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Thread: Need Feedback on an Idea

  1. #1

    Need Feedback on an Idea

    There are already services that do this, but I am creating an App that does it. But not sure if there is a way to monetize it.

    What is it? Blog (XML file) to eBook (PDF etc.) utility. So you download an xml copy of your content from the Admin Tools of the blog, drag/drop the file onto this utility and it produces an eBook of your posts with cover art, table of contents, appendix of pages. So you can save a memory of your blog or have a kind of backup.

    Partly I am coding this to put together my own code libraries for PDF, XML processing etc. But I also want to have some income-generating products.

    I am against injecting Ads into the pages of the book since it would mess up the experience of reading it, so the revenue model I have in mind is to limit the number of pages (say 10 pages) of the trial version and have unlimited pages on the paid version for say for $9.99

    Another idea is to use the free version to build a mailing list and later market an advanced scraping tool that can turn an arbitrary site URL into an eBook for personal reference/offline reading.

    Looking forward to your comments ...

  2. #2
    I fail to see why blog posts would be made into ebooks.
    And what the market would be?

  3. #3
    Mainly Offline reading and Archiving.

    Some blogs disappear from the web, save them before this happens.
    You may come across an interesting blog but not have time to read it all, and you are more likely to check it out again if you have an eBook of it.
    Fast access to posts via the table of contents and text search.
    Download sites from work to take home so you don't have to use your dial-up internet connection.

  4. #4
    I think the problem you will run into is that there are several free browser plugins that do a screen capture. Most save the file in a PNG format that can be printed or saved. I use Screengrab for FireFox for archiving web pages.

    If it has unique features that people want, you may have a sellable product. But if it doesn't do anything more than the freebies, it will probably not sell.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

  5. I think it could be useful for some people who are looking to expand their blog and sell portions of it as an ebook. Would the blog content then become not free?

  6. #6
    Screen capturing may be fine for saving an image of individual posts that you want to save, but my software will automate the process of creating an ebook from the URL of a home page or from the XML dump of the entire blog content. So it can handle hundreds of blog posts automatically. Then you can put the eBook on your Kindle or mobile device.

    For eBooks to sell, I don't think my tool is needed. For that I would use Open Office.

  7. #7
    Progress preview1.jpg
    Getting a blog into PDF format makes it easy to navigate and search on the content and it's super-fast. I can't wait to download some big blogs with the crawler to test out my code.
    One area to explore is how to add new posts. So, maybe need say a monthly update scheduler?

    Download the example PDF here:

    I set up a website to provide the download buttons for the software when I complete it here:
    Last edited by Andy101; 24 March, 2015 at 11:11 AM.

  8. #8
    After importing a blog (select the posts and pages that you want to include in the eBook): app-preview1.png

  9. #9
    This is getting interesting.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
    I am having to learn a lot of new things to code it with WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), mostly regarding how to layout the controls and apply styles. Thankfully, there is more Open Source code cropping up for .NET these days using very flexible licences such as the MIT licence that I favor most. So in this project I used MigraDoc which saves me having to code a PDF rendering engine. Also, HtmlAgility Pack (to parse HTML) and many online tutorials etc. But of course there is a lot of custom code that one needs to write by one's self to glue it all together and make it happen.

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