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)

read more

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?

 

read more

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?

read more

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta
read more

Making A ‘Book’ With iBooks Author

Aug 6, 2012 by

Making a “book” with iBooks Author is not like anything you’ve ever done before.  We promise.

Apple did a fantastic thing in January when it released its iBooks Author software to the world. The software makes it possible to include audio, video, text, 3-D animations, interactive widgets, graphs, quizzes and HTML links all in a “book,” that Apple has heavily trademarked and called an “iBook.” 

It is important to distinguish here that an iBook made for the iPad can not be opened on a Kindle or a Nook.  You can’t even read one on a desktop of a Mac.  It’s a product for the iPad only.  (We’ve even argued that the word “Book” should be dropped from the description of what this is….)

Numerous times since January, this writer has had conversations with people who heard me talking about an iBook for the iPad, but they really had no idea what I was talking about.  Many still, even in August 2012, are confusing the iBook for an e-Pub book they’ve read on their Kindle or Nook.  Talk about frustrating.

Turning the Page

But it’s when you open a 3-D image of say, the Rio Azul mask in the soon-to-be-released 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya by scholar Dr. Mark Van Stone and you put the iPad in front of them that eyes pop. And then they touch their fingers to the iPad screen and begin to spin it around in a trance. The next reaction is, “WOW! My Kindle/Nook can’t do this.”  EXACTLY!  And then there is no going back….

The iBook is soon-to-be-released by Apple.

Today at ClaxtonCreative.com we begin a new series on iBooks Author.

At present, we have finished one book and are in final edits and approvals, ready to send it to Apple for their blessings and entry into the iTunes iBookstore. We have three other children’s books in the hopper and are looking to do other projects. Ultimately, we want to produce the series of books that started this whole pursuit via our sister project and website, TheWondersExpedition.com.

With the release of iBooks Author, yes, a lay person can make one of these books. But a word of caution.

We just invested seven months of seven-days-a-week work to discover the processes for how to make these technological wonders. Many of us have been given uplifting (sarcasm) advice to go get “real jobs,” to “take a salary,” etc., all the while knowing that what we are doing has never been done before and because of that, we can make a difference.

The iBook Challenge

There have been hours of frustration.  Hours of staring at settings in applications, cursing them, talking to them and begging them to work.

There have been hours listening to audio files and trying to remove sounds that we wish we hadn’t recorded (the convention center manager in Memphis will always remain one of our least favorite people on the planet.)

We’ve done editing on hours and hours of video clips.  Endured kernel crashes from computer software that the manufacturer says we’re causing because we’ve pushed their premium technology further than it may be ready or capable of going.

There have been days of going to bed puzzled. And days of not going to bed at all because we wanted to find a workable solution to a vexing problem and refused to let technology get the best of us.  This writer can think of at least three occasions where unraveling a particular issue took 36 hours here, 52 hours there, and another 16 hours there.

If you have this kind of a drive, this series is for you.  (If you’re interested in us doing it all for you, give us a call today at 972-863-8784.  We’d be happy to have your business.)

The iBook Information Sharing Strategy & Budding Community

We share this information willingly, though some might say we’re giving away trade secrets. Share with us something that’s not a secret because of the Internet…. When we have shared, we’ve found wonderful people around the world who have shared something mutual in return.  And we’re building a vast community of people like us; people who want to use this technology to change the world and make learning something along the lines of a discovery, not rote memorization.

We are on the verge of greatness with this new product.

Tomorrow we begin with the first step—exploring and explaining the software product, iBooks Author. The rest of the series will break down the aspects of an iBook—Photo & Images, Audio, Video, Widgets, 3-D animations, Text programs, and just as important as all the rest, where does one store all this information.  We invite you back to sample a little of each part and even more so, encourage you to share your stories or struggles. Through it all, we all will make better products for our growing number of readers.

It’s going to be an exciting series.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
read more

Pin It on Pinterest