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Choosing Between Enhanced eBooks And Apps

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Making an enhanced eBook or an app to go along with your book can be a great value to a reader with extra bis of information and content to enjoy, but it can also be complicated. Carla King has a piece on PBS.com breaking down the difference between the two and how to budget for such a project.

When it comes to enhanced eBooks. King recommends adding enhancements that go along nicely with the book. The piece quotes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as saying, “If it’s a book about music history, having music people can play at certain points in the book can be useful.”

Making enhanced eBooks is not an easy task. From the PBS piece: “How much does this cost in terms of time and money? It took me months to create the Ireland magazine working in InDesign and with my group who painstakingly reviewed and edited every iteration. It would have been a huge project even without the learning curve, so when Collingridge quoted $8,000 to $15,000 for enhanced e-book production, that sounded about right.”

Perhaps the large price tag is why we are seeing enhanced eBooks coming mostly from the big publishing groups. But smaller presses are not entirely out of the loop when it comes to creating rich media for their digital books as DIY app tools are beginning to emerge.

PBS reports: “For the budget-impaired, DIY app builders are emerging. Travel guidebook publishers already know their audience is looking online and to apps instead of to the paper book. For them, Sutro Media has created a browser-based tool to let publishers upload material to a content management system, which then gets ported into Objective C on the back end. Co-founder Kevin Collins says, ‘these apps do things that books can’t possibly do. For example, you can use all the photos you had to leave out in their book versions, and include live maps and hyperlinks, too.’”

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