eBook for the iPad

I had contemplated in which form to publish my book about the Panamerican Peaks adventure. As an avid Kindle reader I was naturally drawn to the notion of an electronic book: Much easier to (self-)publish, no risky first edition print volumes, ability to update the book without creating out-of-date hardcopies, more seamless linking to online content on my Blog, Picasa albums and YouTube playlists, to name just a few.

One hope I had was that it would be possible to publish in a format suitable for the iPad. With the many color photos and videos it felt like the most natural way to see the adventure and retrace the journey. After all, I had done some presentations from both a laptop and also just the iPad, both in private settings as well as a few public audiences:

Presenting at REI store in Seattle, August-2011

The iPad works particularly well to share this kind of story, as you can quickly show it to someone at a coffee shop or connect it via HDMI to a flatscreen TV, which conveys not just the visual but also the audio. It just makes for a much more immersive experience.

Flatscreen HD presentation from iPad

Just a few months ago Apple announced its free eBook publishing software called iBooks Author. This tool comes at the perfect time for me, as I’m writing and editing my book and materials on my MacBook anyway. The software allows me to mix and match text, photos, animations, video, and keynote materials all into one eBook. Here are some preview screen-shots:

Chapter 'WIND' Header Page of eBook

One additional benefit of this eBook format is that one can include links to online content, which can more easily be kept up-to-date and provide additional information and materials (such as more photos). Here is an example of how the eBook could link to the companion website (this Blog):

Navigation page to all rides and climbs by country flag

While this eBook format is proprietary to Apple and reduces the reading devices to iPads only, I feel that it gives the best viewing experience possible. I just can’t see anywhere near the same impact on the original black-&-white Kindle readers…

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts as to what you think would be the right price for such an eBook?

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