The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

May 7, 2013 by

The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

At Claxton Creative here in Dallas, we’ve done a number of print to e-Book and iBooks Author-generated conversions and one thing becomes immediately clear throughout this process–the print to e-Book conversion process shouldn’t be a matter of just replacing the print copy into digitized form.  No, it should be much, much more.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

eBook v. iBooks Author

On top of that, we take things a step further than most competitors we’ve seen online.  Yes, the EPUB formatted book can be read on many more devices than those built with iBooks Author, which only work on iPad and iPad mini.  However, the functionality of a book made with iBooks Author versus one in an EPUB 2.0.1 or even the “new” EPUB 3 format leave a world of difference in between.

We’d like to bang someone in the marketing department at Apple over the head for their lack in marketing the difference between the two. In the video below even, we’ve shown you the contrast between 3D imagery in an EPUB 3 book and that of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  As we like to say, a book for iPad made with iBooks Author is like being in a museum where you’re supposed to touch everything.  Using 3D in an EPUB is like trying to play ping pong on a 1970s Atari on a black and white TV.  (Sorry Atari, but that’s pretty accurate. For clarification purposes, Atari was ahead of the time then.  EPUB 3 isn’t.)

Working With Print Authors

We often are approached by print authors who are ready to make a digital book and our first question to them is how much video do you want to add to your book?  We ask that knowing that our recommendation to them truly is going to be to make a book for iPad because the functionality, the file size, just the look is so much more alive and vivid than anything we have yet to see on a Kindle or Nook.  We have a potential client we’re trying to help understand this concept as she wants to do a series of YouTube videos and put them on a website for free. It’s our recommendation that instead they be added to a book for iPad because it will help make the book even more spectacular than what we already are talking about.

Besides, why give something away for free when there’s going to be high production costs and, more importantly, you can include it in your book for iPad and make some money back from it?!?!

Are You Wanting To Convert From Print to Digital?

If you’re ready to convert your book there are a series of questions you should be asking yourself.

  • What visuals can I add to my book to make it come alive?  This means video and still, hi-res pics.
  • Your book (for iPad) should include video. What videos could we shoot for your book to add a dimension that is presently missing?
  • What interactive charts or graphs would you like to include in your book that your printer said would cost too much to print and they didn’t want to expend the extra pages to include? We can do that on one page now, at a high resolution and they can be very cool.
  • What website pages would you like to have embedded in your book and let your readers visit without ever leaving your book?
  • If you could add digital magic to your book, what would you like to add?

If you know the answers to some or all of those questions, then we’d like to talk to you about making a book for iPad, and of course, doing an EPUB version.  Yes, more people will be able to get your book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but the one they get off Apple’s iBookstore will be the one that will make most people’s mouth’s drop and want to know what you can do next.

Let’s talk.

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The Flaming Lips with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Do You Realize?

Jan 24, 2013 by

Since my daughter Chandler and I went to Austin for a Gillette event back in July of 2011, I have been a fan of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnet...

Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There simply are not many bands out there that provide a real sound that just seems to emanate from the human spirit more than this merry band of 12. And while Chandler was telling me firmly tonight that it’s largely because of herbs they may or may not be lighting and then inhaling, that at this writing is not the focus of such.

The fact is, they make good music. It fills the heart. It mirrors many a spiritual hymn and chant of years gone by. And it’s real. They sound as good outside a studio as they do in it.

Jade

Tonight I began a search through YouTube playing Jade because we have a good friend in Huntsville with the same name. While she’s not Alex’s Jade, she still fills the heart with excitement and joy because she’s living her life on the edge,  just like the band is doing.  And it’s inspiring to see.

Do You Realize?

But as I ventured into new clips on YouTube about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes tonight I found this video of The Flaming Lips and E# playing at The Hollywood Cemetery.  It’s Do You Realize? And ashamedly, I must admit I had never heard this song before tonight and it apparently was something of a hit in 2002.  Lord knows the things I have been through over the past 11 years but I can’t believe I’ve never heard this song.  But the version I’m including here isn’t probably the one you’ve heard from the radio or blaring out of your kid’s iPhone.

Truly, one of the things that I enjoy most about E# is that they don’t sound like a studio band. I found a great series of clips tonight of them outside in the Yucatan and gosh, it was amazing.

