Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interactive eBooks - The Future of Publishing

NOTE: This post has been cross posted from the Connect eMagazine blog.

Following yesterday's post on Pete R Njenga's Books, a friend later called me and sought some clarifications about Online Publishing.
This post seeks to shed more light about Online publishing in interactive formats, specifically Rich PDF. It'll also be cross-posted on Pete R Njenga's Books.

Online Publishing
This essentially means making it possible for the public to access information on the world wide web. The information in this case may be text, images, videos, eBooks in various formats and other publications.
In our case, online publication will mean publishing eBooks and eMagazines online, contrary to traditional print publishing.

As earlier indicated, online publishing is fast gaining ground, thanks to easier and wider access to the internet, faster network connections and the availability of a motley of e-readers, computers and other mobile devices.

Interactive eMagazines and eBooks
Interactive magazines are basically those through which the reader can do more than merely read. This may

At the 2011 TED Conference in Long Beach California, Mike Matas, formerly of Apple but now with Push Pop Press presented the first full-length interactive digital eBook.
The book he demonstrated, Al Gore's Our Choice contains video, graphics and interactive data visualizations. Watch Mike Mata's TED Talk below:

Rich PDF
The concept of interactive publications is however not new. Back in 2006, I was introduced to an amazing albeit weighty Graphic Exchange magazine, published in Canada by Brill Communications Inc. When I downloaded and viewed the 2004 and 2005 editions from the Graphic Exchange archive, I was simply blown away by the level of interaction that a Rich PDF can have.

The full versions of the Graphic Exchange magazines contain video, music, and other interactive elements.

So how are the Rich PDFs created?
Well, all it takes it the usual Adobe Creative Suiet Software [Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign]. Once the magazine layout is complete in InDesign, additional buttons and button areas for interactive elements are added.
For further Rich PDF features, the magazine is enhanced and spruced up in Adobe Acrobat Professional.
The Graphic Exchange site has a good number of tutorials explaining in detail, how to create Rich PDF.