E-Books: A Fragmented Technology

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Published: 25th June 2015
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Books. One of mankind's greatest achievements. When the Renaissance came around, we could finally organize a complex batch of thoughts in one location, to refer back to as often as we wish.

The concept behind what a book actually is hasn't changed much, really at all. Weather you read it on paper, on an electronic device, the premise is pretty much the same.

In examining these technologies, it is interesting to note that for an analogue version, there are really only two formats, printed two different ways. Hardback and paperback. Color and monochrome. There are, of course, the books on tape, but, those, curiously enough, seem to fall into a different category.

Fast forward to 2000-2010 and beyond. Amazon and Apple are selling e-readers like wild, mad, crazy nuts. Others are trying to keep up.

In setting out to bring an epic fantasy to life, I was faced with many different directions.

One of Steve Jobs' final projects totally changed my life. It is the software called

iBooks Author. He envisioned a world where books come to life. He brought it well beyond just text on a page, and changed the industry. To date, there is nothing that compares for the Kindle, or any other e-reader.

Sony's didn't seem to last very long, and the Nook by Barnes and Noble is now not going to see another update.

You can also read Kindle books on Windows and Android devices, but, that is entirely another discussion.

You can see how maddening this all can be for the author who wants to do more than just have text on a page.

Please understand that I, in absolutely no way, wish to devalue mankind's rich history with the classic book, but rather, am here to enhance, and build upon this legacy.

So, fantastic. I go about writing my eBook,The Legend of the Lost Rose, and then proceed to create within iBooks Author. It has a beautiful animated video in the very beginning, set to a stunning musical score. I built this in iPhoto. Indeed! You can create awesome, animated slide shows in iPhoto, in literally minutes, and they look like they took you hours.

In each chapter, there are full, touch screen animations that look clean, crisp, rich, and sparkling on the iPad 3's retina display. These were created in Apple's Keynote software (Apple's version of Power Point), and then brought in to iBooks Author.

Lastly, within each chapter, there is a link to a piece of merchandise that either a character uses, or has a direct integration with the story.

You see how I am involving the user in many more ways than just text on the page.

Amazing. And yet, Apple has seen to it that such rich iBooks only work on iPad 2 and above. Very frustrating.

Indeed, while I am creating my iBook, everyone around me is crying Amazon, Amazon, GET IT ON AMAZON!

Wonderful. To Amazon I go! What do I discover? There is not even an attempt to compete with iBooks Author. Totally infuriating. It's o.k. I press on. I create my Kindle version in Microsoft Word, and just have images and links below those images that rip one out of the Kindle reader software, and into a browser to view the work. And, not just any browser. It needs to be Safari.

Of course, we have the text, and the links to the merchandise that work just fine in

any browser.

One might ask why I didn't just create an app.

I'm an artist, not a programmer, and I needed to get it into Amazon FAST.

Again, market fragmentation.

However, I totally believe that with me trying to get it into as many hands as possible, even with limitations, I have a marketing leg up.

By the way... It still isn't on the Nook. I have been fighting with them for several weeks, because they can't verify my EIN, even though I told them that I have a letter from the IRS, with the EIN on it.

I can only guess that a dying platform is cutting jobs. It really is too bad that Barnes and Noble didn't innovate faster. I have plenty of ideas!

For the user, the iPad really is the best experience. If only the world appreciated

it more...

It's kinds of strange, actually. You don't have fragmentation and formatting problems in the print, film, t.v., or music industry similar to this. If you want to play blue ray, you buy a blue ray player. AIFF is AIFF. mp3 is mp3. None of this that YouTube doesn't play everywhere, and is read on everything. Java is Java. Flash is Flash. HTML5 is HTML5. Period. I create it once, and that's it. Not three and four times over.

I present this as an educational, and wholly truthful story for those who are either just getting into this, or whom have wondered about it.

The Legend of the Lost Rose is part of a three part series. Here's to part 2: The Legend of the Wizard Coven, and all of it's marvelous creation!

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