. We’re hoping to help a million iPad zinesters get their short stories and magazine articles on the virtual shelves. We want to help digital publishers continue the long tradition of creating distinct artifacts of their time, to take the important things out of the stream and put them in context, their proper place in space-time.

And then we’ll sell ten thousand copies of those artifacts for $3 each.

We’re looking for publishers who want to build this future with us. You can be one of the first.

We just redesigned the process of creating a new project within Packagr. The software will now guide users through creating different types of publication, such as curated weekly digests of their site, or stand alone anthologies based on a topic or category. These projects can be published to tablets, ereaders, smartphones, email and the web, and sold in app and book stores.

Behind the scenes, Packagr can synchronize content from almost any site using RSS, a Wordpress plugin, Twitter or the Tumblr API, allowing our customers to create once, publish everywhere.