iBooks News And Announcements — From Apple

Feb 6, 2014 by

Important information from Apple if you do any publishing on the iBookstore.

We recently added the following new features and updates to iBooks, iTunes Producer, and iTunes Connect:iBooks News and Announcements

  • Textbooks Available in All Territories
  • Interest Age for Children and Teens
  • iTunes Producer 3.0
  • Sizing Images in EPUB
  • Enabling Ticket Notifications

 

Textbooks Available in All Territories
Textbooks are now available in all 51 iBooks Store territories. To offer your textbooks in these new territories, sign the new agreement in Contracts, Tax, and Banking on iTunes Connect.

Interest Age for Children and Teens
Starting in June 2014, interest-age information will be required for all book deliveries in the following categories: Juvenile Fiction (BISAC), Children’s, Young Adult, and Educational (BIC), and Jeunesse (CLIL).

iTunes Producer 3.0
iTunes Producer has been updated to include new features, such as:

  • Redesigned User Interface
  • Streamlined Workflow
  • Built-In Help Center

Download iTunes Producer 3.0 from Deliver Your Content in iTunes Connect.

Sizing Images in EPUB
Recent updates to WebKit may affect the layout of your book if you used percentages to define element heights. For example, .image-container { height: 80%; } will no longer result in an image that is 80 percent of the page height. This WebKit update aligns with the W3C’s specification for the height property.

To define a dynamic height for an element like an image, use the “viewport height unit” instead. A “viewport height unit” is equal to one percent of the height of the initial containing block and is a dynamic sizing element.

For example, to assign a dynamic height to an image, use:

HTML:
<div class=“image-container”>
<img src=“images/bears.jpg” alt=“three bears peer at goldilocks”/>
</div>

CSS:
.image-container { height: 80vh; }
img { height: 100%; }

Enabling Ticket Notifications
In addition to using Ticket History or Ticket Catalog Reports on iTunes Connect, you can choose to be sent email notifications as soon as a ticket is issued against your book. To enable these notifications:

  1. Go to Manage Users on iTunes Connect.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. In the Notifications tab, select Worldwide in the Content column.
  4. Click Save.
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Do You Highlight In EPUB Books? Books for iPad?

May 6, 2013 by

Do You Highlight In EPUB Books? Books for iPad?

Admittedly, when I have an option of buying a tech book for computer or even a self-help, inspirational book, I’m probably going to buy the printed version because I like to read actively–meaning I read with a pen and I mark up the book with notes, underlining, etc.

But what about a book on Kindle, Nook or another e-Reader?  What about a book for iPad?

If you’re like most readers, at least according to an active survey available on the GoodReads.com site, most people do NOT even use this function in books they read on their EPUB devices.

Do you highlight in your e-Reader?

Do you highlight in your e-Reader?

As of Sunday evening and 140,444 votes, 43 percent of e-Reader respondents on their site say they “never highlight.”

Only 28 percent said “Yes, I like to highlight.” Some 22 percent said they don’t have an e-Reader and 2 percent said their e-Reader doesn’t support the functionality.

Books for iPad

To their credit, Apple has built amazing functionality into books for iPad when it comes to the ability to highlight.  And with iBooks 3 they’ve even made it so users can text, email, post to Twitter or Facebook the information that’s been highlighted.

But as we tend to note here, the book that can be designed with Apple’s iBooks Author and made available only on the iPad or iPad mini far and away exceeds the capabilities of those offered in the EPUB 2.01 or even the highly acclaimed EPUB 3 format.  It almost harkens back to the differences in capabilities between PC and Mac, really.

If you highlight text in your e-Books or books for iPad, what do you tend to highlight?

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Books For iPad–Should We Even Be Calling Them “Books”

Nov 19, 2012 by

Books for iPad–Redefining the Word “Book”

Something needs to be done about what we call books for iPad.

Books For iPad--Should we even be calling them "Books?"

Books For iPad–Should we even be calling them “Books?”

Apple says, “iBooks should be used to refer only to the application and is always plural. Do not use the word iBook to refer to a publication or to the general category of ebooks. Instead, say your publication is a book available on the iBookstore.”

According to the Google Keyword Tool, the term “iBook” generates 1.22 million global monthly searches on the Internet. The term “iBooks” generates 1 million global monthly searches. To those who have signed end user licensing agreements, Apple says not to use “iBook” in marketing literature. But Web searchers are using it in their Google searches, so if you don’t use it on your Web pages, you’re reducing your chances for even being found via on-page content.

Not having an Apple-sanctioned, Apple-approved brand name for books for the iPad is hurting business for those in the publishing industry who focus on this type of book.

In my opinion, Apple needs to come up with a brand name we can use, or stop prohibiting publishers who have signed end user agreements with them from using iBook and iBooks without fear of retribution.

This Is Not My Grandma’s Louis L’Amour Type Of Book

This is not a book in the traditional sense. Yes, it’s got words in it and you can take a traditional book and put it into the software and ergo, it’s a book, but when was the last time you read a book with two hours of video in it?

We shouldn’t even be calling these creations “books.”

There should be some new term created for what these actually are because they’re not normal books.