But for now, I just want you to relax and listen to something a little different than you might expect from a rock band like The Flaming Lips, combined with the mellowness of E#.

The Message

The irony for me came that mid-way through this song tonight I realized what he was trying to say.  And I further realized that I’ve allowed for too long to let too much pass me by. Yes, I’m appreciating each day of my life, but for too long I’ve let too many just pass me by.  Are you doing the same thing?  Are you living life to its fullest?  Are you happy or sad, and even in the sadness, are you still eeking out moments of happiness where it seems there are none?  Watch these people in this video.  Listen to the music. And breathe. And think what you might could do different the rest of this day and those ahead of you.

 

 

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The Motel 6 Maya Calendar Commercial–Funny

Oct 8, 2012 by

The Motel 6 Maya calendar commercial presently running on radio across America is the latest mention of the ancient Maya calendar, and we have to admit, it’s pretty funny. If you’ve not heard it, here’s a transcript.  The YouTube video of it is below.

“Hi, Tom Bodett trying to make sense of this Mayan calendar. It seems to end Dec. 21st, 2012. That’s, unsettling. Oh well. Still plenty of time this year to stay at Motel Six and get a clean comfortable room for the lowest price of any national chain.  And we’re still taking reservations for after Dec. 21.  All due respect to the Mayans.  Sorry, King K’inich Ahkal Mo’ Nahb. Nothing but love for ya.  I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6 and we’ll leave the light on for ya.”

Of course, the Maya don’t predict the end of the world.  They made some predictions, but certainly not along the lines of what the Doom & Gloom crowd are sharing.  Kudos to Motel 6 for making light of it.  Now if they’d just leave an iPad with Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya exclusive book for the iPad next to the Gideon Bible we think they might have something!

 

 

 

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Ancient Maya and their 2012 Predictions Given New Life in iPad Book

Sep 11, 2012 by

DALLAS –After six months of production and more than four years of scholarly study, Dallas’ Claxton Creative, LLC and San Diego’s Dr. Mark Van Stone edition of 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya now is available on the iBookstore in 32 countries worldwide – just in time to answer one of the most pressing questions of the year: “What did the Maya predict would happen on Dec. 21, 2012?”

Joined in bit parts by 14 renowned Maya scholars from around the world and complete with four 3-D animations of ancient Maya and Aztec works, hundreds of photographs, interactive maps and drawings, and even an interactive puzzle of the historic right panel of Tortuguero Monument 6, Dr. Van Stone’s 32,000-word book was designed for the iPad(R).

“If you want to know what the ancient Maya predicted about Dec. 21, 2012, we have worked with Dr. Mark Van Stone to compile the most extensive, interactive, animated and scholarly product that’s ever been produced on the subject, bar none,” said Donald Claxton, the book’s publisher. “We have a ‘Who’s Who of Maya Scholars’ in more than two hours of video clips, 3-D animations, interactive maps, photos and drawings, plus never-before-released interpretations of Maya glyphs. This is the most complete and scholarly source of information about what the Maya did and did not predict.”

The book, printed in English, can be purchased in 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.

“It has been a dream come true to see this body of work formatted to work so well on the iPad,” said Dr. Van Stone. “Through the magic of technology, we have been able to revive the Maya and pay tribute to the uniqueness and intelligence of this very special people. What did the Maya predict about Dec. 21 or 23, 2012?

“In my book we explore the most up-to-date interpretations and discoveries of the ancient Maya and explain them in a way that will be accessible to all: to an elementary student working on a class report, a layman searching for answers based on the hype surrounding the 2012 meme, and even the college student or scholar on the quest for greater understanding of the Maya,” Van Stone said.

Claxton, who met Dr. Van Stone, a speaker, author, Maya expert and professor of art history at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, online in March via Twitter following an appearance on Ancient Aliens, said his company has worked closely with the professor and other Maya scholars to develop this new form of technologically advanced book, which can only be read on an iPad.

