2021 – Week 22

Some administrative stuff this week – pushed an update of Surfing The Deathline to Apple Books, and made some progress on trying to get my head around Fastspring.

The updates for Surfing The Deathline went badly, as Apple is continuing to us a black page template for my uploaded books, and putting the cover graphics onto it in such a way, as to, well see the following image:

So they’re making my covers look like muddy garbage, and while “engineering are working on a solution” and have been for months. There’s a 10 second fix to their site’s CSS that will mitigate the problem in the meantime, but Apple won’t make it.

Had an interesting email exchange with folk from a European agency that produces technology for EPUB books, about whether they’d be interested in creating a delta upgrader to allow customer-side patching for EPUB books, so a publisher could just issue an errata .zip file, and a tool at the customer’s end could run a patch process against the file, to replace the old assets with the new ones. The upside of this is it lets book sellers offer free, or sell paid upgrades / DLC of a book in a way that means they don’t have to issue a whole new book, or manage customer accounts.

They were interesting discussions, but even more interesting was a conversation with an old friend, who’s interested in trying to build this tool himself, as a “just to see if I can” project.