Oncor Blog Presentation

May 17, 2013 by

Oncor Blog Presentation

An Oncor Presentation: Blogging 101

An Oncor Presentation: Blogging 101. This photo is linked to the book for iPad version of the presentation.

Recently I was invited to speak during a panel discussion at Oncor in Dallas.  I began a blog in 2004 using the name of TheDadsCenter.org. Somewhere in 2007 I began using my fabled name, @DaddyClaxton on Twitter and then bought the domain. The original “Daddy Claxton” was mentioned in a song by the late, Roy Claxton Acuff, who apparently changed the name from Carter or something else. As we created our business to build websites and now design and produce books for iPad and books for Kindle and Nook, came the development of this site.

This is the presentation I prepared for my 15 minutes. It includes helpful tips about blogging, including must-have plugins for WordPress and a  little bit about the history of blogging in general.

To download the book for iPad, simply go to this Dropbox address and download. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2269153/Oncor/ClaxtonCreative%20Blogger.ibooks)

To download the PDF version, here’s the link. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2269153/Oncor/ClaxtonCreative%20Blogger.pdf)

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What Book Did You Read Last? How’d you choose it?

May 8, 2013 by

What Book Did You Read Last? How did you choose it?

How did you pick the last book you read?

How did you pick the last book you read?

The last book I read was John Ed Mathison’s When God Redefines the Possible, soon to be released for Kindle, Nook and iPad.  Today I was given a stack of books to read by a potential client. Yeah, that makes me a little different than most people. So how do you go about picking what to read next?

This past weekend I was going through some of the Lynda.com courses on e-Books etc. and stumbled on a reminder to do some connecting of other sites to GoodReads.com.  On their site I noticed a number of surveys they’ve been conducting.  Now these numbers aren’t scientific in nature–there is a huge non respondent biased, not to mention the vast universe of people out there who don’t go to the GoodReads.com website. But of the thousands who have answered the questions, the responses are quite interesting.

So how do most people who use GoodReads.com say they picked the last book they read? Well, actually, just like I did today. A friend said “Here, take a look at these.”  Most often there’s a different dialogue associated with such, I realize. “Hey, have you read…?”

Nearly 14,000 votes fell off to the next answer–they got the tips from GoodReads.com itself.

Seven-thousand more down in responses fell off to the third most popular answer–people found things in their bookstore.  Even fewer found them in a library. Just a few less relied on Amazon.  And then there’s the searing slap on the work of publicists–only 6 percent said they read a book because they saw something about it in the news media. Blogs didn’t do much better. Best seller recommendations were way down on the list, too.

So how do you pick a book to read?

 

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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–Apple’s Push Into Education With Study Cards

Nov 15, 2012 by

Books for iPad–Apple’s Push Into Education With Study Cards

If you’re still walking around thinking that the iPad mini is something to go after the Kindle or Nook, maybe this will finally cure you of that misconception.  With the Study Card feature that now works in iBooks 2 and iBooks 3 for iPad and iPad mini, this clearly, maybe more so than anything else, marks the way for Apple’s big push into the education arena.

Study Cards for Books for iPad clearly mark Apple’s keen interest in the educational arena for iPad and iPad mini.

Now, within books for iPad made with iBooks Author, there is the inclusion of what Apple is calling “Study Cards.” This is probably one of the most un-marketed features of these books for iPad, but it is truly a helpful aspect.

Within each book for iPad, there now is the  “My Notes” section of the book, which includes a chapter-by-chapter listing of all notes taken within the book by a reader. That may not seem like a big deal, as surely, when you make a note in a book, you’d presume it’d go somewhere.  But it’s what happens to them that’s cool.  I should also point out that “My Notes” can be formatted within a book’s text in traditional highlighter colors.

Study Cards

As a book is being built with iBooks Author, the publisher/author has the ability to create an extensive glossary of key terms or words used throughout the work.  Those all populate in the glossary section, but it’s when the book is done, that they reappear in the “Study Cards” that can be generated from the notes made by the reader as well as through glossary terms within each chapter. Glossary terms also may include options for illustrations and index links to every use of the word in the text throughout the book.

Let me explain in simpler terms. If you’re reading a book for class, you come along a section you would have highlighted with a Sharpie in a traditional offline book, you can still highlight it in the same way.  Just rub your finger across the text in question, a dialogue box pops up and you can choose the color you want the text highlighted in.  But on that same menu bar is an option for making a note. When clicked, the on-screen keyboard pops up and the opportunity exists for the reader to add a commentary like, “I NEED TO REMEMBER THIS! THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST!”

When the reader is ready to review, they can follow to the My Notes section of the book and find all the notes and highlights they kept throughout their reading.  But they can also turn those notes into study cards that are going to feature their notes, as well as glossary terms so that as they are studying, they can be quizzing themselves about the definition of terms within each chapter.

And that, friends, is powerful when it comes to self-paced learning, and in Apple’s foray into the education arena with books for iPad and iPad mini.

 

 

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Books for iPad–interactive images for iBooks Author

Nov 13, 2012 by

Books for iPad–interactive images for iBooks Author

Some call them “timelines” or “interactive images for iBooks Author.”  We say “scrubbers” or “sliders.” Apple says they’re “multi-touch images” for iPad.

How about we just call them cool graphics that tell a story you can’t tell in a traditional book?

What am I talking about? With books for iPad and widgets made for iBooks Author, you can now display multi-layered images, link them together in a squential form, and most importantly, require interactive particpation by the reader.

Typically these images feature a progressive series of photographs, drawings, images and illustrations that one rubs their finger on from left to right and that changes the image from one frame to the next.

One of the best things we found about “scrubber/slider” images was the amount of real-estate we saved on the pages of a “book.”  With maps of where Mesoamericans lived, Dr. Mark Van Stone’s print edition of 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya showed only four frames and took up two, entire printed pages to display his maps.  With the widget we created for his book for iPad, we included close to 20 different frames and it took up only one screen/page in the book.  Nearly five times as much material was presented in half the amount of space.

Earlier this year we began working with the founder of iBooks-Widgets.com from Belgium. He has a great widget-maker for these kinds of interactive images.  Another option is classwidgets.com, now being rebranded as bookry.com.

What is required to make these images is a graphics package that allows you to add levels to an image and turn them on and off accordingly, while also keeping the same registration for the image so as one scrubs from one image to the next, the image does not seem to “bounce” from frame to frame. The best thing we’ve used for this is the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite version of CS6’s Photoshop.

The great thing about “scrubbers” or “sliders” is that they require participation from the reader to change. They’re not going to loop or change on their own, which means a reader is going to interact, and hopefully, take a closer look at the evolving imagery unfolding before them.

And word of caution for those of you out there thinking about creating a book for iPad made with iBooks Author.

We’ve seen comments about Apple rejecting or sending books for iPad back to authors who aren’t adding this kind of thing into their work. The idea of a book for iPad, after all, is that it has interactivity.

If you don’t add anything that requires your reader to interact and thereby learn from it, you might as well still be making a book for Kindle or Nook.

See our point?!

Ready To Submit Your Work?

We’re a Dallas-based publishing company of books for iPad and would enjoy the opportunity to evaluate your next book and create a book for iPad. Just fill out of the form above on this site and we’ll be back in touch with you immediately to talk about the process of moving forward.

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