I couldn’t wait to get home last night to fool around with iBooks Author, the new tool released yesterday by Apple that allows anyone to create interactive iPad books that can be sold or given away online.
Why is this important? Because now it’s relatively easy for you to create an interactive book with graphics, video content, quizzes, 3-D images, and much more. So if you own a company that sources the best fish in the world like our client Vital Choice, you’ll be able to create cookbooks with how-to videos, links to the nearest supermarkets that have your product, and surveys that let you get instant feedback from your readers. And this is only scratching the surface.
This is jaw-dropping stuff, and I imagine this will blow up similar to the whole app space. But the question is, how will all of us take advantage of it? Here’s some ideas:
- Can you take one of your brochures and turn it into an iPad book as a test? The software is easy to use and I had a rudimentary book ready to publish in about an hour.
- How can you help your audience?Â Think about how you can use this platform to spread your expertise. Then give it away for free, at least at first. You gain a lot of instant credibility when you say ‘You should read my book on the subject. Let me send you a link.’ Now it’s easier than ever.
- What other content can you include in your book? What videos or graphics do you have that would make this book truly interactive and engaging?
- Think of a good title that will grab people.
- Do it. If you’re interested at all in getting in front of people, this has immense potential. Limited really only by your imagination.
Yeah, I’m very bullish on the whole thing and I’m often susceptible to the Steve Jobs ‘Reality Distortion’ field. I believe there is tons of opportunity here for anyone with something important to say (which is most of us).Â Think about it as another huge gateway to what you offer.
But the future is not without it’s downside. The barrier to entry is so low (unlike the app space, where you at least need to have access to technical skill), that I’m sure the space will get flooded. So getting in and differentiating yourself now is more imperative than ever.
Plus it appears that books you create for iPads using Author can only be sold in the iBookstore. So Apple is, in fact, locking you in.
Beyond that – there will be a whole generation behind us that may never pick up a real book ever again. Paper is planned obsolescence, and interactive books full of everything may make imagination a casualty. But it’s also inevitable.
The other downside? I uploaded my eBook ‘The Power of Video’ to the iBookstore last night but can’t find it listed anywhere yet. My guess is that it’s going through the Apple approval process so there isn’t any immediate gratification.Â I’ll keep you posted.
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Author: Chris Donaldson
Chris Donaldson is Executive Producer at HCFmedia. Can film making change the world? The Short Answer: Yes.