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Old 01-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #31
6charlong
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Originally Posted by heySkippy View Post
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/19/...d-media-event/

I've been watching the rumors about this and with today's announcement I'm itching to play with the new iBooks Author application. I want to create a set of ebooks that are heavy on pictures and navigation and this looks like just what I've been dreaming about.

But, I'm a complete n00b to this authoring business. I downloaded Sigil a couple weeks ago and played with it some. I also played with Apple's Pages which exports to epub. Both left a lot to be desired for what I want.

So... Opinions? I'd love to hear what people who have actually created ebooks have to say.
These Apple tools are intended for enhanced eBook creation (textbooks naturally come to mind) but for ordinary eBook creation something like the inexpensive shareware program Scrivener (for Mac or Windows) provides writing aids for the author and will export to ePub, Mobi or PDF when the project is done.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #32
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I think Amazon has been outflanked once again (just like B&N did with the Nook).

What is holding back the e-book industry are tools like this to easily create books. It's kind of crazy that the only thing even close to that is Sigil, which was developed by a guy in college in his spare time.

And Scrivener is not inexpensive (for a lot of people), nor is it something like this - it's intended as a novel writing software, not to produce ebooks. Lots of things export to epub - but that doesn't make them book creation tools...
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:54 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
I think Amazon has been outflanked once again (just like B&N did with the Nook).

What is holding back the e-book industry are tools like this to easily create books. It's kind of crazy that the only thing even close to that is Sigil, which was developed by a guy in college in his spare time.

And Scrivener is not inexpensive (for a lot of people), nor is it something like this - it's intended as a novel writing software, not to produce ebooks. Lots of things export to epub - but that doesn't make them book creation tools...
Compared to many word processors and other office related programs, $40 is very inexpensive.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:13 AM   #34
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Switching a bit from the tool itself to the secondaries impacts of this announcement, am I the only on wh see this (and some more decisions/anouncements) as a group of self-destruct acts from apple?
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:24 AM   #35
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I wonder if this means that you can actually read iBooks content on Macs now. So far, you've had to have an iOS device. People with Macs, but no iOS devices, couldn't read books bought via iBooks.
Still not - iBooks Author's native format is not ePub, it can export as (something that looks very like) ePub but not import from ePub.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:49 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
I think Amazon has been outflanked once again (just like B&N did with the Nook).

What is holding back the e-book industry are tools like this to easily create books. It's kind of crazy that the only thing even close to that is Sigil, which was developed by a guy in college in his spare time.

And Scrivener is not inexpensive (for a lot of people), nor is it something like this - it's intended as a novel writing software, not to produce ebooks. Lots of things export to epub - but that doesn't make them book creation tools...
Can't agree with you more. My comments here.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...62&postcount=1
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:03 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by vbkun View Post
Switching a bit from the tool itself to the secondaries impacts of this announcement, am I the only on wh see this (and some more decisions/anouncements) as a group of self-destruct acts from apple?
Probably. Although I don't think even the most ardent Apple enthusiast would claim that its strategy on eBooks has been particularly impressive.

Last edited by andym; 01-20-2012 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:40 AM   #38
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Probably. Although I don't think even the most ardent Apple enthusiast would claim that its strategy on eBooks has been particularly impressive.
If I count as anyone, then you're mistaken. ePubs are very forgiving in iBooks and look good without trying. Apple has provided a reader that I occasionally have to laugh at myself because I lick my fingers before trying to turn the page.
Apple have ALWAYS worked outside the perameters everyone else did. Why would you think they would change now.

For my part, I obviously like the way apple do stuff. If you don't like iBooks, don't use it. However, I do think that this new Apple program AUTHOR will make inroads into the world of POPULAR fancy, bells and whistle eBooks which today's population of non readers will grab for if even just out of curiosity.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:09 AM   #39
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Can Sony Reader do epub3?
No. There is no device which is fully ePub3 compliant. iBooks has support for some ePub3 features, but it's certainly not an ePub3 reader.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:32 AM   #40
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And what discouraged them *before* Apple got in, pray tell?
Uh, publishers have been creating electronic textbooks for well over a decade. They simply haven't caught on for a variety of reasons.

Apple is simply a company with impeccable timing. They are fantastic at industrial design. Their marketing is brilliant, and radiates confidence while many competitors are timid. Yet they are never the first. The closest they came to a first was with the Macintosh, and even that was inspired by technology that was stuck in another corporation's R&D department.

