Frequently Asked Questions


Bandcamp for books, comics and magazines.

  1. What is Bubblin Superbooks?

    A social book reader for web.

    Bubblin is an online café of books—meaning, a calm and cozy place for book lovers to hang out and read interesting stories, comics or Superbooks . Enjoy a distraction free environment and with books served hot over the wire. Bubblin is free of charge, free of ads and doesn't require registration to be able to enjoy or share books.

  2. Are the books free?

    Yes. All works on Bubblin are free to read and share with anyone. We're working on introducing premium books shortly.

  3. How do I download a book?

    No downloads required! All books on Bubblin work offline naturally.

    Once you open a book on your browser, it will download itself automatically and continue to work offline without needing a live Internet connection there on. This process is seamless and carried out using Service Workers under the hood.

  4. But, I like reading offline…

    Yes, we get that a lot. All books on Bubblin are offline-first as a default.

  5. Do I need to own hardware?

    Not at all. Our aim is to liberate digital books from properietary hardware and bring great reads straight on web. No investment in hardware or proprietray software is required for you to be able to read a book over Bubblin.

    We support all modern browsers, all devices and all operating systems.

  6. Is this another e-book format?

    No. It is simple HTML, CSS and JavaScript strapped together with the pagination behavior of a real book. We think that it is a travesty for people to worry about files or format when all they want is a good book. Books are not files to begin with!

    Bubblin takes the pain away from digital books and lets you focus on reading instead. In fact, we help people avoid Tsundoku more than anyone else!

  7. How do Superbooks work?

    Head over to the concept page to see how Superbooks utilize native bifolium pagination using simple building blocks of web. In short, a Superbook is merely a stack of responsive virgin iframes paginated like a book.

  8. How is the support?

    A blank Superbook is supported everywhere.

  9. How is the support on e-readers?

    We're not quite there yet.

    We tested on a few e-readers on market that sport a web browser but the results weren't satisfactory. One approach to solving this is to have Superbooks default to plain HTML with typical styling that scrolls when page flipping or JavaScript is turned off.

    More updates on e-reader support, especially w.r.t WCAG 2.1 (2018) accessibility guidelines will be announced shortly. We discuss some of these issues, native behavior and accessibility consideration at length on the Frequently Raised Concerns page.

    Feel free to join the conversation and help us build a better system!

  10. What is a Superbook?

    Superbook means Superclass of a book, comics or magazine.

    Put simply, it is that jacket that holds your longform together. More explanation about how it works is provided on our documentation. Key difference between a Superbook and an e-book is that Superbooks use a strong layout as opposed to a fixed or fluid one elsewhere. Each page is a virgin iframe, a sandboxed code playground, that accepts a very limited quantity of content that remains above the fold. Since the content of an iframe is ultimately good ol' HTML, CSS and JavaScript (i.e. building blocks of web) you can easily combine your frontend engineering skills along with storytelling to create classiest of books.

  11. Does it mean we can add code inside of books?

    Yes, absolutely! That's the magical part of it… 🙂

    As a writer you can add programming logic into your book to make it more meaningful. Output a visual experiment or an interactive explanation of any sort or put a piece of contextual substance that helps the reader understand or grasp a key concept easily.

    Example:

    View tidal locking between Earth and Moon explained on page number 39 of this demo book on The Solar System. Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate:

    arrow keys or the Space bar to turn the page. Press ⌘ + K to see more options.

    Trivially speaking, the content could be anything from plain text to GPU powered shaders. Given that a Superbook can render plain text simply, all novels, textbooks, magazine or comic books that exist as files outside of web can now easily be adapted on web.

    Readers can read, share and link to your book on web. Here we list some of the advantages of Superbooks over the traditional digital form that push the user away from web.

  12. Please list the main USPs:

    Sure. To begin with, Superbooks work everywhere: on every device, mobile, tablet, desktop and television on the planet. This makes it easy to for you (the writer) to reach your readers anywhere.

    Since we don't use a file system for distribution and rely on web instead, our books are way more accessible and shareable than on any other platform or option on market.

