Wallachia Launch Follow-Through

Reading Brent Simmons’s piece about following-through on the launch of the excellent NetNewsWire, I thought I should probably the same after Wallachia’s debut last week.

First, I want to thank everyone who checked out the app, and everyone who helped me bounce ideas around over the years while I was making it.

Reminder: If haven’t finished chapter two, you have until Tuesday, September 3 to vote in the poll at the end. If you read chapter two but missed the poll, flip to the very last page and tap the little bar graph icon.

screenshot of poll icon

And if you haven’t subscribed yet, don’t worry too much about the previous two sentences. Whenever you think you’d like to sign up, you’ll have every chapter so far waiting for you, along with the complete Flowers of Transylvania novella.

My hope is to have chapter three out in a week, but it might be a little longer. I’m still finding my rhythm for it all and have been doing a lot of work getting the app’s promotional material ready. Going forward I think I should be able to spend more time just writing.

Assorted other tips:

  • The little play button there is how you start the audiobook. It should be on every page after the introduction and should start from more or less your current page. If you don’t see the play button on a page, try tapping the screen to reveal the buttons. Tap again to make them go away.
  • If you pause the audio and then turn to another page, the audio will pick up from your new page. You can also scrub through the audio from Control Center or the controls on the lock screen.
  • To save space, the app doesn’t automatically download audiobooks at first. If you listen to an audiobook for five minutes it’ll start downloading them for future chapters. It deletes the mp3 once you’ve finished a chapter.
  • If you open up the table of contents you can read the appendix. Because I think it makes the story feel more immersive I use a number of Romanian honorifics, units of measurements, etc. throughout. There’s a glossary with some definitions, a piece by me on how names worked in that era, and some other stuff. It makes for a slightly more compelling read than your typical appendix. Slightly.
  • On the iPad, there are a few keyboard shortcuts. The arrow keys will turn the page for you, ⌘-+ and ⌘-– (minus) will adjust the text size, and ⌘-0 (zero) will reset it. ⌘-T opens the table of contents.

I’ve seen one crash bug. There’s a chance it only affects people who were in the beta, but I’m watching for it. 🤞🏻 It has something to do with Core Data. There’s also a bug I just can’t figure out that sometimes prevents you from being able to highlight and look up a word.

iOS 13 will presumably be out in three weeks or so. In my limited testing, everything works fine. I’d like to put out an update supporting dark more pretty quickly but haven’t done much more than glance at it. In the code I’ve tried to use semantic colors so I’m hoping I’m some of the way there.