IndyPlanet Update

IndyPlanet’s gotten a bit of face lift recently — new graphics, new themeing — but it’s a lot more than just cosmetic. We’re adding features and functions and a lot of surprises, too. If you haven’t seen it lately, then you haven’t seen it at all.

Though fully functional — trust me, IndyPlanet orders are coming in at a furious pace right now — it’s still a bit of a work in progress. We’re adding and tweaking every day. Not everything is 100% just yet, so you might find a bum link here or get an error screen when you click a link, but we are working to get all that ironed out as quickly as we can.

As many of you know all of our sites were hacked a few weeks back (and then subsequently re-hacked a week or so later — apparently to demonstrate to us that our security fixes were insufficient). Since that time it’s been a real struggle to get IndyPlanet back to pre-hack levels, but we’re just about there now. Here’s what we’ve done —

1) We’ve moved IndyPlanet to its own server.
2) Created new admin accounts with new passwords.
3) Upgraded the software that powers it.
4) Built a new theme template.
5) Created all new databases and migrated the info over.

We’re also creating a new publisher-specific IndyPlanet FAQ here at Ka-Blam to better address the questions that those of you who have books listed at IP might have.

IndyPlanet is more secure and sound today than it has ever been. It’s still not completely where we want it to be, but it’s almost there. There are a few known issues that we’re trying to resolve — the one that’s bedeviling us right now is that sometimes when a new user submits a registration form they get an “internal server error” — EVEN THOUGH the registration was accepted and shows up in our administration panel. If this happens to you, btw, just close the error window and click the login link. The id and password you submitted should work just fine.

9 Comments

  1. The new layout looks good, but when will the previews be back up? I’d like my potential customers to see the quality work they’ll be getting if they buy the book.

  2. Great! Can’t wait to see these changes in full effect!

  3. I’m really impressed with the changes I’ve seen so far. I like that you are doing things to make the “community” aspect more apparent. I also like that you enabled the consolidation of all books from a publisher on one page. makes it simple to link from a website or blog to one “store”

    Some changes I would like to see (if they are not already being done):

    1)A more straightforward affiliate program. I write lots of reviews of other comics with links that my readers can follow to buy them online. Some comicshop websites (and sites like amazon and zazzle) make it easy to track orders and earnings from them. My readers love to buy Indyplanet comics (Millennia War and Blackbird come to mind)…

    2) vanity links for publisher pages (i.e. Indyplanet.com/ghettoManga).

    3) more social network style to the site. I feel like that’s the way you’re going anyways. profile pages for customers and publishers, that show links to products and to reviews (maybe even to purchases or wishlists). sharing and networking are powerful tools as I’m sure you know…

    4) widgets, widgets, widgets! sharing widgets to easily recommend products on social networks and blogs would be DOPE!

    anyways, I guess I’ve babbled enough. Just want to say again that I like what you guys are doing!

    holla!
    -samax
    GhsttoManga.com

  4. They’re still there, David. Just click the “images” tab right underneath the item’s title.

  5. Good suggestions, Samax. You’ll be pleased to know that we are already working on most of those.

  6. Weird, mine aren’t showing up. Well, I resent them so maybe they’ll show up in the next update.

    Checked my other comics though and they have their previews working.

  7. What I would like to see is an option for multiple categories in the case of comics that don’t easily fit into a single genre. “Fighting Yamako-chan” fits readily enough into fantasy because it carries certain fantasy elements. However, those themes are given subtle play in the early stages of the story. On top of that, comedic interaction plays a key role in advancing the plot while the over-arching tale is at the heart, a samurai drama.

  8. That’s a valid point. But there’s a reason we don’t allow you to choose multiple categories. While some comics don’t fit easily into a single genre, many do. And we found by experience — back in the early days of IndyPlanet when we did allow listings in multiple categories — that no one limits themselves to a single category if they have the option to list in multiple categories. Makes sense. I’m not faulting anyone of taking advantage of something that was available to them. I can understand anyone wanting their book to be as visible as possible. But what we ended up with as a result of that was straight, middle-of-the-road superhero comics also listed in “humor” because a character cracked a joke on page 7, or in “fantasy” because there are superpowers on display, or in “crime” because super-villains are criminals. Or we’d get a non-genre crime comic listed in “science fiction” or “manga” just because the publisher didn’t want to limit himself to one category when he didn’t have to.

    And when you’ve got that — category listings by genre become totally meaningless.

    So limiting you to one category is not ideal by any means … but it’s better than having a category system that is pointless and doesn’t really do anything to help the readers find the kind of stuff they’re interested in.

  9. A lot of the already mentioned suggestions are great ones. I did want to echo a few of them for emphasis:

    1. Interior Page Previews – They should be on the 1st page instead of having to go to another tab to see them. Move the related bought comics to the tab. A lot of new potential readers won’t give much time to checking out the comic. It’s hard enough getting people to buy comics online. We need to make things as easy for them as possible.

    2. Vanity links for publisher pages – We used to have those, but they disappeared at some time I didn’t realize. Please bring those back so we as publishers can lead people directly to our books. Also if you could give vanity links for series/titles that run over 4 to 8 issues long.

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