    Superbooks allow coding inside of book letting you create contextually relevant experiences over static rendered content. Such flexibility isn't possible on a lifeless file that lives outside of web.

    For example:

    1. Add a little canvas experiment in your physics book to explain pendulum motion.
    2. Code up a comics book with animated CSS3 characters instead of using heavy GIFs.
    3. Publish a photobook capturing all your memories at one place.
    4. Create a children's book with music and story that goes hand-in-hand.

    and so on…

    We believe that adapting books on web can lead us to a stronger and better web. A web where people can enjoy reading longform straight off their browsers. Without needing to download an artifact to the disk and without needing to own specialized and often closed hardware for books. It would also lead us to better books with endless creativity, likes of which we haven't seen before. To sum it up, web and books together means better access, better storytelling and thus a better world.

  13. What is the thinking here?

    First principles.

    Physical books are not files. Books belong to children (or the child within us). Files belong to bureaucracy. Books are about creativity, about counter-culture and about overthrowing rotten ideals of our society. Files are about encoding those rotten ideals and force them on the society.

    So why should e-books be files at all?

    We feel that online books and their diaspora has not even been invented yet. Our current reality of downloadable files is a lazy shortchange in place of a real online book that is yet to happen. Using shallow enterprise-y software, business style word processors and complex proprietary formats is not what books and their lovers stand for. Why should a reader worry about a format or managing an artefact? As a writer should I just hope that someone will click to download my work of months, navigate to that file and open it to read as opposed to simply read on web?

    These are some of the motivations and questions behind Bubblin Superbooks, and of course we don't have answers to all of them yet. We just hope that some of you will find this project interesting enough and feel that a book should be accessible to anyone and everyone out there with a device that connects to the web. And not just those who could afford a Kindle or an iPhone.

    Our intent is to coalesce the world of books and web together into a single unified resource that is both open and accessible—ala, make books a First Class Citizen of web.

  14. Can I publish on Bubblin?

    Absolutely! Start on our documentation page, but here's a quick summary:

    There are two methods to write and publish a Superbook:

    1. Use the in-browser editor on Bubblin, or
    2. Install Bookiza Abelone, an open source book reification framework for web.

    The first option (in-browser editor) is suitable for small one-off publications like comics or magazine. The second option i.e. Bookiza is a more professional setup meant for long hauls or something periodical. Bookiza comes with several pre-built templates for books of different genres and literature like textbooks, photobooks, novella etc.

  15. I use Scrivener, does it work for me?

    We're looking at integrating deeply with Scrivener.

    An update will be made available when integration is completed.

  16. Does it integrate with MS Word?

    No, it doesn't.

    Microsoft Office (Word) is an enterprise tool designed to create business documents like contracts or LOIs. A lot has been written about this but MS Word is not meant for writing books. If you use that you'd end up creating a .doc file and several derivative files off of that MS word document file like a PDF or epub later on. You don't want to head down that path at all.

    In general, if you're into writing books, we recommend you avoid using MS Word completely.

  17. Is there a tutorial?

    Here's a quick one on how to write a Superbook using the in-browser editor and layout templates.

  18. Can I sell my books?

    Yes, but licensed work only!

    For example, you can publish and sell all original (unencumbered) works written by you. Or republish and sell public domain books with your own artwork, illustrations or new takes. In general, to be able to sell, you must be in possession of the right to do so for the material in question.

    Also, the content must not be prohibited per our forbidden list described on Terms of Service.

    ☞ Pricing tool feature is available only through invitation.
  19. Is this self-publishing?

    Not exactly. It's more like "book making" inspired by app development techniques such as frontend, push2deploy etc. Book writing isn't an individual activity. You'd need help from your friends, experts, illustration artists, layout designers, editors and other specialists to polish your work (enter Git) before it is ready for consumers. Bubblin and Bookiza can help you achieve good results for the work of your life.

    Writing a new book? Head over to our tools page to learn more.

  20. Is there an iOS or Android app?

    Native apps are planned. Our first love is web; also it is the last.

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