Link Love for Writers on Friday

Another round of interesting reads from across the net.

Publishing and the Industry

Writing Craft


 Topic of the Week 1 – iBooks2,  Author,  TextBooks and EULs

  • Apple iBooks Author Re-invents Ebooks Creation – Joel Frielander provides a summary of the new iBooks Author software released last weekend. Targeting the Textbook Industry, the software is free for the Mac platform.
  • iBooks Author and the EUL – controversy hit the net when Dan Wineman in this post and Ed Bott at ZDNet and others looked at the end user license from Apple on using their iBooks Author software. Any works created by this free software (ie. iBooks) can be refused by the iBooks store, and are not allowed to be sold elsewhere. (free iBooks created by iBooks Author can be). Note that this is the product created by Author, your content remains in your copyright, and if reformatted can be sold elsewhere. This is similar to products created by the Kindle Software at Amazon, although with iBooks Author, anyone downloading the software is not aware fully of this constraint unless reading the full EUL. Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware, points out all the posts. 
  • Will iBooks Alienate Your Reader? Caitlin Muir at Author Media asks this question, also quoting Seth Godin on the subject. The Seth Godin article can be found at the Domino Project.
  • A Professor and Author’s View on the Impact of Apple’s iBooks Textbooks – PadGadget points out the possible  positive side of this movement once we can read such textbooks on other devices (or a cheaper iPad equivalent).
  • An SDK for Writers Shawn Blanc discusses the interactivity available to iBooks now (for Mac users, that is)
  • Will Apple’s Author and IBooks2 Challenge Kindle Select? – Scott Bury points out some more, but also wonders of the impact on Smashwords.
  • Apple’s textbook plan’s biggest flaw is that it’s tied to the iPadThe Toybox views the topic from the education and possible access limitations..
  • Hands on: Apple iBook Author App Review – Mashable provides a screenshot introduction through the software.
  • My Take
    1. I don’t own an Apple Mac, so the free iBooks Author software can’t be used by me.
    2. I do own an iPad, and have downloaded the new iTunes U app, but the cheap textbooks are only available in the USA at this point in time, anyway.
    3. Having downloaded 2 video tutorials from iTunesU, I filled up all my iPad’s free memory – any authors creating rich media intensive textbooks will need to consider the storage limitations on our current iBooks reader devices.
    4. It’s all change, all the time, so keeping abreast of those changes within the industry means I can make slightly wiser decisions – I appreciate all the people who blog to keep me informed.

Topic of the Week 2 – Enhanced Ebooks

  • Note that the new iBooks Author software discussed above allows for the creation of iBooks2 – enhanced ebooks which can have additional multimedia content added such as videos.
  • Enhanced ebooks have previously been available as multi-media apps, combining text, oratory, film production, visuals, animations, and in-app games.
  • The topic of enhanced ebooks has been around for a long time now, but this week has taken more precedence. Here’s a preview of one about to come out calledChopsticks‘ via The Wall Street Journal which also states that Penguin is intending releasing 50 enhanced books this year.
  • Is there a market for “enhanced” eBooks? – A guest post by Leonard Feldman discusses this topic, and quotes a heavy opinion by Seth Godin who points out the cost of producing film and animation rich ebooks. Note that Seth’s own estimation of out-of-pocket expenses for ebooks now are not accepted by some commenters. This post basically suggests that the cost of adding enhanced functions to ebooks currently is not recuperated in current sales for enhanced ebooks.
  • An Interesting Case Study – Overshare. In December April L. Hamilton published an enhanced novel called Overshare. This fictional work uses screenshots of social media websites and blog posts to tell the main character’s story over the course of a year.
    • Here is the original 8th December post announcing the new book.
    • On January 3rd, Dan Holloway interviewed April Hamilton on His blog, concentrating on the non-narrative aspects of the book, things like creative commons images used for the screenshots.
    • On January 8th Joanna Penn provided a similar post on her blog, where April Hamilton guest posted on the technical aspects of creating the ebook, including copyright considerations, and how she made the images.
    • On January 16th April Hamilton posted on her own blog a post called The Challenges of New, Digital Lit. In this post she says the above interviews and guest post generated lots of reads and comments, but no sales of her book. On the 16th, April decided to try a free giveaway ofher book. It was available free from Amazon for four days. During that time, I actually downloaded the book myself, but have only just finished reading it.
    • At this point in time, the book on Amazon has only had 3 reviews, 1 of which may have come during the free period. As the last commenter points out, graphic-intensive ebooks like Overshare are targeted towards Kindle Fire and other E-readers which allow for colour and graphical formats.

Topic of the Week 2 – Bestsellers (Or Anti-Bestsellers)

This year I made a New Years Writing Resolution for myself – my lofty aim was to reach the NYT best selling list in 5 years. It was an aim signifying an intention to succeed as a new writer with my fiction. I stick to that particular long-term aim, because it’s a good metaphor for some kind of reward for all the hard work. That aside, I know myself that with such a changing industry, writers need to look at our own intentions, and think about all the options and ways that might signify to ourselves that we have done good.

3 thoughts on “Link Love for Writers on Friday

  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog, and thanks for all the links! I love how you banner changed from a voodoo doll to an alpaca overnight! Wickedly cute! Also enjoyed reading your bio, and here’s saying hi to a fellow psychological thriller writer! 🙂

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