Apps

Go Read This | What’s a book? It’s whatever you want it to be — Tech News and Analysis

In case you missed it, stop thinking book or ebook and think, content and the many ways to sell it:

This kind of “format shifting,” in which a newspaper or magazine takes content that has already been published and reformats it for the Kindle or some other device, makes a lot of sense. That content can theoretically reach readers who might never have picked up the newspaper or magazine, or who missed it when it was first printed, or who want to read it in book form while sitting on their couch or at the beach rather than on a computer. And if the cost is low enough, they will be willing to pay for that convenience.

via What’s a book? It’s whatever you want it to be — Tech News and Analysis.

Making Things Happen: The Irish Story’s Apps

It’s been an incredibly busy few months for me in lots of ways. But I’ve also managed to get a few things shipped as Seth Godin might put it. So I thought I’d write a few posts about them.

One of the things I’ve managed to get done is submitting all five of The Irish Story‘s first set of ebooks into the iTunes App store. Some of them (Rebellion, Famine and Easter Rising) are already live and available. The final two (Civil War and Independence) will go live soon.

Since I finished at Mercier Press and decided to create The Irish Story, Apps and ebooks were always my focus, the ebooks were the easier part to create, the Apps took a little longer so I’m very glad we are there with them now.

It has been a great experience, which I mostly put down to the talent and commitment of our wonderful co-publisher, Mike Hyman at Collca. I first came across Collca in late October when I found the wonderful History in An Hour Series, which I discovered Collca co-published.

That find sparked an e-mail, a phone call and a contract agreement within a fortnight and now a five app publishing schedule in the space of six weeks. Things can truly move rapidly in the digital publishing space can’t they?

I’ve written before that I don’t believe that Apps are the future and that ebooks are a distraction. Oddly enough I don’t see the fact that I publish ebooks and apps as a contradiction of those writings. Rather I believe a publisher should be ensuring that all their material gets out on the market in as many ways as possible.

So rather than one edition or one format, books should appear online, as ebooks, apps, printed editions or whatever else they can reasonable be packaged as. Brian O’Leary who writes cogently and well about issues in publishing calls this agile content widely deployed.

I like to think that The Irish Story Apps are just one example of that!

Some App Love: Osprey’s Military History Quiz

I downloaded the free version of Osprey’s The Military History Quiz App last week and I just wanted to give it a quick word of praise*.

Simply put, it’s excellent. It combines some excellent design with great questions and a very clever in-App purchase set of options.

First the design which is smooth and consistent and looks good throughout the app. It has a sufficiently martial theme to keep the military-history nerd in me happy.

The questions are tough enough, even in the free section, to challenge both the novice and the knowledgeable history buff. As they progress though they sure do get harder!

And it’s that progression that makes the in-App buying options so smart. For only €0.79 you can upgrade the levels to reach 1 Star General status. After that it’s €2.39 a level OR you can choose to pay €5.99 for every level in one go (the levels go to 4 Star General) including the first one.

I have to admit, the App punctured many of my illusions about my knowledge base when it comes to military history, but I guess that’s a small downside when you learn so much along the way!

It’s a fine piece of work, it works smoothly and I hope it generates huge sales for Osprey who have a real can-do, will-do, try-anything spirit that’s hard not to admire in the modern publishing environment.

I’m sure they are working on the Sci-Fi & Fantasy version of the quiz too (Osprey also owns Angry Robot, a relatively new Sci-Fi & Fantasy imprint).

Eoin

*It’s probably fair to note that I know one or two of the folks that work at Osprey well enough to have a chat at the odd Book Fair or over Twitter, but I’ve never worked for the company. I’ve written about them before a few times though.

Go Read This | Brave New World: Have We been Googled?

Great piece on what Google Editions IS, and what its implications might very well be.

I have to say that despite its potential (which I’ve blogged about before) I am becoming increasingly skeptical about Google’s ability to pull this one out of the bag.

I think Amazon has nicely out maneuvered them by launching their desktop and mobile device apps creating in effect a device-less strategy for their content. But I’m always happy to be proved wrong.

