San Francisco, California

Sloanstarter

Now this is very interesting: the other day Robin released Sloanstarter, his very own crowdfunding campaign for his web/ebook/Kindle novella (personally, I prefer web novella or might I suggest webvella? Oh, I might not? Wow, rude.)

The idea is simple. You pay Robin $9 for the story you’ll get a variety of ways to read the thing—but!—the coolest part of all this is that if the crowdfunding project is successful then Robin will release both the web version for free and make the code available on GitHub.

You can find a preview of the webvella novella here. And? I can’t remember the last time a story format was exciting like this. Perhaps 17776? Either way, Robin has expertly taken some of the familiar parts of a book, such as the concept of pages and swiping between them, and merged it with all the...lightness of a website. Click on either side of the page and with a Kindle-esque click you’re teleported to the next. There’s no big app-ness, no fancy animations to throw you off balance, no audio inserted where audio must not be inserted. There is a dash of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. And that’s all it needs.

And I know I’m prattling on at this point, perhaps embarrassing myself, but I truly love this format. As I’m slowly making this tiny Kindle book I find this pattern of clicking to the next chunk or idea very different than writing for a website, for a scrolling interface. The text just feels completely different, and I can play with all sorts of ideas that I think Robin is playing with here, too. Oh wait did I mention the fonts of this thing? So great! Okay, okay. I’ll stop now. Sorry.

Anyway, go support this thing.