Nice Oak to present at IBA Conference

Nice Oak’s Founding Partner, Stephan Beauchesne, will be presenting on Widgets at the iBooks Author conference in Nashville this October. This is the first conference for Apple’s iBooks Author software. The popularity of the event is an indication that IBA is becoming a force in the e-publishing industry.

More information on the conference can be found on the event Web site.

Nice Oak gets certified in iBooks Author

WITH DISTINCTION: Nice Oak Apps’ Stephan Beauchesne first to earn highest iBooks Author Certification honor.

Nice Oak is proud to announce that its founding partner has reached this level of certification. Read more on the iBooks Author Certification Program blog

3 easy ways to distribute your ebook

There are many ways to distribute an ebook, especially if it’s free.

Sure, you can publish your ebook through the major internet bookstores such as Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Barnes and Noble. Each one has its own way of doing things, and it’s beyond the scope of this blog post to describe them. What we’ll cover here are the ways you can distribute your ebook on your own.

First, let’s define “ebook.” For the purpose of this article, we’ll define an ebook as being a portable file that can be read using an e-reader app or software. This is rather vague, but the state of the ebook market is such that there are many formats and many e-readers available. Generally, the two main formats are EPUB3 and Apple’s iBook. I have highlighted the difference between the two formats in a slideshare presentation.

1. Email to a private list.

ebooks that contain confidential or proprietary information you don’t want shared publicly can be sent by corporate email. Simply attache the ebook file to an email and send. Some interactive ebooks can be rather large and can exceed email file size maximum. In that case, option 2 or 3 below is more appropriate.

2. Post to an internal server or intranet.

For ebooks to be distributed to employees,  upload the ebook file on a corporate server behind your company’s firewall. You can provide a link to the file via email or on the company Intranet.

3. File sharing system like Box or Dropbox.

Whether you are distributing to a group of people or the world, posting your ebook file on a file sharing system such as or dropbox, is probably the best way to go in most cases. These services are reliable, provide fast download, and have a free account which provides quite a few MB of storage. And as added bonus provides you with download stats, which can be very informative in judging the success of an ebook.

There are other cloud-storage system available. See a review of the landscape here.


Five examples of advanced iBooks

Some multi-touch ebooks are pushing the envelop. Since Apple came out with its iBooks™ format that revolutionized the e-publishing world, many great books have surfaced in the Apple Bookstores, and many more are also distributed free outside the bookstore, generally on a company Web site.

I’ve selected 5 iBooks that really stand out for their creativity as well as how they push the envelop of interactive widgets. So here they are in no particular order:

1. IFC Sustainability Framework: The iBooks version is an exact copy of the printed version in terms of text and overall layout, but the similarities end there. We added an introductory video, an interactive line chart of a Harvard study report, an interactive timeline of the implementation process as well as a filterable and sortable list of milestones.

2. Learning Board Annual Report: This is an internal publication, so we can only share some screenshots and a short video. The publication uses two interesting custom widgets: An interactive table of budget expenditures where readers can filter the data to focus on a specific group; and an interactive list of board members, which is more engaging than a static list.

3. Virtual Meetings Guide: With its extensive use of videos and cheat sheets embedded throughout this iBook, staff are able to access information about the full list of virtual meetings services available. The book opens up to a table of all the services with links to more details. We also developed a custom widget for interactive FAQS.

4. PC Refresh: This guide contains all the reference and training material to new PCs and software rolled out at a large international organization: Cheat sheets and videos accessible on a portable device like the iPad increases staff efficiency, while lowering printing costs. It also reduced the need for clinics and the number of calls to the help desk.

5. LAC Dashboard: This internal monthly publication is a greatly enhanced version of the typical PDF that was distributed to high-level managers of this important region fro an international organization based in Washington, DC. Simple tables and charts as simply enlarged with a double-tap, but we developed custom widgets for the more complex tables and some of the charts and graphs. The end result as a publications that is now accessed by 100% of the staff that were using the PDF version only.

Note: iBooks™ is a trademark of Apple, Inc.

iBooks Widgets 101

There are ebooks and there are iBooks™. Read more

iBooks Now on Macs with OS 10 Mavericks

With the release of OS X Mavericks (10.9), users can now access their whole publications collection on their Mac. Read more

iBooks as a Dashboard

iBooks™ are really changing the perception we have of traditional e-books. Read more

Launch of World Bank Learning Board Annual Report

Nice Oak launches the 2013 Learning Board Annual report iBooks™ version

The latest Learning Board Annual Report in iBooks™ format was launched internally at the World Bank. It follows a very successful release a year ago. We were able to come up with an enhanced version of the printed report by adding a dynamic table for the annual budget forecasts, interactive list of board members and pop-up boxes for footnotes.  Since this publication is for World Bank Group internal use, we cannot distribute it outside the organization. However, we can provide a few screen shots at our portfolio page.

Note: iBooks™ is a trademark of Apple, Inc.

Announcing IFC Framework iBook

Nice Oak recently launched the IFC Sustainability Framework in iBooks™ format to complement the printed version.

The iBooks contains a few great interactive widget to enhance the reader’s experience:

  1. Video presenting the iBooks version of the publication
  2. Interactive timeline of the key events mentioned in the publication
  3. Dynamic list of key milestones

The publication is available on IFC’s Web site as a free download:

See highlights at our portfolio page

Note: iBooks™ is a trademark of Apple, Inc.