This is the 34th monthly report for Print My Blog (PMB) WordPress plugin.
What Happened This Month
Mailing List Stats
Stats from my MailChimp mailing list.
Stats from my site’s Koko analytics (don’t need no Google Analytics, thank you!)
Freemius gathers other stats about sales and sites using the plugin.
Finances and More Plugin Stats
Documenting Making eBooks!
In December 2021, PMB 3.9.0 added the ability to create ePub eBooks (without using dotEpub browser extension). It is not, however, a free feature. And because 3.9.0 didn’t include any new features for free users, I didn’t bother releasing 3.9.0 to WordPress.org.
In January 2022 I played catch up with the documentation: updating the website’s promotional materials (mostly the homepage), the user guide, and writing a post on how to create an ePub eBook from an existing PMB project.
As usual, in the process I noticed a few things that could be improved…
ePubs Link to Internal Content
PMB already intelligently bundles images into the eBook file, rather than hotlinking to wherever the images are stored on the internet. This is a major advantage over dotEpub because the images in ePub eBooks can be seen without an internet connection and without using up any data on your cellphone bill.
Additionally, PMB 3.10.0 makes all hyperlinks to included content link to the corresponding spot in the eBook, rather than linking back to the website. E.g., if you have two posts, one with a hyperlink to the other, when you put those into an ePub eBook, that hyperlink will no longer link to the website, but instead to wherever that second post was included in the eBook.
ePub Table of Contents Indents Nested Articles
PMB supports nested content (i.e., diving your book or project into “parts”) but parts and articles within those parts looked the same in the ePub eBook’s table of contents. PMB 3.10.1 now shows those nested articles with a dash in front. It’s not a masterpiece of design just yet, but its helpful for readers.
Thinking Out Loud
Images and iFrames from External Websites
What Do New Users Want?
It was interesting reviewing this month’s Freemius stats: basically, 105 new folks activated PMB, and 104 of them deactivated it (about 55 new sites were added during the month too). Looking over the deactivation reasons, the big reasons are “expected something else” and “expected to work differently” and “missing specific feature” which are all pretty similar. Some folks gave some more detailed responses which indicated they didn’t understand PMB could be used to add print buttons onto their website… I suspect they’re seeing all the text and documentation about PMB Pro that they miss that print buttons is still a thing. It’s something to work on…
Fitting Inline Images on Pages While Reducing Dead Space
One of the major difficulties converting WordPress content into well-designed books is how to handle images: in WordPress you just add them inline and it’s fine. But when you take that same content and put it onto discrete pages, with page breaks, inline images become a pain because often they don’t fit on the page. So then they need to be placed on the next page, leaving a bunch of dead whitespace on the previous page.
PMB’s current solution to that is to reorganize the text and images, but some authors’ writing depends on the images maintaining their order relative to the text, so that’s not an option for them. So what to do?
I’m wanting to write a few more tutorials and solve that issue with remote images in ePubs. I’m also considering adding a Word export format or more designs (like one where images are shown on the outside margin instead of inline with the text). Let me know me know if anything is especially important to you!