The new e/i-Book era
Change in a decade.
I have been monitoring the development of the electronic books over the last couple of years, at lease since the first Kindle in the market appeared. As a Tech-Junkie I always have had an affinity for reading from the screen instead of carrying heavy paper books around which of course contribute to deforestation. Let's say, it is more natural, it is greener.
Reading a couple of pages on a laptop is unsexy, but on an eBook reader, especially on an iPad, it just feels very natural.
The eBook until now has been a good substitute for paper, but nothing more. This has changed with the introduction of the iPad and especially the new format for eBooks from Apple (iBook, .iba). Unfortunately because these formats are under an exclusive right to their iBook Store they will not be available in other stores like the Kindle, making format sharing impossible. Never the less the whole game is changing. iBooks, Kindle and Google are changing the way books will be read.
My belief is that eBooks will not just be merely electronic forms of books anymore as this new format conveys multimedia and text elements into a new format. It makes interactivity possible. You can integrate videos, e-learning tools, galleries, set separated chaptering, surveys, and much, much more.
Suddenly it is not just reading, it is a new way of interacting, I would like to suggest calling it “Book Surfing". Also the possibilities to create e-learning books are a logical consequence of the easy interactive feel they give to the user. I feel that in this age of interactive technology there is now more than ever a need to illustrate matters more deeply than in previous years and the eBook gives the user an availability to do so.
The few examples available at the moment from certain publishers show how bright the future could and probably will be. I certainly would have wished to have this kind of eBooks when I was at school.
With this new format, you can do the following:
- Text, Audio & Video Books
- Corporate Presentations (Allowing you to create interactive, self-play presentations combined with wonderful handouts)
- Interactive Product Presentations (For all needs)
- Manuals (for complex technical explanations, or maybe to even build your IKEA cabinet)
- Children Books (with sound and animations)
- Music, Poetry Books (including text and visuals)
- Religious (Integrating cross-referrals, audio explications and video sermons)
- E-Learning Tools
Remember that in all these books you can use HTML5 technology, allowing the content to be actualized on the fly with an Internet connection. This enables you to easily expand or update the content of a book for the WWW.
The amount of time needed to now to publish such a book increases. Even if the normal text content is available, creating interesting interactions with the reader; producing special images and even producing video sequences to enrich the reading makes the production of such a book more costly.
The work remains in putting the pieces together. Technological know-how is needed, but this work is specially simplified by using the iBook Author tool (only running on Mac).
Graphic work can be a lot of work as a graphic team must prepare all the content for simple illustrations or to animate it. This is maybe the biggest challenge for producing an eBook.
One of the great things is the distribution channel which is already available. Just open an account, upload it, get your book approved by Apple and the selling begins. Even if Apple gets a big piece of the cake (30%), I think and believe it is worth it.
The eBook won't sell by themselves and a promotional campaign would be needed. You can do this already with a very limited budget.
At Ground15 we are working on our labs to offer iBook production to our clients in a professional way in the following weeks of which we will keep you posted. Please check online to read our updates and latest news.
Also if you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we would be delighted to give you a demonstration of the possibilities. Finally, spread the news to your friends and colleagues because eBooks have arrived.
Let's see what the future brings….
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