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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Books for iPad–The Great Gold Landslide of 2012 And Beyond

Nov 9, 2012 by

Books for iPad–The Great Gold Landslide of 2012

Earlier this year I was having a breakfast meeting–one that lasted for 4.5 hours–with our colleague, George Saltsman from Abilene Christian University’s spin-off, Connected Consulting, (and there’s a story I need to share about George,) but this point I must make first.

We’d been talking about the rise in books for iPad and the adoption rate ACU is seeing as they work with public schools and colleges around the world, and I mean that, around the planet, and I said to George, “We’re in the middle of a Gold Rush.”  He looked at me and said words I never will forget.  “No,” he said. “This is a Gold LANDSLIDE.”

What Apple Isn't Saying About Books For iPad

What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad

A word about George before I go on.  It was George who fellow Claxton Creative developer and long-time friend, Ron Rose, and I met with back in January to talk about the books we wanted to make of the Wonders of the World for our sister-site project, The Wonders Expedition. We were on to making books for iPad, but didn’t realize Apple was releasing iBooks Author in a matter of days.  George knew, but didn’t tell us then. He just said be ready for a major announcement.

And then came the release of iBooks Author. George then talked about the work that’s been going on at ACU for a very long time. All incoming freshmen at the school here in Texas get an iPad. The iPad knows where the student is on campus by pinging and because it knows, for instance, it’s in Dr. Saltsman’s class, the student who has it gets all of the professor’s notes, lectures, quizzes–everything, from the iPad cos it KNOWS where it is.  For the next class, say the student heads to “Dr” Claxton’s class, iPad knows where it is, same deal.

I’ll let you think about that for a moment.

2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya

So as 2012 has progressed, we’ve worked with Dr. Mark Van Stone of Southwestern College in San Diego to develop his one and only book for iPad on the ancient Maya made with iBooks Author. It’s an amazing product.

Ask yourself this question.

When was the last time you read a book with two hours worth of video, and four 3D animations of ancient Maya and Aztec artifacts that are almost 1,200 years old?

Readers around the world now are doing that with our book for iPad.

There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse

My company’s associates have been on an amazing learning curve this year.  We’re just now finishing Ken Plume and John Robinson’s There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse.  The print version has been featured in WIRED.  Wait until they see what we’ve done with it for iPad. There are more than 370 videos in the Zombie book.  Read that again.  There are more than 370 videos in their book.

From our offices in Dallas, we have produced some amazing work this year.  But this really is just the beginning.

What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad

Included on ClaxtonCreative.com over the next nine business days are going to be a series of videos that talk about “What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad.”  You can download a free copy for your iPad here.  If you don’t have an iPad and want to see how it looks on an iPad, minus the videos, which we will post here day by day, you can download a free copy of the .PDF version here.

This book isn’t meant to be critical of Apple.

Explained in our book is a basic important principle about Apple–they’re a hardware company. They don’t promote the software products they make. And they’re not doing that with iBooks Author. As a publisher, that frustrates the hell out of me. But think about this. Apple makes Aperture for photography. They make Pages as a word processing client.  They make Final Cut Pro and Express for movie editing.

When have you ever seen a TV commercial about any of those things?

Confusion Still Exists About Books For iPad.

We wrote, “What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad” for this reason.  As we’ve tried to market our 2012 book we’ve run into a wall of confusion. Apple has sold more than 100 million iPads, but at this writing, I’m not sure how many iPad owners even realize how cool iBooks 3 is.

I know what it’s like trying to explain one of our books to the man on the street. You tell them you’ve made a book for the iPad and they think you make words and stuff that appear just like on the Kindle or Nook.

We’ve called TV stations all over Dallas trying to just come by and show them that right here in their own backyard, “books” that are revolutionizing the way kids of all ages all around the world are being made, and there’s nothing.  One photographer suggested if we stood on a corner and assaulted a puppy with an iPad and then added that into a book, we might break thru the TV news ceiling at this point.  And of course, there’s also been the 2012 elections that have sucked up all manner of media attention.

