Here’s a heads-up for fellow webzine editors and publishers, fiction writers publishing their own work online, and other interested (or indeed interesting) parties: the Anthologize plugin for WordPress generates EPUB, PDF and “other mobile formats” from content stored on the blog in which it is installed. Dan Cohen, head of the team that produced it (in just a week, no less, using a funding grant from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University) explains in a bit more detail:
[This plugin] converts the popular open-source WordPress system into a full-fledged book-production platform. Using Anthologize, you can take online content such as blogs, feeds, and images (and soon multimedia), and organize it, edit it, and export it into a variety of modern formats that will work on multiple devices. Have a poetry blog? Anthologize it into a nice-looking ePub ebook and distribute it to iPads the world over. A museum with an RSS feed of the best items from your collection? Anthologize it into a coffee table book. Have a group blog on a historical subject? Anthologize the best pieces quarterly into a print or e-journal, or archive it in TEI.
I suspect there will be many users and uses for Anthologize, and developers can extend the software to work in different environments and for different purposes. I see the tool as part of a wave of “reading 2.0″ software that I’ve come to rely on for packaging online content for long-form consumption and distribution, including the Readability browser plugin and Instapaper. This class of software is particularly important for the humanities, which remains very bookish, but it is broadly applicable. Anthologize is flexible enough to handle different genres of writing and content, opening up new possibilities for scholarly communication.
So, obviously intended for a userbase of humanities academics, but this could be a real kick-start for us fiction webzine types to start reaching out to the ereader audiences on a webzine budget*. All I need now is a few extra hours in every day of the week to investigate it further… *sigh*
Hopefully some smart people will retool it for some of the other open-source CMS platforms as well. I could very easily and quickly find a use for a ModX version….
[ Hat-tip to Alex “Xander” Ingram, Third Row Fandom’s in-house ebooks boffin. Big up yerself, Xander, and thanks for the notification. 🙂 ]
[ * Webzine budget (compound noun, colloquial) – (1): small change and used paperclips. ]