Background and Philosophy
This shareware program is the most powerful tool I've found for small publishers. —Tom Person, Laughing Bear Newsletter
AnyBook is based on research work that began in 1988. Initially, it was developed out of a need for a software program to produce invoices, calculate sales tax, prepare annual sales, and take care of the day-to-day tasks in a publishing business. It was also used for general invoicing and order processing purposes by two departments at Idaho State University where much of our early research took place.
But those were early attempts - and, committed as we were in those days, we didn't quite reach our goal of creating something easier and better than the standard fare. That came later.
If you've spent any time looking at business software, you know that there's a lot of scary stuff out there: difficult to understand with arcane language that only a CPA can understand. Moreover, business software often requires the user to follow pre-determined procedures and patterns. It's a top-down approach, regulated by some soon all-knowing invisible, Oz-like wizard behind the curtain of the software's interface. It can be downright frustrating. Sometimes, you just want to throw back the curtain and yell: come out of there you phony wizard!
Such a software approach takes away one's creativity, and it most certainly takes one's freedom to work in a natural way. So, from the very beginning, we went looking for a different way.
A lot of experimentation went into those early versions. We were trying to find a flexible and relaxed approach, and to develop an underlying pattern of logic that duplicated real world situations. To do so, we watched carefully how people worked in a business environment. We wanted our software to duplicate those natural, comfortable patterns, rather than the other way around in which the user is forced to work in a rigid, unfamiliar way dictated by the programming language behind the software.
In 2000, after twelve years of experimentation and five major revisions of the software, we posted the earliest versions of AnyBook on the major internet download sites as shareware. People could download the full featured program at no cost and try it out.
We couldn't have been more delighted when computer expert and newsletter editor Tom Person wrote and said "I downloaded your software and it is incredible! There's nothing like it I've ever seen."
Publishers immediately saw the value of the program, and we quickly developed a loyal and committed user base.
Since then, each year without fail, we have provided for our users at least one major upgrade. Our most recent is Level 7, a remarkable program for its amazing array of features.
"Wonderful!" wrote one of our beta testers after using the program in her business for a month. "I love it! It's even better than one could imagine...you've thought of everything. I am very, very impressed."
Level 7 is clearly our Magnus Opus. We're very, very proud of it. No comparably priced publishing business software even comes close to the matching what it can do.
But we're not standing still. AnyBook is still a work in the progress. We have big plans for the future. Included among those plans are a series of new e-commerce features integrated into the program.
We've continued that quest that began years ago: how to make it better. . . how to make it easier. There's an underlying motivation behind that quest: our users. Unlike many software companies, our users aren't numbers. Each and everyone is important to us. They are the reason we exist. And they deserve the best, most up-to-date tools that we can give them.
We intend to keep doing just that.
AnyBook Main Page
AnyBook is another carefully crafted software program from: