Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's next?

It has been over a month since the last blog entry, and we've been busy. Last week we released an update to DashBook that improves a few different areas of the program.

To assist new users of DashBook who already have many published books, the New Product button will now present a screen where you can paste in a list of ISBNs, and DashBook will retrieve the book titles and authors from the internet. If you have hundreds of book titles, this greatly speeds setting up the program for use. The only other things needed is to enter the retail price for each, and setup royalties for each combination of product and contributor.

When you have royalties for many products and contributors that overlap (multiple authors per title, and/or multiple titles per author), this next feature comes in handy! The Royalty Agreement screen now has grouping for viewing purposes. This does not affect the calculations, but does help to manage agreements when you have hundreds to track. You can group by product, which then shows all of the products on the left side of the screen, and for each product, the right side of the screen shows all of the royalty recipients for that product. There is even a Summary tab that allows you to see and edit all of the simple percentages for each author.

Similarly, you can change your view to "by author," and you will have a list of authors on the left, where each author presents a summary of the royalty agreements for this author along with percentages. This gives a nice overview of all of the projects you have with a contributor.

Another new feature enhances the value of customized reporting. DashBook uses hyperlink text to quickly show reports during input, like on the Order page. You can now right-click on a report hyperlink to edit which report it shows, as well as setting the parameters for the report. If a report asks for a choice where your answer never changes, you can preset your answer to not be bothered with the question. If you create your own version of a report, you can now setup the hyperlink to call your own customized report.

The development of DashBook is progressing swiftly. Our next set of improvements coming in a couple of months will put DashBook in a new league!