Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Beta has begun!

We have now released Dashbook into the world of beta testing. Dashbook is a Windows program that assists publishers with the sales of products such as books by tracking inventory, sales, returns, and royalties. Although there already are programs that do this, Dashbook does it better.

Dashbook was designed from its core as a Windows program, taking advantage of tabs to organize related information to reduce clutter and confusion, and it is infused with the innate ability to communicate through the web thanks to the Microsoft .Net Framework platform.

We have spent a lot of time designing Dashbook to work intuitively for both publishers and authors. Even though we worked closely with an established publisher, Trivium Publishing, we are anxious to get this into the hands of many more to learn how we can further improve our product.

Our site, has a sales tab which allows anyone to participate in the beta. Please download it, try it out, and give us feedback so that we can make it better for you.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Setup Wizard

We've been working on a Setup Wizard to assist in getting started. The Wizard will prompt for publisher information (name, address, etc.), then information for each book, and if you are using royalties, each author and royalty definition.

Once that information is entered, sales can begin!

Of course, more books, authors, etc. can be entered (and edited) after this initialization. The Wizard is more of a good prompting tool to get the basic information in the program.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dashbook has a website!

We now have a website for our program, Although we also have download availability from our new site, we are still refining the program before launching our beta.

The home page of our website has a snapshot of our Dashboard, which is basically a view of key performance indicators. At this time, our Dashboard shows four reports or charts:

Payments Due (Customers, amounts, and due dates)
Aging Receivables (as a pie chart)
Best Sellers YTD (pie chart of what's hot)
Re-Order Notice (inventory chart)

Obviously a Best Sellers chart has little value to a single product publisher, and would be too cramped for a book publisher of over a hundred titles. There is no doubt that customizations will become important.

For our beta version, this Dashboard has no user interface to change which reports are shown. However, the information for the Dashboard is contained in an html file which savvy users can customize.

Monday, September 17, 2007

In the beginning

It has been just over a year since we started working on DashBook. Our technical writer alerted us to the absence of quality software for small book publishers, as the program that seemed to have the largest audience looks like it was ported from DOS while continually cramming more cryptic information onto the screens.

Creating new software takes quite a bit of time - at least it does for us. We have gone through a number of iterations of improvements across many areas of the program. As one might imagine, the section for entering orders is of prime importance. I am very proud of the simplification that we managed there, while retaining the ability for more complex orders.

This is an exciting time for us, as we will be entering our beta test period soon. On one track we have the development of our initial website for introducing the product and downloading the beta, while on the other we begin the excitement anew with ideas of our product direction and new features and capabilities.

It has been fun so far, and about to get intense!