Books Made With iBooks Author

But we feel, even for more than just our own business survival, that it’s important to help tell the story about a book that’s made with iBooks Author that appear on the iPad.

Apple received input from educators and publishers from around the world because Steve Jobs saw books for iPad as a way to make revolutionary changes to the way humans learn.  This was one of his major projects up till the very end of his life.

In January 2012, Apple released iBooks Author software to make what the company calls, “Multi-touch books for iPad.”  Books for the iPad and iPad mini include 3D animations, videos, multi-touch interactive images, puzzles, study guide notecards and now, with the release of the iBooks 3 app—social media.

Because of this development and the rise in published materials for these units now making their way into schools, we are on the verge of a major shift in the development of books and how they are used in the field of education.

Sadly, Apple just isn’t going to overtly promote the revolutionary developmental change in what we have come to know as “books.” They are waging a revolution in education and doing it quietly, but massively through the adoption and placement of technology in the classroom that is unparalleled and replacing the use of PCs and even Macs.

With the iPad mini, Apple is getting into more and more public school districts in America and around the world, which is going to have a profound impact on the way humans learn. More about that later in the series.

 

 

 

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iPad Mini Big Deal For Education In America

Oct 25, 2012 by

APPLE’S iPAD MINI, UPDATES TO iBOOKS 3, iBOOKS AUTHOR HUGE FOR TEXAS SCHOOLS, EDUCATION IN AMERICA, DALLAS PUBLISHER SAYS

Dallas Publisher of Books for the iPad Says Advancements For Books Are The Most Significant Since Gutenberg Invented The Printing Press

DALLAS—Apple’s announcement of the iPad Mini, and updates for iBooks 3 and the software used to create multi-touch, interactive books in iBooks Author exclusively for the iPad, are as significant as Gutenberg’s development of the printing press and will continue to change the way children of all ages learn around the world, Dallas Publisher Donald Claxton said Thursday on Dallas talk radio station KLIF.

Donald Claxton speaks with KLIF Morning Show personalities Amy Chodroff & Dave Williams about books made for the iPad and iPad Mini. (Photo By Chandler Claxton).

Claxton, whose company has published a 179-page interactive book about the ancient Maya with a San Diego Mayan scholar, and is completing a children’s book entitled, There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse, by authors Ken Plume and John Robinson of Atlanta, said the updates are real game changers as Apple pursues a strategy to get iPad technology into more and more classrooms worldwide.

As important, the books made for this advancing platform are being developed in DFW by his company, which includes noted authors, editors, graphic artists and 3-D animators.

“With iBooks Author, which was released in late January, Apple has been able to change the way books are made—with the inclusion of hours of video, 3-D animations, interactive graphs, charts and drawings, in-chapter quizzes and more—we’ve even argued that the word ‘book’ is no longer applicable,” Claxton said. “But with Tuesday’s developments, they’ve made changes to books as significant as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press itself.”

With iBooks 3, users now have Social Media tools built into every book. A reader can highlight a portion of text and then instantly share it via Twitter, Facebook, Mail and Messages.

“If you’re a student and you come to a portion where you’re confused or you want to ask a question, it’s now as simple as highlighting text in the book and then in a few clicks sharing your question via a Social Media thread,” Claxton said. “This is going to be significant as classrooms across America continue to introduce this technology and capabilities to their students. It is fundamentally going to change the process of learning. Imagine if you were reading a chapter, didn’t understand something, and fired off an email to the author or your teacher asking them to explain it further. That’s now a reality. The hypothetical no longer exists.”

Claxton also said that Apple’s strategy to introduce the iPad Mini wasn’t as much about being able to compete with Kindles and Nooks, but rather about being able to get more and more technology into cash-strapped school districts around the country and expand the reach of digital textbooks.