Part of the frustration I have as a publisher and marketer of these books is that I call somebody and say, “Hey, I want to talk to you about the book we’ve made for the iPad.” What comes to their mind is the traditional book. They’re thinking about something you can thumb thru like a magazine.

“When I do interviews, if I can help it, I’m going to that station or I’m going to find that reporter so I can put an iPad in their hands and I’m going to say, ‘Here is my book. Here is what it can do. And here, let me show you the Rio Azul Mask in 3D where you can turn it.  Here, not me, you, turn it.’ And when you do that, their eyeballs pop. And it’s magic and they’re going, ‘Holy Cow!’ Because they’ve never seen anything like it because this isn’t a book. This isn’t like a normal book.”

Apple’s marketing dollars are spent on hardware, not on software and not on the products one can make using their software to use on the hardware.  This is making it harder to exist in this space, but it’s also freeing up the opportunity to share the message of what these books can be, should be and how they can be built.

Simply put, this is not the kind of book my grandmother would have sat and read. This is not a Louis L’Amour western. And given his imagination, I really wonder what he would be doing with this vast accomplishment in technology.

What Do You Think?

So what do you think?  Is there a better term we could be using to describe books for iPad?

 

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Awaiting The iPad Mini

Oct 23, 2012 by

Here are some things we hope happen with the iPad“Mini” announcement today and why we think this is so important:

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Apple also will release a new version of iBooks Author to help make more books for the iPad and the smaller version, though we suspect that the resolution matter will be more of a one-size fits all aspect, updates to iBooks Author, to add new bells and whistles, new layout options and the ability to add social components to these books, would be a great addition.

We think that the release of the iPad “Mini” (we don’t know yet what Apple is going to call it) will help significantly advance the potential for schools to purchase the units and get the advanced form of books that we’re making at Claxton Creative into the hands of more students of all ages.  With a lower price point, the threshold for financially strapped public school districts across the world to introduce these units to their classrooms, and then buy electronic textbooks will save lots of money in the long run.

Those two aspects alone make the potential for today’s announcement very, very exciting.

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Multi-Touch iBooks, interactive books for the iPad, iBooks for iPad–What are we gonna call them?

May 16, 2012 by

It’s time to come up with a name for the multi-touch books for the iPad, the interactive books for the iPad sold in the iBooks store, iBooks 2, that have been made in iBooks Author that are vastly different from the Amazon Kindle books or the Barnes and Noble books for the Nook.  We wish Apple had branded them with a specific name–like Siri is to voice commands.

If you do a Google Keyword review of any of the terms used above to describe these books, something has to be done because the nomenclature isn’t working.  If fact, it’s down-right confusing.

What Makes A ‘Multi-Touch Book For the iPad’ Different?

We’re citing, “Multi-Touch books for the iPad” because that’s what Apple calls them on their site. Have you done a Google Keyword Search on that term lately?  There are 22 global searches for it monthly. In the “Local Monthly Searches” category, Google lists ”    –    “.  That’s not good.

These books are fundamentally different than any other book available on the market today, but the lack of a branded name that’s sticking, is making people who hear us describe them look at us like we’re talking another language, and apparently, we might as well be doing that.

Videos In Books

But when you show someone one of these “books” and they see the books have video in them, and 3-D animations, quizzes, photo galleries, and scrubable timelines, they go, “Wow!” We’ve even seen young 20 somethings jump back in amazement and church preachers raise an eyebrow in surprise.

The Al Gore Our Choice  book (Classified as an “Interactive App” on the iTunes store)  has nearly an hour’s worth of video in it.  Nothing on Kindle nor Nook even comes close.

Vook.com

This screen shot of the Vook.com comparison page really is an eye-opener:

Vook.com offers services to create eBooks that also can be published on the iPad and a multitude of other devices.  And because it can embed video, does that make it an interactive book?  Does that also make it a multi-touch book for the iPad?

Charts and Graphs

There are charts and graphs in these books created in iBooks Author, the software released by Apple in January.  And yet, they’re also different than say, the Al Gore book, which while it can be classified as an interactive book for the iPad, it was built in the iOS API and not in iBooks Author.  (In Gore’s book the charts and graphs are interactive.  In iBooks Author, at least for now, they’re static and can’t even be enlarged on the page.)

But it’s not like an e-Pub book either that was simply converted in Adobe’s InDesign program and exported out.  That kind of book can also be loaded up to iTunes and sold.  But it’s not going to be “multi-touch” capable.

Classification Needed Now

As someone who is about to release a major publication into this arena, it’s frustrating that there’s no clear-cut way to describe what we do.

But on the other hand, we always say in a campaign that it’s better to define yourself than have someone else do it for you.

It’s so early in the development of this field of publishing.  iBooks Author wasn’t even released until January 2012.  But it’s undeniable, to cut through the confusion of what this specific category is, Apple should have given it a specifically branded name and not left it as a descriptive, non-descriptive entity.  Maybe the thought was that all iBooks will eventually include video, 3-D animations, etc. but for now, they don’t.  So when someone tells you they know what an iBook is and then proceed to describe a publication exported from InDesign, it takes about five more questions to get to the fact you’re talking about two different things….

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