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Category: Thoughts

The Business Case for Liquid | Author

Author is simply too ambitious for me to attempt to try to do by myself and my own finances. Therefore Author needs to be commercially viable – quite simply so that I can pay for the coding for the project to continue to grow.

The plan is to release a solid but basic word processor for OS X and iOS by the end of January 2015 which features:

• Elegant and distraction free reading and writing environments.
• Simultaneous release for Mac OS X & iOS with iCloud document synchronisation including hand-off.
• Modern foundations including continuous saving, word count, spell-check and voice transcription.
• A few advanced tools, including:
– Cuttings (Author’s version of a multiple clipboard)
– Clippings on OS X
– Book style page turning on iOS
– Automatic Outlines from Headings
– Advanced Link/Citation support

I will charge nothing for Author itself, it’s important to let people try it and see if they like it.

The ability to export documents (RTF & PDF initially) and to post to the WordPress blogging platform will cost $10 (a one time charge, not a charge for each time they want to export) and this is the same as what the other new and independent ‘minimalist’ word processors cost in the Apple App Store (Apple’s own ‘Pages’ is $20 and Microsoft Word is $160).

Author is more feature rich than the other independent word processors and will focus increasingly on the workflow of acadmics so I do not feel it’s unlikely that it will generate a good number of conversions from free to paid. Please note that for users who do not want to pay, they can simply select all the text in Author and copy it, then paste it into another word processor, so they will not loose their work, but they would loose their headings and citations, which is a major reason for using Author in the first place.

After the initial release I will approach universities, first in London, to see what interest they have in collaborating with the best formats for their students and testing with their students to build the best possible academic writing system. I will do the same with academic publications. This then will provide the direction for future development, and in concert with the universities, marketing to have a wide enough user base to pay for the future development.

The list of future features is large, centered around powerful tools and advanced tagging control:

• Academic Export with Citation Management
• Innovative Search
• Smart Notes
• Dialogue via Documents
• LiquiWiki
• Views
• Word Count (with Goals)
• Tagged Browser Trails
• Advanced Voice Transcription
• Liquid Integration for Author iOS
• Browser Integration for Author iOS
• Clippings (iOS)
• Dark Mode
• Further Document Formats supported for Export
• Sharing through more Social Networking services
• Deep Collaboration
• & More…

So there you have it, this is the plan :-)

This post was written in Liquid | Author OS X in Barcelona, Sunday 4th of January 2015.

1 Comment


Today is simply holiday. Emily and I will have a simple lunch, then do the tourist bus most likely.

Liquid | Author works starts in Russia on Monday and has already started in Finland but both versions are too buggy still to do real work on. Anyway, it’s be brilliant, though it’s a bit frustrating at the moment.

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