If the rumors about an iPad Mini coming out within the next few weeks hold true for the Oct. 23, 2012 announcement from Apple, and if the rumors about the big push on books come with it, I’m also hoping there are some updates in the iBooks Author software we’ve been using now since late January. It would seem that there are some things that Apple should be adding to this key software about now.
Social Books for the iPad Made With iBooks Author
One of the key new things I’d hope they’d include would be a way to make for a social environment WITHIN a book. So for instance, in our 2012 book with Dr. Mark Van Stone, a reader already can make cool notes that turn into note cards within the book, but what if it could also be shared among friends, a group or a community forum? Say you had a question about the Maya Long Count calendar and wanted to pose it within your book so that someone else reading it with you could happen upon it and even more incredibly, help you find the answer?
That would be great.
I’d also like to see an expanded font selection for the iPad. At present we’re building a book that features the font, BLACKBEARD, in the printed edition and the authors want it in the iPad interactive version using iBooks Author. Problem is, the iPad has a limited number of fonts and Blackbeard isn’t on that list. So, for all text within the book, we’re having to build it in Photoshop and then import as a .png. The end result is the same, but let’s face it, doing text editing in Photoshop is about as flexible as trying to do fancy layouts in WORD. Of course, we realize changing the fonts available would be more of an iOS thing than something manageable in iBooks Author, but it’d have to come about in both places.
Templates–The Blank Option
In doing the present book we’re working on, we couldn’t help but notice there’s not a template for BLANK. Even in purchased templates, there’s something hardcoded into the document that you can’t get rid of by deleting, etc. It’d be nice if there was just a standard feature for a BLANK document where you could build your own from scratch.
Google AdWords Trend for iBooks Author
Of all the things above, today probably the most startling realization was the information within the attached chart that shows a near plummet to near nothingness on Google in the way of searches for iBooks Author. Seeing it again tonight is like DAMN! Not good.
It is our hope that indeed the rumors about Apple coming out next week with a big push for its books for the iPad is indeed true. This technology is far superior to what’s being offered on the Kindle, Nook and surely going to be offered on the Surface. And yet it appears there’s virtually no interest in it on the Web.
As troubling for all this is the name. Apple guidelines say to call a book made with iBooks Author “a book available on the iBookstore.” In fact, Apple says not to call it an iBook. Internall7, we’ve argued here that books made with iBooks Author shouldn’t even be called “Books” at all because they are so much more with their 3-D animations, video, and interactive widgets. They’re so much more than books, and yet there really isn’t any approved nomenclature out there that sets them a part from what Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al are selling, and yet THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
Hopefully, Apple will come out with a new branded name for books for the iPad that helps readily distinguish them from anything else, kind of like Siri does.
There is still much to be excited about in the world of books made with iBooks Author. We’re hopeful Apple pours some of its magic sauce on them again next week. It’s hard to believe this capability was only unleashed back in January. Now that it’s October, it’s time to push these books to the next level. Apple, we’re ready to roll….