Do iPad or do I Kindle? – Part 2

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Tom Evans is an author’s mentor, writer’s unblocker and founder of the eprint Commutabooks. Follow him on Twitter at @thebookwright.

Which digital format is best for authors? Tom Evans considers some of the options.

Well I never thought I’d ever buy Knitting for Dummies. But I just got a copy via the Amazon Kindle Store to read – or is that to watch? – on my iPad.

So am I taking up crocheting iPad covers? No, I am just checking out how embedded video and audio in Kindle books for the iPad and iPhone works.

Somewhat ironically perhaps, the video and audio doesn’t work on the Kindle. Is this a sign that Amazon are moving away from hardware – or preparing a son of Kindle?

So what should authors and publishers do? Here are just some of the current options:

Well, before you make a decision, note that almost certainly Apple will be bringing out an ebook format based on HTML5 – and hopefully some book creation and publishing software.

In 2011, we are bound to see an end to end solution from them with Apple aiming to do for books what it did for music in the last decade. It opened the iTunes store in April 2003 and by the end of the decade they dominated the music download market.

ePub2 perhaps – Betamax and VHS – here we go again.

If you are an author however, my advice is to write, create accompanying audio and video assets and by the time you are ready to publish, there will be more than one route open to you.

There are also differences in margins between Amazon and Apple – and if you are non-US a couple of hoops to jump through which should be sorted shortly.

Smashwords and Lulu don’t necessarily allow multimedia embedded at the moment. Note that they also take a little margin but this is just a sign of how a new Pie Chart will look for books in the coming decade – will blog about this soon!!

Myebook does do embedded multimedia and may well come out with a route – worth keeping an eye on – see my sample ebook www.wordlube.com to see what you can do today – for free!

P.S. Actually this knitting malarky looks kinda fun …

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About Author

Tom Evans is a published author and poet who also mentors other authors in the writing and publication process. He is a specialist at curing both writer's and author's blocks - and yes, they are different. He works with clients on a one-to-one basis and runs regular Blockbusting workshops. He teaches the principles of whole brain and whole mind thinking and how to get our minds into the state where they can tap into unlimited creativity. As a BBC trained broadcast engineer, Tom also has an amazing understanding of multimedia and Internet technologies and is a master of the ebook. By ebook, Tom doesn't mean a PDF but a fully immersive work with audio, video, animation and user interactivity. This year he has launched an iPhone application development service for authors and publishers.

2 Comments

  1. Some interesting thoughts here. I’m considering going the Smashwords route – the multiplatform approach and free ISBN are both very attractive. It’s just the volume of guidance on formatting that’s holding me back at present. Well, that, and the other writerly things I’m engaged in, like writing, for instance.

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