Yesterday, fellow author Jennifer Skully and I met on the Apple campus to beta test some authoring software for the smart folks @iBooks. Neither of us knew what to expect … but we both came away madly excited!
Those of you who use iThings probably know about iBooks Author, a nifty product that allows you to lay out gorgeous books meant for reading on iPad and iPhone. But the iBooks folks are expanding far beyond fixed-page nonfiction texts like science books and cookbooks, and moving now into reflowable fiction templates for writers like Jennifer and me, with fabulous opportunities for enhancement.
What does this mean for the Magnificent Devices books?
Books can be enhanced with movies, audio files, and images. Just imagine what I can do with this:
- I can record an intro welcoming readers to the book, and giving a little background information on how it came about.
- I can include a little narration, either reading an opening paragraph myself, or including a small portion of the audiobook performed by the peerless Fiona Hardingham. Once I figure out how the licensing works for that.
- A picture gallery might turn up showing the landscape through which the characters are moving. I’m thinking particularly of poor Gloria in Book 10, making her way through the Weird West.
- Along with the excerpt for the next book, which you normally find in the back, I can embed a book trailer similar to the one I did for A Lady of Integrity.
- And I can do a live author bio, either as a sound file or as a movie, talking not only about myself (which might put people to sleep), but also about the series in general and thanking my readers for joining me on the journey (which might keep them awake).
I can’t wait to get in and play around with this. The iBooks folks assure me that these files will also work on other tablets, which is different from the fixed-template books that are only viewable on iPad and iPhone. It’s an exciting step forward—don’t you just love technology?