“It’s been an amazing journey to learn the essence of this developing technology and marry it with the lunar, planetary and solar observations of the ancient Maya who more than 1,000 years ago studied these things as a way of explaining what was going on in their world,” Claxton said. “Dr. Van Stone now is ramping up efforts to inform children of all ages about what the Maya knew and what they said, in particular about Dec. 21 or Dec. 23, 2012, depending on which way of counting scholars have devised.”

“From the second one opens my book on an iPad, readers are transported into the ancient past by some of the most recognized Maya scholars,” Dr. Van Stone said. “Professor John Hoopes from the University of Kansas traces the 2012 meme all the way back to Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World.

“Colgate Professor Anthony Aveni explains his ‘what works theory’ and how non-scholars ‘cherry-pick’ information they use to get their personal theories to match their personally desired outcomes while omitting conflicting information. Independent scholar, Austin’s Dr. Barb MacLeod, presents the first-of-its-kind interpretation and reading of one of the most important pieces associated with the 2012 meme, among others,” Van Stone said.

In the book Dr. Van Stone also was joined in short video clips by:
* University of Calgary Professor Kathryn Reese-Taylor
* Yale Professor Oswaldo Chinchilla
* Tulane University Professor Marc Zender
* Flora S. Clancy, professor emerita of art history at the University of New Mexico
* Khristaan Villela Santa Fe University of Art and Design
* John Justeson of the University at Albany
* Maryland Senior Lecturer John B. Carlson
* Ivan Sprajc, Institute of Anthropological & Spatial Studies, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts
* Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History
* Northern Illinois University Professor Jeff Kowalski
* Jaime Awe, Director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology

Claxton and Dr. Van Stone said they are working on a series of promotions in the coming months including an extensive travel schedule that will mean planned public presentations in Atlanta, New York, Washington, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland and on the campus of Princeton University.

“We are encouraging teachers in primary and secondary schools, as well as college professors to adopt this text for a course of study, research papers, or even a special guest video appearance from me throughout the fall,” Dr. Van Stone said. “As we get closer to Dec. 21, 2012, and the election season winds down in America, interest in this subject is going to increase and the non-scholars, many of whom are predicting either a ‘blow up’ or a ‘bliss out’ depending on which kind you talk to, are going to be coming out of the word work. If you’re armed with the information in my book, you’ll be able to refute each one of them with the facts and help put the minds of those around you to rest.”

Device Requirements:
* Viewed using iBooks 2 on an iPad
* Print Length: 179 Pages
* iOS 5 is required

Pricing and Availability:
2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya is $14.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the iBookstore in the Astronomy category. Schedule an interview now about this amazing technological work by calling 972-863-8784.

2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya
Purchase and Download
YouTube Video (Trailer)
Screenshot
Screenshot

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. Copyright (C) 2012 Claxton Creative, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 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.

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Guy Kawaskai’s Enchantment A Road Map For Success

Mar 7, 2011 by

Guy Kawasaki, American venture capitalist and ...

Image via Wikipedia

We’ve read several of the former Apple evangelist and business guru Guy Kawasaki’s books through the years.  Usually, they require the addition of an ink pen in order to mark up the brilliant insights and ideas that come from reading them.

This month he has released a tenth book entitled, Enchantment–The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.

At 189 pages, it’s a good read, a good mix of photos, abbreviated notes and bullet points, and and anecdotal references to be, well, enchanting.

Why and What is Enchantment?

We will not play spoiler here on Kawasaki’s perspectives, (that’s what the book is for) but the essence of his writings fall back on some of the most ancient and proven means of doing business or living since the beginning of time–the inclusion of an enchanting story to move others into your corner, to as Kawasaki says, “transform(s) situations and relationships.  It converts hostility into civility.  It reshapes civility into affinity.  It changes skeptics and cynics into believers.”

There are a host of books that play on the themes expressed by Kawasaki: Story, by Robert McKee, The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith, The New Rules of Marketing & Pr by David Meerman Scott, All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin, and the 1999 book, Rules for Revolutionaries, by Mr. Kawasaki himself, but Enchantment takes a reader through the entire process, identifies how to launch it, how to overcome resistance to change, and quite beneficially, “How to use push technology,” like email and Twitter, (Please give us a follow) and “How to use pull technology,” like Websites, blogs, Facebook, (Please like our FB page while you’re here) LinkedIn, (Connect with us here) YouTube (Subscribe to us while you’re here) and cleverly, how to “Think Japanese.” (This goes beyond the Vipers’ song.)