As for the cost thing, I wouldn't expect there to be any benefits as far as the education system is concerned. Publishers and authors aren't going to adopt a new technology if it means that they will endure lower revenues and high expenses (multimedia texts are more expensive to create, due to both labor and licensing costs). Yes, there will be benefits: students will be able to keep textbooks and have to cart around less, but that is far from revolutionary.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:05 AM   #41
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There's an interesting set of demo videos here:

http://www.apple.com/education/ibook...s/gallery.html

I don't know how the economics stack up, but it looks like the sell for school authorities is that it will be cheaper to buy students iPads and ebooks rather than print textbooks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabee View Post
If I count as anyone, then you're mistaken. ePubs are very forgiving in iBooks and look good without trying. Apple has provided a reader that I occasionally have to laugh at myself because I lick my fingers before trying to turn the page.
Apple have ALWAYS worked outside the perameters everyone else did. Why would you think they would change now.

For my part, I obviously like the way apple do stuff. If you don't like iBooks, don't use it. However, I do think that this new Apple program AUTHOR will make inroads into the world of POPULAR fancy, bells and whistle eBooks which today's population of non readers will grab for if even just out of curiosity.
I'm a big Apple fan. iBooks is very nice and if I had an iPad I would use it more. However, I prefer to buy eBooks that I can read on a number of devices.

My impression, which may be unfair, is that ebooks are relatively low on Apple's list of priorities well behind things like magazines. That isn't surprising - it's obviously not going to be as focussed on books as Amazon - and of course the iPad is made for reading things like magazines. The absence of a reader for iBooks on OSX is another example of how Apple seems to have other priorities (that's not intended as a criticism - simply an observation).

There's an interesting set of posts on TUAW.com on the things Apple needs to do to make things easier for authors and publishers wanting to put books into iBooks - maybe the new authoring tool has addressed these issues. I don't know.

iBooks Author does seem to have had a very good reception. But it is limited by the EULA to producing for books for sale through the iBookstore (at least if you want to sell books you create). From one perspective that's perfectly understandable (after all Amazons content creation tools only produce content for Amazon readers) but on the other hand it would seem to rule it out as a content production tool for publishers who also want to sell through other outlets. Maybe they would have been better-off producing it as a paid-for application without the restrictions. Again I don't know, and i'm well aware most of the people who second-guess Apple end up with egg on their faces.

Last edited by andym; 01-20-2012 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:18 AM   #42
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I created a test ebook using the default first theme, saved it as an *.ibooks file, renamed it to *.epub, and it opened and displayed in ADE. What was displayed wasn't rendered well at all, and some of the work was missing (not shown/viewable), but it did open the file. I'll have to try my nook this weekend...

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #43
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So can they be used to make manuals for making weapons of mass destruction?

Also I do have certain issues with Apple... On other hand it's good someone moves market bit...
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:02 PM   #44
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I'm kinda skeptical that this would be cost neutral or save schools money, and if it doesn't, the odds aren't good that it'll go anywhere. There are far too many districts that are having financial problems. My wife's salary (she's a teacher) was cut in the neighborhood of 18% this year because of budget problems (the official number is 10%, but for a good chunk of the teachers it was higher than that). Do you really think the teachers are going to be a big fan of the districts shelling out the money to buy ipads after something like that, even if the district found some way to come up with the money? And then who's responsible if one breaks? Many of the families in her district are in absolutely no position to buy a new one, and why should the schools be replacing them?
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:59 PM   #45
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I'm sure the authoring tools are cool and will produce some impressive IP, but I doubt Apple will finally conquer the classroom.

Apple has been trying to capture mindshare by putting computers in classrooms since 1975. After 35 years, Apple's marketshare is 10%. If you count Apple computers running a copy of Windows as both Apple and Windows PCs, this drops to 5%. If you count these as Windows machines, Apple is competing with a FREE OS for mindshare.

People say that tablets are different, but they are not. Apple was the only GUI OS at one point. Copycats beat them with a less expensive, good enough alternative. The same thing is happening with the tablet market. Apple had 95% of the tablet market in 2010Q3. By the end of 2011, that share was estimated to be 65% -- just six weeks after the first Fires were being registered. 2012 promises further erosion.

Schools do not impulse buy. To introduce a tech change of this magnitude requires evaluation, pilots, deliberation, grants, and warrant articles. This process provides an opportunity for competitors to offer alternatives.

I can't imagine that Barnes and Noble (who already run bookstores on many college campuses), Microsoft (tablets arrive later this year), Amazon (duh), and others are not going to challenge this initiative.

We are talking about introducing tablets into our school district. The pilot calls for using 'iPad like devices' in the lower grades and 'nook-like devices' for the higher grades. The reasons are cost and impact -- more expensive, colorful, interactive devices will engage the younger kids in the classroom while older kids will get less expensive e-readers that can be taken home. There has been no discussion of cameras or radios. Schools all work to the same talking points, so I guess this is a widespread roadmap.

I think Barnes and Noble and Amazon already have a device that will achieve all criteria and predict that the one that offers to give each teacher and administrator an iPad will win;-)

Last edited by wizwor; 01-20-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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