Posted by & filed under Pirates & Politics. 15 comments

Note: Henceforth, all TUEBL updates shall be collected into The One Thread TO RULE THEM ALL!


OK, TUEBL has been functional for enough days that I feel confidant announcing that it’s officially back on solid ground–hurray!  The “upload” section if still offline, but the thousands of books from Old TUEBL made it over to New TUEBL so the well’s not exactly dry.  Plus, word has it the librarians are working hard to fix the upload feature so pretty soon we can all go back to doing our part to put the Ultimate in Ultimate E-Book Library.

Other than the upload section, the site is fully functional again, but there are a few changes the old visitors might notice.

First,  the Library got a facelift!  It’s appearance now mirrors it’s sister site, TorMovies.org, with a less stark front page and a great layout for browsing.  The new “Featured Books” section on the front page along with a list of the most popular and recently added books make the place feel more like an actual library where you have new books on display and those twirly kiosk things for the popular paperbacks.

Secondly, there’s no forum at the new TUEBL.  This may be a disappointment to some, but since the forum wasn’t used all that much at the old site, I can hardly imagine it’s absence will impede most users.  And word has it a new system for support and communication  is on the To-Do list.  Plus, as the self-appointed, yeah-it’s-totally-official TUEBL blogger, you can always drop questions and comments here for yours truly to answer.

Finally, and to me most excitingly, TUEBL book pages (for example) now have a direct link to Amazon for those who want to buy the books. Why is this exciting?  Well, it’s one of the first steps towards merging a “pirate” site where you can access all the books for free with a legitimate way to support the authors that you appreciate.  Of course, I’d guess that most people will still use TUEBL like the library that it is and stick with the free downloads.  And that’s great, that’s exactly what a library is for!  But as we all know, many of us “pirates” also love to support our favorite authors, when given a fitting option.  And when buying something is easy people will often do it–and having a link right there, may very well encourage some appreciative fans to buy the book or browse other books by the same.  The way I see it, this feature is a huge step in the direction of making TUEBL a truly ethical andconvenient source of books.

And on that subject of support for authors, I want to end with the one wish I have for TUEBL.  Though the link to Amazon is a great step, I would love to see more options for paying the authors for the books we enjoy.  For example, I wish readers who might not want or be able to buy the book on Amazon to be able to Flattr books.  Of course, this is tricky for two reasons:

1. Flattr does not allow you to submit Things that are not your own, therefore only the authors could put Flattr buttons on their book pages, which leads to problem #2…

2. Authors are unlikely to submit their TUEBL book pages to Flattr.  Asking them to do so is probably more likely to end in them submitting a takedown notice and a legal complaint, two things we’d probably all like to avoid.

However, it seems as though there might be a way or two around these problems, like this:

1. You CAN Flattr a Twitter user.  Nothing is stopping TUEBL users from doing this for their favorite authors.  Of course, that doesn’t encourage other users to do the same thing, hence step #2…

2. Once you Flattr a Twitter user, that person then has a page on Flattr and  TUEBL could then have a link to that author’s Flattr page.   (This blog, for example, has linked to Twitter-Flattr page for  Romi Moondi )  OR…

3. Since this would be complicated to do for 6,000+ books, TUEBL could simply allow users to post links to the Flattr pages in the comments of the book page. 

Technically, I think this would be legit, though it’s possible that Flattr would protest because they may not want to look like they’re getting their hands dirty with “piracy.” (Though TUEBL is really, really NOT a pirate site–they will remove material after an appropriate request is made.)  But of course, if they don’t like the idea, I’ll just Twitter-Flattr my favorite TUEBL authors and link to their pages from here.  😉

15 Responses to “TUEBL News: New TUEBL Makes It Easier To Support Authors”

  1. Ruby

    I love the new Tuebl update.. I have been curious these days as to whether or not I am the only one not seeing any updates in the directions of more books?

    • aeliusblythe

      It’s not just you, the upload feature HAS been offline since the update, so the collection isn’t currently growing. One of the reasons, I think, is that the admins are hard at work on some big and really exciting developments, like TUEBL authors, a programs to actually help authors with marketing, design and things like that. So I think some of the smaller features are getting pushed aside–temporarily.

      But uploading will definitely come back–I’ll try to keep everyone updated.

      • Ruby


        That made me a little worried. I know that books being uploaded are sometimes contributed by other users as well as the admins so I was thinking that something was wrong with my browser.

        I am quite excited for the new features as well…

  2. Angela

    Hw doe tuebl take the books back when you’re done reading them? Am I just supposed to delete them off my comp when I’m done with the book?

    • aeliusblythe

      TUEBL doesn’t take the books back. In that way it’s not like our traditional idea of a library. But there’s also no reason to take the books back – they never left in the first place! Physical libraries (and the publishers and authors that supply them) can’t afford to give out books permanently because once you take a book it’s gone and needs to be either returned or replaced for others to enjoy it. Not so online.

      As far as deleting them yourself, it’s really a personal call. Again, there’s not necessarily any reason to delete them – deleting them won’t give them to anyone else (like returning a library book) or give money to the author. But TUEBL does actually encourage users to buy the books they enjoy, or other books by those authors, but that doesn’t require you to delete it. If you feel guilty, then ask yourself: Is having the book on your harddrive really stopping you from buying it?

      Again, it’s personal. For me, the answer is usually no, since I download books I wasn’t going to buy, and if I do enjoy them I’ll support the author by buying their books regardless.

        • Komal

          Great plugin, super easy to setup. There is one issue. The jasvcaript the loads the Flattr piece is inline in the html instead of at bottom. So for example on my blog home page I have 8 articles each has a flattr attached to it. This is slowing down the performance of my whole homepage.What would be better is if the php inserted a placeholder into the page and deferred loading and executing the Javascript for Flattr until the end of the page. This way the page can load very quickly and users will still get to use Flattr. Plus as your server become more heavily used this will slow down every person’s site that has Flattr on it. Slowing down the internet is not cool. :)Is this something that is being looked at?

    • Elaine

      I have noticed that since they made the changes last week that Tuebl hasn’t updated the books since maybe Saturday and not only that but my downloads have been disappearing so I can’t upload them to Aldiko. I have a Kindle Fire. Today I have had two generic error messages a 404 and 505. I’ve checked the website out on the Is it down right now? Website but that tells.me it’s ok and its me. It can’t be me because I tried at work and at home and get the same message. What’s going on?

      • AeliusBlythe

        Sorry for all the errors! You’re definitely not the only one. Our Librarian-in-Chief is actually away visiting family for the week AND tuebl’s just rolled out its new version, so it may be a few days before everything 100% functional….. Check back, though!

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