Few words about Apple’s iBook Author

Yesterday’s announcement from Apple, of a tool for the creation of iBooks, generated so many news, postings, tweets and even a blog from Carlos (Ansca co-founder): http://blog.anscamobile.com/2012/01/corona-sdk-for-ebooks-because-education-isnt-a-mac-only-privilege/.

A few Kwik users sent me emails asking me to talk about it and how it (may) affects the further development of the plugin. My thoughts (trying not to be biased) below.

iBook Author brings a couple of nice features that will capture the attention of many users (some Kwik users as well). Some reasons for that include:

  • It opens a new platform for delivery of stories;
  • Seems to be much easier to setup and publish to iBook store than app store (no certificates, etc);
  • It’s an all-in-one package (no other tools in the process, what you see is what you get);
  • Cheap, in fact it is free;

However, there are also “not so nice” points:

  • Runs only on a Mac;
  • Export only for iBook store(it uses a non-standard version of ePub format, meaning you will not be able to deliver your stories in other book stores);
  • Only basic features (at least at this moment);
  • Hard (if not impossible) to work with multiple languages (very similar with the printed model);

Based on my interactions with several users, I see some of them moving to iBooks Author. These ones are part of a group with very limited knowledge of technology (they are mostly authors/writers) and the complexities of setting account in the iOS development program, plus the hard time creating certificates, clearly will make the Author a better fit.

For the majority of other users, I still see much more potential on the app business with Kwik+Corona due the following possibilities and benefits:

  • Multiplatform for creation (PC or Mac);
  • Multi-store/device delivery (iOS, Amazon, B&N, Android, and who knows the other ones coming);
  • Much more features and options;
  • Easy way to learn coding (for future storybook improvement or new kind of apps – games, for example);
  • Interactivity in another level (besides basic buttons you have gestures, canvas, and much more);

In sum, iBooks Author will bring more options for the publishing market and this is a good think not only for users but also to developers of tools. Competition always drive progress and I am really excited with the things Kwik and Corona authors will deliver to differentiate their apps from common ebooks created with Apple’s new tool.

Alex

5 comments

  • My Amazon Kindle version of my eBook has sold three times as many copies as the iPad version on iTunes in a third of the time. The reason I was able to easily create two versions was because of Kwik and Corona. Using Apple’s method would mean I’d have limited features and only one market, which seems silly from a business standpoint.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Alex. We’ll keep spreading the word about Kwik and how easy it is for artists and designs to make eBooks.

  • Kwik and Corona make the perfect combination to make interactive books directly from Photoshop without zero coding and delivering it to multiple platforms. iPhone, iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire, Nook Tablets, and hundreds of other Android devices. And soon, Corona will be doing Mac Apps so yet another platform in your options for app distribution.

    Thank you Alex for a great tool that complements Corona SDK

    Carlos

  • as a publisher and not a coder i think it can be another avenue to get your work out there but as we have found as a predominantly pc user unless you buy a mac it can be rather a pain publishing to itunes
    so far we have enjoyed the fact that kwik can make it easier to creat stunning apps without having to know the corona language
    the only drawback to most creation tools is they can get complex and kwik is very easy to use
    another drawback is flash swfs that we have created are not realy transferable in corona and the movies are kinda limited unless you are a coder or someone you know
    we are curently in the process of making an interactive comic app that has flash animations of the facial features of a narator and the characters it would be nice to be able to add them
    but like we said overall its another avenue and as a publisher we need to get as many as we can to be seen in the masses
    thanks paul

  • I think iBook Author is mainly for text books with a few animations. Kwik us still the perfect solution for iBook apps, so please keep enhancing your amazing product. Apple won’t succeed if they limit books to their platform only. The purpose of books and education is to make them available to all. Very selfish of Apple :-(

  • Do not get discouraged, the fact that you are successfully competing with this alternative should make you feel proud. Inspired folks will not go for something so limiting as iBook Author.

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