The other difference offered by Google Editions is its planned appeal to independent bookstores who will see it as their opportunity to go digital. A bit like many Marketplace offers, Google will allow bookstores to be mere agents and sell ebooks off their own clients, community and brand. Some suggest that systems such as the ABA’s Indie Bound are lined up and that the UK’s BA will follow. This will certainly get bookstores involved in ebooks but has to be watched as all other marketplace deals have tended to raise the cost of doing business once they have cashed in on the clients, community and brands. Independents will line up in a beauty contest alongside all comers and although Google will probably offer some localised shopping service everyone is in there together.

Whether they will integrate voucher services such as their rumoured interest in Groupon remain to be seen but as voucher services and social networking grows it will be interesting as to who Google actually ends up accommodating and like Adwords at what price?

via Brave New World: Have We been Googled?.

Faber teams up with Touch Press for galaxy iPad guide | theBookseller.com

Not much to see here you might think on the surface. A company announcing a new product and a partnership at an industry event.

But hold on! It’s Faber (yeah, that Faber) not DK making the announcement. Who would ever have expected a solar system App from them?

What’s more, the partnership is not just another sign of just how established brands face challenges from all across the board (and Faber’s own brand is threatened too), but it shows that savvy publishers like Faber can move fairly rapidly in the digital space.

Faber is publishing an e-book app on the solar system in its first collaboration with digital publishers Touch Press.

The new venture was unveiled today at The Bookseller’s FutureBook Conference in London where Henry Volans, head of Faber Digital and Max Whitby, co-founder of Touch Press showcased their launch title, Solar System for iPad.

The interactive book, priced £7.99 and available from the App store next month, is written by New Scientist cosmology consultant Marcus Chown. He previously wrote popular science book Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You (Faber). The new book, a complete guide to our solar system, uses interactive software to include ‘multi-touch’ 3D planets and custom-made animations and videos.

via Faber teams up with Touch Press for galaxy iPad guide | theBookseller.com.

Announcement: The Irish Story & Collca Agree Co-Publishing Deal For Five Apps

I’m really pleased to be able to share this news, it means that at least one (and probably more) of the “Story Of Series” will be available as apps for iOS devices by Christmas.

Press Release
04/11/2010
For Immediate Release

The Irish Story & Collca to Co-publish 5 Titles as Apps
The Irish Story and Collca are delighted to announce that they’ve agreed to develop and co-publish iPhone apps for the first five books in The Story Of series of Irish histories.

The partnership will use Collca’s Condor software and data framework to bring the apps to market in rapid succession starting with John Dorney’s The Story Of The Easter Rising, 1916. The Irish Story and Collca will both actively market the apps which will be available from the Apple iTunes app store as soon they’re published.

The Irish Story publisher, Eoin Purcell, said “I’m very pleased with the deal we have reached. It allows The Irish Story to move beyond ebook formats and into the world of apps, something I’ve been keen to do since day one.”

Mike Hyman, managing director of Collca, added “these books provide a very good overview of key events in Irish history. This deal will help consolidate our position as an electronic publisher of shorter concise texts covering a variety of topics – not just history. I believe that this type of publication lends itself far better to electronic publication than to print.”

Notes to Editors
The Irish Story is a digital first publisher of Irish History titles.

Collca, the co-publishers of the acclaimed History In An Hour series, was founded specifically as an ePublisher. It currently publishes book-derived and other educational and reference mobile apps primarily for the Apple iOS platform (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch). Collca is also actively planning to adopt the ePUB ebook standard as an additional platform for some new titles.

Further information from:
The Irish Story:
eoin AT eoinpurcell.com

Collca:
mike.hyman@collca.com
+44 7980 821222

Quick Link | A radical future for book publishing – News, Books – The Independent

But now their children – and savvy publishers – are getting in on the act. Every major publisher of children’s books is developing its titles for the iPad format, enabling children to access their picture books on screen. But, while adults are content with being able to turn pages on their electronic devices, publishers believe younger readers will demand high-quality graphics, traditional technology – including “lift-the-flap” – and interactive applications.

via A radical future for book publishing – News, Books – The Independent.