Softcover Is A New Self-Publishing Platform Aimed At Technical Authors



Softcover is a startup offering what it calls a “frictionless” platform for self-publishing e-books.

Co-founder Michael Hartl is an author himself, having written the Ruby on Rails Tutorial. (He’s also a repeat entrepreneur, having founded Y Combinator-backed social-networking startup Insoshi.) Hartl told me via email that between a publishing deal with Addison-Wesley and direct sales from the tutorial website, the book has made $750,000 — and Softcover is based on that experience:

Originally, Softcover came from scratching my own itch: I wanted to make follow-on products to the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, a book and screencast series that has become one of the leading introductions to web development. I knew from experience what a pain it is to make a new website, install a sales system, and upload the files to make them available, and I didn’t want to have to do that for every new product. I…

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