Over at BookBaby, Chris Robley wrote a concise list of ten ways to improve and maintain your social media presence as an author.
I found them to be valuable and accurate! Read the story here.
Quark’s third quarterly issue of their free iPad magazine app Jabber is filled with useful information and inspirational articles. It’s also a showcase for how people are using QuarkXPress to create impressive iPad apps.
This issue focuses on the business of digital publishing, including articles that illuminate the current landscape for anyone interested in making iPad apps and EPUB-based books.
I was especially impressed by the real-world explanations of “the tech hype cycle”, and delighted that they included my article about their acquisition of Mobile IQ. (It’s also nice that they included an ad for my free book on digital publishing.)
If you’re at all interested in digital publishing, I encourage you to soak up the valuable information in issue #3 of Jabber! Further information is in Quark’s press release is below.
Quark’s iPad Magazine Dedicates Third Issue to Enterprise Digital Publishing
Jabber Explores the Challenges that Corporate Publishers Must Overcome to Create Sustainable, Relevant, and Successful Digital Experiences
DENVER, CO – June 21, 2012 – Quark announced today the availability of the third issue of Jabber, the iPad app for designers and creative professionals that rethinks the digital magazine. Built with QuarkXPress® 9 and App StudioTM, the third issue features even more interactivity that takes advantage of what’s possible with the iPad. With scrollable layouts, slideshows, video, pop-ups, and HTML5, Jabber issue three includes:
Jabber is now available for free on the iTunes Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jabber/id477757782?mt=8.
To learn more about QuarkXPress and App Studio, please visit: http://www.quark.com/Products/AppStudio/.
Founded in Denver in 1981, Quark’s vision was to create software that would lay the foundation for modern publishing. For 30 years, Quark has delivered on that promise. Quark’s dynamic publishing solutions are setting new standards in automated cross-media publishing by combining the power of XML with flexible layout and design to automate the delivery of customized, intelligent communications across print, the Web, and digital media.
Isn’t it amazing, the iPad just turned two today.
After Steve Jobs introduced the first iPad two years ago, I remember seeing a lot of comments that this is just a big iPhone and only a surfing device.
Looking at today’s use of the iPad, the opportunities tablets (and especially the iPad being the spearhead of the tablet success) offer hardly anybody imagined and are vast:
Surfing device, reading device, bookstore, game console, channel for corporate marketing communications, management information system, dashboard, point of sale, point of purchase, replacement for laptops and even the Desktop in some cases and much more.
Therefore it feels as if it has been on the market much longer than for just two years.
If you are in publishing, professional or corporate, external or internal, and you are not doing iPad publishing yet, now is the time to start evaluating possibilities and opportunities.
First, Happy New Year to you!
And to start off the new year with some fresh thoughts, I want to share some discussions I had the last months discussing Digital Publishing options.
A common question is how to distribute content for the iPad. The obvious ones are of course Apple’s App Store (iTunes). However, though being the most powerful solution (technically), for some workflows and business models it is not the right option.
One typical reason to decide against Apple’s App Store is the 30% commission Apple charges for any purchase no matter what model you choose (selling app, selling content in-app, subscription etc.). Personally I feel that taking the infrastructure, the marketing possibilities and especially the ease of user experience Apple built do justify the cost. If you want to create native apps, there is also no other way (allowed) to distribute paid apps to the world.
So if you need to publish content that you want to charge for outside the App Store, you need to look for alternative technologies to (native apps). Some technologies that come to mind are HTML, PDF and ePub.
ePub is a promising standard and maybe the only standard for Digital Publishing. Its newest iteration (ePub v3) uses HTML5 internally and can be syndicated using many services (including amazon’s Kindle using a converter). However using such a syndication service (or bookstore) might mean that again you need to play by the rules set up.
Of course you could host an ePub also on your own website (like HTML and PDF). The biggest technical consideration you then need to make is how to protect your content (setting up a DRM or an eShop with log in) if you want to sell content. Another larger consideration is how you will promote it (that customers can find it).
As I am sure that the current technical limitations of web apps will be overcome soon and HTML5 will be the future, in my humble opinion payment options are biggest issue of selling your content yourself:
A typical iPad user knows that credit card information (or other types of payments) just need to be registered once with Apple and then the one tab shopping experience is easy. Now if you want to sell your app/content, you somehow need to collect user data (name, address, email) and payment methods (credit card). Beside the scare of phishing readers might have (a good brand will help build trust), it definitely builds a (small) purchase hurdle for registering and submitting personal information, maybe long enough for a spontaneous user to not continue with the purchase.
That I believe will also be the biggest challenge with the upcoming trend of HTML5 apps (or also known as “web apps”) and is today the major advantage of native apps. Maybe a combination of both (HTML5 wrapped in a native app) is the way to go in the future? We’ll see.
I was recently asked again about the difference of app and issue and I frequently see that people ask about “my app exported out of QuarkXPress”. So I thought it might be a good idea to explain the difference between the app itself and the content it displays (Quark calls this an “issue” and Adobe “folio”).
Imagine a DVD Player with DVDs:
A DVD Player can play different types of DVDs and each DVD can have different content. To see content (e.g. a movie) you need both, as the DVD Player by itself is kind of sad and a DVDs by itself cannot really reveal its content.
In the App Studio analogy the DVD Player is your app. And the DVDs are your issues (.zave files).
You create your app using App Studio Factory (that comes with the installation of QuarkXPress) and your issues (.zave) by exporting them out of QuarkXPress. And you need the Quark App Studio Publishing Portal to tell your app which issues to display.
Interestingly enough this analogy even works for the pricing model:
With Quark you pay once for the Player to be build (with your logo on it) and once for each DVD to be created.
Other vendors ask a yearly rent (or platform fee) for giving you as many DVD Players and DVDs as you want, additionally you have to pay each time somebody watches the DVD (called download fee).