Apple noted Tuesday at 80 percent of all high school curriculums in American now are available in a digital format.

“Here in Dallas, Claxton Creative is leading the way in the development of these books. We are in the middle of a significant revolution in the way people learn,” Claxton said.  “The software to make all this possible wasn’t even available until late January 2012. We are just in the beginning of this process and it’s going to be huge, particularly for school districts.”

Claxton, who served as the former communications director for Dallas ISD from 2001 until 2006, said a few months ago he had discussions with a former DISD superintendent about the costs of deploying iPadsto all students in Texas public schools from grades 3-12.

During the Tuesday announcement of the iPad Mini, Apple quoted former DISD Assistant Superintendent, and now Superintendent of McAllen ISD.

“To deploy iPads for thousands of public school students at a cost of $499 each was staggering. With the reduced costs for the iPad Mini, which starts at $329, that $170 multiplied by thousands of Texas schoolchildren can be a game changer,” Claxton said. “That means that last week, with a million dollars, a school district could buy 2,000 iPads. This week, that means they can buy 3,00 and that’s why the iPad Mini announcement wasn’t as much about doing battle with Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and Barnes & Noble. It was about being able to put this product into the hands of schoolchildren for significantly less money and at a savings to taxpayers in the long run through reduced costs in the purchase of traditional textbooks.”

According to Apple, 91 percent of all tablet searches on the Internet are doing on an iPad. Apple also said that two weeks ago, they sold the 100 millionth iPad.

Claxton said his company has been consulting with other developers on iPad technology where students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a subject before being able to move on to the next level. “Imagine learning at your own pace and being able to show conclusively you’ve learned the material before being allowed to move to the next section. Again, this is no longer a hypothetical. It’s a reality.”

Books for the iPad, like the 2012 meme book Claxton developed with Dr. Mark Van Stone of Southwestern College in San Diego, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, which is available on the iBookstore, offer readers the ability to learn with greater visual aids and interactive materials.

“It’s like going to a museum and being encouraged to touch everything,” Claxton said. “With the ancient Rio Azul Masks made by the Maya more than 1,000 years ago, Claxton Creative produced 3-D replicas that are as good as it would be to hold the real thing. That’s what sets these books apart from the rest, and again, we’re only in the infancy of this new technology. Just wait a few years.”

Dr. Van Stone’s book produced by Claxton Creative, can be purchased in 32 countries worldwide: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Demonstrations of many of the new developments are available on ClaxtonCreative.com.

Claxton Creative, LLC

Claxton Creative is a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm focused on the development of interactive, multi-touch publications for mobile devices worldwide. The company was founded by former Dallas ISD communications director, Donald J. Claxton and is supported with the assistance of Fort Worth Author Ron Rose, Dallas Author Allen Manning, Birmingham, AL editor Larisa Lovelady, Ally Stephenson of Huntsville, AL, and others.

Apple, the Apple logo, iBooks, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store and iBookstore are service marks of Apple Inc.

—30—

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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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Apple iPad Mini Big Deal For Educational Publishers

Oct 18, 2012 by

As a publisher of multi-touch books for the iPad, the prospective release next week of the Apple iPad Mini is a big deal; particularly for those of us who see the potential for this incredible technology having a positive impact on education in America and around the world.  The iPad Mini, as it’s being unofficially called until it’s supposed announcement by Apple on Oct. 23, has the potential to expand the market reach into the educational arena.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

And while some pundits are seeing this as a move by Apple to take on Amazon and it’s line of Kindles, such a viewpoint is really missing the bigger picture.

Essentially, this is a very strategic move to change how students of all ages learn around the world by making the platform to do it much more affordable. And while this may give Amazon a run, what it’s really going to do is make it easier to bring this technology to classrooms, which is where it trumps all the capabilities of the Kindle, Nook, Surface and  traditional textbook, and so much more.