Enchanting Stories We Can Tell

Terry Abbott

Terry Abbott, now the president of Drive West Communications in Houston, is doing quite well on his own in the school public relations business nationwide.  He’s constantly on the road meeting with superintendents and communications departments suggesting ways to stay in the good fight with the local press each day to tell positive and enchanting stories about their respective districts.

We’ve worked with Abbott since June of 1988.  In those days, the Governor’s Press Office in Alabama had just purchased a fax machine.  It was a thermal paper machine and one had to pick up the headset to dial the number and then ask the person on the other line to “Switch me to their fax machine.”  In those days, Abbott, who formerly had been a UPI reporter, understood the need to get news releases, (Not press releases) out to the news media as fast as possible. He called the fax machine, “Our own little wire service.”  And that’s how it was used.  And when an announcement was coming down that say the former U.S. Senator Howell Heflin likely was trying to announce at the same time, we really got into wire service mode because we wanted our release on reporters’ desks first before the senator could get his there.

A few years later after reading in the Birmingham Post-Herald about how the rap singer Ice T had released his album Body Count with the horrid song  “Cop Killer,” our owner made a recommendation to Abbott saying, “We should ask every record store in the state to stop selling this.” The next day, Gov. Guy Hunt made national news for taking a stand and by the end of the day, the big record store chains in Alabama were removing it from their shelves. (We did this two weeks before Vice President Dan Quayle and President George W. Bush jumped in.) By the end of a month’s time, the record company was taking it off the record/disc.  At the end of that day, we were quite pleased at the success of our effort to do the right thing.  Abbott said, “It’s nice to so something good for a change.” That month, Gov. Hunt was on the front page of Billboard magazine.  But that wasn’t why we did it.  We believed then and still do, that selling a record that enchants others to think about killing police officers has no place in our world.

Veronica Galaviz

One of our most enchanting clients to date is Veronica Galaviz.  Her Website and budding charity is called Living To Share.

The venture is appropriately named.  After going through the proper legal channels beginning in Nov. 2009 and on into April of 2010, Galaviz was trying to divorce her husband.  She was in an abusive relationship and had even filed court documents that restrained his presence around her.  He violated the court’s orders multiple times and Galaviz reported the matters to her local police department.  But each time they said they didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest.  Even with surveillance video from in front of her house showing him slash the rear right tires of a car in her driveway, the Rowlett, Texas Police Department failed to act.

On the night of April 21, 2010 about about 1:30 a.m., her husband broke into her home, tried to shoot her with a shotgun, and after she had escaped the house, he set it on fire and then shot himself.

She’s now on a mission to help others dealing with abusive relationships and trying to bring about changes in the laws of Texas.  The rest of America is next.

Galaviz is operating on one single enchanting premise: She’s Living To Share because she firmly believes God kept her alive to carry out her mission of raising awareness about the problems of enforcement of protective orders and domestic violence.

Enchantment

It’s these types of stories that make a difference, not only in marketing terms, but in real, practical ways of life.

This is why our company is different from any other PR firm here in Dallas and in many other cities across America.  At age 21, our owner was still in college and through a still unnamed police officer, was given a list of 17 people living in Montgomery, AL in Sept 1987 who were said to be “Known AIDS Victims.” No other news outlet in media market 112 ever was able to obtain the same information and it became a national news story.  The point then was that everyone should be treated alike, and two, the list allegedly maintained by the Montgomery Police Department, wasn’t as well secured as they thought it was.

We understand the importance of not just putting out a press release and sending it out on PR Newswire and letting our clients bask in the glow of a 8-pound clip book at year’s end and use that as a measure of our success.  That’s neither enchanting nor accurate.

Summary

Kawasaki’s book Enchantment now is on sale.  We strongly recommend you buy a copy and read it cover to cover.  Mark it up as you go along.  Then re-read it.  Write notes in the margins, write notes to yourself in your daily journal of the things you want to come back to.  That’s what we’ve done.  We seek to be enchanting as well.  Otherwise we’d just be like the other PR Firms in Dallas and there are enough of those already.

 

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