After about three months since my first prototype, I’m happy to introduce you to Paperback. Paperback is a clean and simple way to read Pinboard articles later. Paperback is a fully responsive web app with a simple experience on both desktop and mobile. If you’re not familiar with Pinboard, it’s a bookmarking service that lets you save URLs, tag them, and if you’ve upgraded, archive them so you have a permanent, offline store of every link you’ve saved.
I started building Paperback because I wanted the reading experience of Instapaper but with the reliable archival system of Pinboard. Paperback gives you a nice clean reading list and article view, free of distraction, keyboard navigation that rocks if you’re on a desktop, and powerful tools for tagging and archiving your articles back into Pinboard’s long term storage.
You can read more about Paperback’s features here.
Since I see Paperback as an extension of the great work that Maciej has been doing with Pinboard, it shares many of the same values:
- Focus on speed and utility over “social”
- Simple, proven technology; Nothing fancy to see here
Paperback costs $15 a year. [Update: As announced on August 3, 2014, Paperback will become a one time fee for the service rather than a yearly subscription.] It’s unapologetically a paid service which allows me to make it a sustainable service. I want it to exist for a long time. This isn’t a “startup”, it’s a thing that I work on in my free time. I don’t want it to become a full-time job but I do want a respecting relationship between me and you, my customer. That means that you pay me for a service because you think it’s valuable and I maintain a service that you can trust. It being a paid service also constrains growth so that I don’t have to “scale” to support freeloaders.
Because it’s not a full-time gig and with that respect thing I mentioned above, I want to make sure I set some expectations:
- Feature development will be slow and iterative: I am committed to continuously making this service better but it won’t happen at a startup’s pace. I think the current experience is great—I use it everyday—and think you will like what you see. I’m also looking forward to it being better.
- With a focus on simplicity and reliability: this is a service I use myself. Reading through articles I’ve saved for later is one of my favorite things to do. I grab a coffee, sit down and read something maybe insightful, maybe educational, or maybe something that will make me laugh. I like the simplicity of reading and, like a good book, I want the experience to be simple. I also want it to be reliable so that every morning I can pull up Paperback and it will greet me with a sturdy smile. There’s still room for power-user features (there are already many) but building something that can be simple to use and that is reliable are priorities over any complex features.
- Support: I’ll provide it in the best, most honest way I can. I can’t promise I’ll respond to every feature request but if you need a hand, I want to be able to respond to you within a reasonable time.