The iPad Mini–The MacBook of iPads

Making the iPad Mini is much akin to Apple’s strategy for it’s laptop computers. There’s the MacBook and then there’s the newer, sleaker, faster, MacBook Pro, which constantly is updated, has the top of the line features and is the thing that everyone wants. The MacBook Pro has the retina screen. It has the fastest processors. It’s the newest technology packed into a laptop made by Apple and is supported by a HUGE R&D budget.

The MacBook is basically the technology of a few years ago wrapped in what used to be a white case. It’s not pushed for the latest developments. In a way, you could say it’s technology that’s already been amortized. In other words, it doesn’t cost a lot to produce this version of the product. All the R&D already has been spent on it (when it was in a MacBook Pro a few years before) and because there is no need to spend lots of resources keeping it up-to-date, it’s cheaper to produce and then sell at an ever increasing margin because it costs less and less by the day to manufacture and support it.

Without having seen an iPad Mini, it is assumed this is the same strategy that will be used to develop an iPad Mini. Already rumors abound that support this premise. The rumor mill has clearly been saying that the iPad Mini isn’t going to have a retina screen like the version 3 iPads that came out earlier this year. The screen will be smaller. The processors likely are going to be iPad 2ish in speed because that’s probably what’s going to make up the guts of the unit.

And because of all this, Apple is going to be able to sell them for a price point that starts lower than the iPad generation 3.  In other words, it is believed, and makes perfect sense, that the iPad Mini is about to become the MacBook of iPads.

HOW THIS HELPS PUBLIC EDUCATION

This is what is going to cause a boom in the field of educational technology. An old boss of mine and I were talking in June about what it would take to supply the 4 million public school students grades 3-12 in Texas with an iPad. At the $499 price point in a time of budget woes and the refusal to raise taxes of any form in Texas, that made the price tag almost seem ominous. And for the installation of an iPad into a public school classroom, a school district also has had to consider almost as much in costs for the infrastructure necessary to help them all talk to the Internet. That’s a steep price tag.

But what if the price of the units all of a sudden were significantly less and instead of running iPad 3 technology, there was a smaller unit available using a “MacBook” level of technology?

What if there was the iPad Mini?

This is how Apple makes it easier to expand the number of books, like the ones Claxton Creative, LLC makes with iBooks Author, into classrooms worldwide and do so at a much more cost-efficient rate for strapped school districts, while at the same time, making technology that isn’t available on the Kindle, Nook and one assumes, Microsoft Surface, available for broader use.

This means students will be able to use books that have 3-D images, muti-touch drawings and photos, hours of video files of real-life instructors teaching, in-chapter quizzes, etc., in short, things the competitive products CANNOT do, and they will be able to do it on a unit that doesn’t cost as much to produce, and doesn’t cost as much for school districts and parents to buy.

This means the opportunity exists to change how students learn because books made for the iPad also have the ability to ensure that a student has demonstrated proficiency in an area before being allowed to advance to a new area.  In a traditional school today, the idea is that a student’s knowledge base expands throughout the year and they learn a core competency and then move on to the next one. But what if that core isn’t really learned and understood by every student in the class? Does a teacher wait for those lagging behind to catch up and not keep advancing?

With the technology of the iPad, a student can be compelled to demonstrate their competency and understanding of a concept before being allowed to advance, thereby ensuring that learning has taken place. This can be done at a student’s own pace.  Remember, they can’t go on to the next thing until they’ve shown the iPad, and the teacher, they’re ready.  Now which system would you rather have your children learning with?

PUNDITS

So when you hear the pundits write/talk the next week or so about how this is a move to take on Amazon, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble in the sale of units, it’s only part of the picture.  Apple is after the education market where its competitors simply cannot play, and to us, that’s the most exciting thing about the iPad Mini.

 

 

 

 

 

MacBook v MacBook Pro

iBooks

Reduced Cost to Increase Role in Education

 

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