I Used to have an iPad Newstand App
In 2013 I had an iPad Newstand App called Lattice. In total, there were 6 issues of Lattice. I’m proud of each of them, both in the quality of work I’ve been able to muster, as well as the world-building I’d attempted. I looked at the idea of serial fiction as a way to slowly piece together a much larger object than simply a book. I looked at it as an evolution from the book, to this new thing that could only be done with specific technologies working together. Sync. Push. Subscription payments. Tiny file sizes. Readability on every single electronic device. That’s exciting stuff, and Lattice worked with all of it to create the beginning of something great.
As of December 28 2013, the app was pulled from the iOS app store. As of February 2014, lattice.periodical.co was shut down. Obviously, this isn’t something I wanted to happen. But I wasn’t in control of the fortunes of Periodical, the company that helped me make Lattice such a great product. I looked at it as a partnership. I provided the raw content—my writing—and Periodical provided the excellent infrastructure. They pushed each issue to the iPhone, iPad, and Kindle, the three most popular reading devices in the world, and they created ePub files subscribers could download and keep forever, to read on any reasonably modern device in the world. It was great. There still isn’t a service like it.
Unfortunately, it looks like Periodical is shut down for good, which means I have to find a new way to make Lattice work. In lieu of anything better, I’m just going to publish my work to the web, on this site, for free. I don’t write for a living. I don’t want to turn it into a living. I don’t want to not love it. And if I charge for it, I’m going to want to turn it into some kind of business, and I don’t really want to. So I’m just going to give it away.
I really shot for the sun with this one. I simply couldn’t (and still can’t) do the great work the folks at Periodical did by myself. And this is always the risk one takes when forming a relationship. It’s one of the reasons I’ve remained adamantly independent my whole career. I don’t feel like I made a mistake trying things out with Periodical. They made a great product, and offered a terrific service. I wish the best for them.
Readers frustrated with the non-endings to the three narratives I wrote won’t find much solace anytime soon. Much of the work will be pushed into a new story, Sprites, Jets and Elves. It’ll read more like a novel than a serial, and the work there is making it seem pretty natural. Thank you all for your support. You’re going to love where it goes.