A New Era of Book Publishing

A New Era of Book Publishing

Mike Matas in TED (Click to see)

When it comes to multi­media, I am pretty hard to impress — since while trying to learn the basics myself, I have seen some great things being created around the world. Amazing approaches, beautiful content.

Yet… Today I was blown away.

Reason? This TED-talk by Mike Matas, describing a book they came up with. The book is called Our Choice by Al Gore and it discusses the effects of climate change onto our planet, a sequel to The Incon­ve­nient Truth.

Even if the topic were not your cup of tea (Are you kidding?) I strongly recommend you spending four and a half minutes on that video.

Why? Because you might want to give the future of book publishing a serious thought. If you have an iPad, I recommend you download it, it was 4€ for the whole thing. If for nothing else, then just to play with the interface.

Our Choice in App Store

I did and I am totally sold.

It rocks, no bugs, as intuitive as you can imagine an interface to be on an iPad, it works offline when you have it downloaded. And the most intri­guing part of it: they (Push Pop Media, Inc.) will be releasing the software soon to public use. For a hefty price, I am sure, but still ;-) .

I usually write ( and rave) about multi­media in the daily press / news. But that is not the only environment for the rich media to exist. And an approach like this is so easy to transfer to your monthly mags, for instance.

This is where are heading, this is where we should be going… this is the future, much sooner than you think. Face it.

Two questions I would ask if I were (as I am) a profes­sional journalist:

1) Do you feel you are competent producing quality content such as this to support yourself profes­sio­nally in the media of tomorrow? No, not the software/programming part, but actual content so it can be used interactively?

2) If you had to put your own money into something today, would you put it in buying more ink and paper?

4 Replies to “A New Era of Book Publishing”

  1. I have little contact with the publishing industry, but I can give an example related to new media from the corporate world.

    In my work, I deal with a client who is a multi­na­tional in the automobile industry. They have a worldwide training network for their staff and dealers. For some time already, they have at least partly relied on multi­media formats, instead of paper, PDFs, power point presen­ta­tions and such. Multi­media here means combining text, still images, 2D and 3D moving graphics and video. So they basically have whole training courses published inter­nally as ebooks, which allow making changes, notes and updates.

    This company is definitely into the idea of arming their people with tablet computers that store this kind of media, and are already testing products. For the moment it looks like they will not choose iPad, largely because of the cost, but also for practical reasons (no flash, no USB ports etc). This seems interesting since iPad is all the rave right now, and the first brand name mentioned when discussing the media house’s future publishing strategies (or lack of them). On the corporate side, however, it’s B2B and they don’t care about the brand, they want functio­nality at the right price point. Same with educa­tional instu­tions, who are another key target market for the vendors whose multi­media editing software this company uses.

    The book in the TED video is a great example of the potential of this kind of media for education. And a student can have loads of these stored on the same device — makes for a lighter schoolbag! Many people say they don’t believe that paper books will disappear. I don’t either, but it depends on the use. If it’s a novel, paper is fine — or ebook with background info, author bio, material about the literary genre and so on, with optional further downloads… very compelling here too, but the paper version does the job just fine too. For media, corporate commu­nica­tions, education… I think the huge potential of rich media in tablet computers is obvious.

    1. Thanks Sami again for an insightful and sharp input. You are absolutely right here.
      Education? Think about iPad 2 with a camera, combined with QR-codes I was discussing earlier this year as input mechanism, relating to content such as the one described here? Jesus F Christ… Is there any doubt where the future will be?
      As to your ref. to the platform of choice for your client… For us, for our line of business, that is irrelevant. Flash vs. no flash… Android vs iOS… Totally irrelevant questions in couple of years time.
      What matters is the content and the ability to envison thé content in appropriate ways.… Does this work as a video, as a gallery, as a micro-site, as audio only, as print.… And the ability to create the needed content in the optimal form for that particular need — not that the form of the content is dictated by your limited skillset, be it limited to video,stills, text, whatever only.
      Simply put: the future is about content.


  2. I had a phone call already “what on earth happened to the (lengthy) comments on this post, are you moderating your readers…?” No. The writer sent me an email, asking for those two to be removed because — as he said — “his fingers were definitely faster here than his brain.…”
    Shame, because there were lots of smart obser­va­tions (in those c. 200o words… ;-) ) — but naturally I have to respect his wish.

    I just hope he takes the trouble of reposting, maybe a bit more edited and shorter version, because — as I said — there were lots of good thinking there, worth sharing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.