Why Apple’s iBook Author is an Important Tool

Earlier this month, Apple introduced a series of new solutions for those involved in education and the electronic book publishing industry. Overall, the announcement is not really hyper-exciting news to the average person as eBooks, eMags, and other electronic content delivery solutions abound. But, as with many technology solutions, Apple’s overall understanding of what people want and do is different. And, for millions, it will be the right thing as well.

Using the new iBook Author from Apple, an individual can create an e-book, either for educational purposes or general publishing. If you’re in education, the product ends up in iTunes U – the educational distribution site. If the book is for the general public, it becomes an iBook. As is typical with products and services released by Apple, people publish groans and moans about licensing, distribution rights, and so on. Apple gets 30% of the revenue from all sales. They also do the heavy lifting (credit card processing, bandwidth, customer service, etc.). If this were 2005 – not that long ago – and you wanted to have a publisher distribute your book, they would approve it (or reject it), and then give you between 9% and 18% of the net sales (less returns, cancellations, etc.). So, if you authored a book and sold it for $10, you’d typically receive about $1.50 per book. If you author a book today using iBook Author and sell if for $10, you’ll get $7 per copy.

[ Learn more via the Apple website ]

Significant publishers are on board and already are working to replace their (often outdated) textbooks with new iBooks, including but not limited to Pearson and McGrawHill. But the really important news is that you can create your own book, and as long as you offer a reasonably professional production, your distribution channel awaits.

I love this. In fact, everyone at R/com loves this.

Because we’re all visual storytellers, imagine how excited we are that we can now combine all of the talents and capabilities of our team into a unified mechanism for telling great stories? It’s one thing to create a digital book. It’s another thing to develop a totally interactive book – combining text, images, 3D objects (that can be zoomed, rotated, etc.), PowerPoint style (Keynote) presentations, charts, tables, videos, and more.

Let’s imagine that you are a film editor and you’d like to teach people how to use Adobe Creative Suite 6 (not yet announced as of January 20, 2012). In the old days, you’d get hired to create, “Adobe CS6 For Dummies” and that would be it. A lot of text and pictures. The end.

Today, using iBooks Author, you can create content that explains the editing process, but that’s just the beginning. Add video clips that show how the editing process works. Include a Keynote deck that people can flip through, watching the percentages of people adopting CS6 and getting hired based on their training. Create interactive quizzes, add clips of films edited using CS6, and so on. There’s a ton of additional capabilities as well, but the overall point is that reading a book just changed forever. Oh – one small issue. You’ll need an Apple iPad. Apparently, there are a few out there.

Our team creates video. We author texts. We create web environments. Now, anyone with a story to tell can do it. But the skill set required to take those great ideas – or those existing plain Jane texts and to reinvent them as visual masterpieces is now something we can offer our clients. Not everyone wants to go through the production process, layout and content creation. That’s what we’re here for!

Our first projects are already underway, and we’ll post samples as soon as they’re ready. Without question, this new technology will provide a new revenue channel for a wide array of individuals and organizations. We’re looking forward to helping create the content.

[ Watch the Apple Education Keynote Address ]

One Comment

  1. Juliana Millings

    Computer question (How long does an average person keep a computer for?

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