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Relive ‘Alice in Wonderland’ on Lewis Carroll’s birthday

alice in nycThe author of one of the most celebrated children’s books of all time, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, would have celebrated his 182nd birthday Monday. Born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Jan. 27, 1832, the mathematician wrote Alice, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, several other books and poems under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll.

These magical and fantastical books and their author have been quoted the world over (Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle); reportedly inspired multiple Beatles’ songs, and of course, plenty of films (some that adhere to the original script, others that do not). Among apps, the creative license is also at work with modern interpretations of Carroll’s work seeming to grow in their fantastical elements each year. I have to believe, though, he might not have minded so much.

Here are three apps to take a look at on this author’s birthday: Read more

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Breaking Bad Gets Official Interactive eBook

Have you noticed parallels between Breaking Bad character Walt White (played by Bryan Cranston) and Walt Whitman? A new digital book has more about the connection.

Sony Pictures Television and the Breaking Bad creators have published Breaking Bad: Alchemy, an interactive digital book only available on iBookstore. Here’s an excerpt from an essay about “Walt Whitman Parallels” in the new book:

Walt White and Walt Whitman share not only their alliterative initials, but also several parallels in their lives and works. Both men spent the early parts of their lives and careers living lives of quiet desperation as teachers, getting by but not succeeding wildly. After being stifled for many years, each decided to break bad in their fields. For Whitman, that meant creating a new, controversial form of poetry as formally daring as it was sexually provocative.

iBooks is Coming to the Desktop, As Apple Claims 20% of eBook Market

As a part of its upcoming operating system release OS X Mavericks, Apple is bringing iBooks to the desktop. The expansion will allow readers who have purchased books through iBooks on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to read their library on their Mac computer and vice versa. Readers who want to shop on their computers for books, can also access the titles on their other iOS devices.

Apple is catching up with the competition with this new offering. Amazon already has a desktop reading app for Kindle, and Barnes & Noble offers one for Nook. But Apple’s share of the eBook market is growing. Apple revealed in court testimony today that they own twenty percent of the eBook market. The company offers more than 1.8 million titles in the iBooks store.  Read more

Self-Publishing with Apple iBooks Author

Thinking about self-publishing with Apple’s free iBooks Author tool?

If you want to explore the program without creating an account, check out the detailed video tutorial embedded above. Emerson’s College Journalism Department has also created detailed videos for every step in the iBook Author creation process. Check it out:

Follow these simple steps to learn how to create your own iBook and send it to the iBookstore!
You can find searchable transcripts of these tutorials at this link.

Versu Offers Interactive Reading Experience With Choose-Your-Own Adventure App

Tired of your favorite stories always ending the same way? That’s what the makers of Versu believe. Their hyper-interactive app is a tech twist on the typical choose-your-own adventure story complete with a monetizing scheme for wannabe storytellers.

To begin, select an episode from Versu’s library or buy one from their store (there’s only three for now). The app allows you to select a character to play and the scripted narrative comes with objectives that must be completed before you move on. Each story is like a game and your character gives you an idiosyncratic perspective on stories that changes each time you play them. Users can unlock various achievements that spices up each narrative.

Versu makers, Linden Labs (creators of Second Life) wants users to benefit from their creations so eventually you’ll be able to create stories you can sell to other users on Versu’s platform. Read more

How To Find Your Highlights & Notes in iBooks When You Upgrade to iBooks 3

Apple released iBooks 3 this week, which lets you store your eBooks in iCloud and includes a continuous scrolling feature.

When you update to the new version of the software, most of your notes and highlights will be preserved in your text of your eBooks, but some will require a little digging to find. For example, if a book has been edited or the publisher has moved anything around in the layout, then your highlights may have moved to a new location within the file. Most of these highlights have ended up in the “Old Notes” section.

Check it out: “If the passage you have highlighted has not been edited, but has been moved to a different section within the same chapter, iBooks may be unable to display the highlight on the page, but it can still be found in the Notes View. Check at the end of the chapter in an ‘Old Notes’ section.” Read more

Andy Warhol Book Released as Digital Book

If Andy Warhol were around today, he’d probably love the iPad. So it is fitting that for the 50th anniversary of his career as an artist, Abbeville Press is releasing Carter Ratcliff ‘s classic text on the artist, Andy Warhol for the iPad.

The $9.99 digital book (which bears the same name as the print book) has been reformatted from the original text into an interactive experience filled with analysis on Warhol’s work. Abbeville Press boasts that the digital book is “the first monograph on the quintessential Pop artist to be made available in digital form.”

What does this mean? The digital book includes text, images, illustrations, artist statements,  notes on technique, and links to more information on the artist outside of the book. Abbeville used Apple’s iBooks Author to create the digital book.

Read more

Fake Erotica Book Takes No. 4 Spot in iBookstore

Comedians from The NSFW Show completely crowd-sourced a fake erotica book for the iBookstore. They compiled a collection of submissions from readers as The Diamond Club by Patricia Harkins-Bradley–telling readers to “please purchase and post a hilarious 5-star review” for the 99-cent title.

The video embedded above explains everything–what do you think? The fake book currently has 1,124 five star reviews and 12 one-star reviews. As you can see by the screen shot from iTunes, as of this writing, the book is currently ranked No. 4 out of all books in the iBookstore–topped only by the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Here is the fake book’s description: “When Brianna Young discovers that Roman Dyle, the man she built a relationship and a multi–million dollar company with, has gotten married to another woman behind her back, she embarks on a journey to realize her dreams of professional and sexual revenge for everything she had endured at the hands of Roman.Brianna seeks her romance from The Diamond Club, an exotic gathering of the Bay Area’s most attractive and interesting people, from angel investors and airline pilots to world–famous chefs and dubstep artists. Gripping and emotionally–charged, The Diamond Club is a story of revenge and discovery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

How To Make A Photo Book For Viewing In iBooks

Blurb, a company that has a toolset for publishing digital photo albums into books, has a new tool to help you make photo books that are readable in iBooks. We used one of their templates to test drive it. Here is the 10-step process that we followed:

1. Decide if you’d like to use a template or design your own specs.

2. Pick a size for your book.

3. Upload images. (These can come from a platform on your computer like iPhoto or from a web based photosharing platform like Flickr, Picasa, Instagram or Facebook).

4. Layout the book. You can drag and drop the photos that you have imported to arrange the book, or the platform will do it for you. Read more

How To Sync iBooks Between Your iPhone And Your iPad

If you’ve bought a book in iBooks on your iPad, when you open up iBooks on your iPhone, it will not be there. Unlike Amazon, Apple does not automatically sync these libraries. It is kind of a clumsy process, but easy enough to manage. Essentially, you have to manually redownload every book that you have purchased from iBooks again. But thankfully, you don’t have to buy them again. The download is free.

Open iBooks on the device that you did not purchase the eBook on. Click on the “Store” button and you should go into the iBooks store. On the bottom right hand corner of the screen is an icon that says “Purchased.” (It’s right next to the “Search” icon). Click on this and you should see a list of books that you have purchased through your iBooks account. Click on the book, enter your Apple ID when prompted, and the book will show up on your digital bookshelf. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Remember, it has to be the same iBooks account, so if you and your spouse are sharing an iPad, be sure to use the correct login to access your account.