Here at Nieman Lab, we’re always interested in new platforms for our work — both because we like people to read what we produce and because we think it’s important to experiment in some of the same ways that the news organizations we cover do. (Also, we’re very nerdy.)
So I’m happy to say that you now have a new way to learn what we’re learning at the Lab — ebooks.
Now available for (free) download is The Future of News As We Know It (*as of June 2012), a compilation of our best work from June. It’s in EPUB format, which means it’ll work in iBooks on your iPhone or iPad, on Nook, on Sony Reader, or in just about any other ereader other than the Kindle. (UPDATE: There’s now a Kindle version — see below.)
And yes, it’s an R.E.M. pun.
Ebooks are exploding — I spend a ton of time reading them on my iPad — and there are some people for whom a collected, collated package of news, commentary, and analysis is going to be more appealing than remembering to check in to our site every day or following along on Twitter. This is for them.
I pulled this together both because I think there might be an audience for it and because I really wanted to learn about EPUB, which is becoming the lingua franca of ebook publishing. EPUB is mostly extremely unforgiving HTML and CSS, so it wasn’t too difficult a process, but I learned a ton in the process of building WordPress exporters and automating a lot of the backend-code creation. If people are interested, I’d be happy to share the tools and methods I built along the way.
In any event, I’d love to hear from Lab readers about how this looks, what kinds of improvements you’d make, whether you’re interested in an ebook format for our content, and anything else that comes to mind. (I’d also love to hear from anyone reading on a non-Apple platform, since I’ve only tested it extensively on iPad/iPhone.) Get downloading!
[Update, 1:20 p.m.: I've added a version for the Kindle. It's not quite as lovely as the EPUB version — since the eInk Kindles have much less powerful design capabilities — but it works. Give it a try!]
[Additional update: Here's a sample of what this looks like, in case you don't have iBooks.]
Q: How do I install this ebook in my ereader?
A: For iBooks on your iPad or iPhone, any of these methods will work:
— visit this webpage on your iDevice and tap the download link; it’ll suggest opening it in iBooks,
— emailing the EPUB to yourself and opening that email attachment on your iPad or iPhone, or
— moving the EPUB into your Dropbox folder and then opening it from the Dropbox app on your iDevice.
For other EPUB readers (Nook, Sony Reader, etc.), follow the directions that came with it.
For Kindle, you can load it onto a device by USB or by emailing it to yourself at your Kindle email address.