Making a “book” with iBooks Author is not like anything you’ve ever done before. We promise.
Apple did a fantastic thing in January when it released its iBooks Author software to the world. The software makes it possible to include audio, video, text, 3-D animations, interactive widgets, graphs, quizzes and HTML links all in a “book,” that Apple has heavily trademarked and called an “iBook.”
It is important to distinguish here that an iBook made for the iPad can not be opened on a Kindle or a Nook. You can’t even read one on a desktop of a Mac. It’s a product for the iPad only. (We’ve even argued that the word “Book” should be dropped from the description of what this is….)
Numerous times since January, this writer has had conversations with people who heard me talking about an iBook for the iPad, but they really had no idea what I was talking about. Many still, even in August 2012, are confusing the iBook for an e-Pub book they’ve read on their Kindle or Nook. Talk about frustrating.
Turning the Page
But it’s when you open a 3-D image of say, the Rio Azul mask in the soon-to-be-released 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya by scholar Dr. Mark Van Stone and you put the iPad in front of them that eyes pop. And then they touch their fingers to the iPad screen and begin to spin it around in a trance. The next reaction is, “WOW! My Kindle/Nook can’t do this.” EXACTLY! And then there is no going back….
At present, we have finished one book and are in final edits and approvals, ready to send it to Apple for their blessings and entry into the iTunes iBookstore. We have three other children’s books in the hopper and are looking to do other projects. Ultimately, we want to produce the series of books that started this whole pursuit via our sister project and website, TheWondersExpedition.com.
With the release of iBooks Author, yes, a lay person can make one of these books. But a word of caution.
We just invested seven months of seven-days-a-week work to discover the processes for how to make these technological wonders. Many of us have been given uplifting (sarcasm) advice to go get “real jobs,” to “take a salary,” etc., all the while knowing that what we are doing has never been done before and because of that, we can make a difference.
The iBook Challenge
There have been hours of frustration. Hours of staring at settings in applications, cursing them, talking to them and begging them to work.
There have been hours listening to audio files and trying to remove sounds that we wish we hadn’t recorded (the convention center manager in Memphis will always remain one of our least favorite people on the planet.)
We’ve done editing on hours and hours of video clips. Endured kernel crashes from computer software that the manufacturer says we’re causing because we’ve pushed their premium technology further than it may be ready or capable of going.
There have been days of going to bed puzzled. And days of not going to bed at all because we wanted to find a workable solution to a vexing problem and refused to let technology get the best of us. This writer can think of at least three occasions where unraveling a particular issue took 36 hours here, 52 hours there, and another 16 hours there.
If you have this kind of a drive, this series is for you. (If you’re interested in us doing it all for you, give us a call today at 972-863-8784. We’d be happy to have your business.)
The iBook Information Sharing Strategy & Budding Community
We share this information willingly, though some might say we’re giving away trade secrets. Share with us something that’s not a secret because of the Internet…. When we have shared, we’ve found wonderful people around the world who have shared something mutual in return. And we’re building a vast community of people like us; people who want to use this technology to change the world and make learning something along the lines of a discovery, not rote memorization.
We are on the verge of greatness with this new product.
Tomorrow we begin with the first step—exploring and explaining the software product, iBooks Author. The rest of the series will break down the aspects of an iBook—Photo & Images, Audio, Video, Widgets, 3-D animations, Text programs, and just as important as all the rest, where does one store all this information. We invite you back to sample a little of each part and even more so, encourage you to share your stories or struggles. Through it all, we all will make better products for our growing number of readers.
It’s going to be an exciting series.