WPA presenting at Digital Book World 2018

WPA Consulting Presents the Next Step for Digital Book Publishing at Digital Book World 2018
See a Survey of Next Generation Interactive Books Design Tools at DBW 2018 on Oct. 2

Bethesda, MD, September 13, 2018 – Ebooks have evolved over the last few years from static content to engaging, multi-touch experiences. This has happened because there are now more tools to design enhanced digital content material. At DBW 2018, WPA’s Stephan Beauchesne will be presenting four leading software solutions as well as provide a peek into the future with a new interactive book development platform under construction.

Visit the Digital Book World Website for information on the program, and on WPA’s Session #236. 

More software options

Besides reviewing iBooks Author, the software that helped launch the multi-touch ebook experience, the session will cover tools that have found a niche in the ebook development space: 3D Issue Flipbook, Kotobee Author and Pressbooks, the latter being a WordPress-based platform for publishing ebooks.

The future

Do not miss the chance to hear about what WPA calls the future of the interactive ebook development and publishing. You will be able to take a sneak peek at the platform WPA is developing which we believe will be a revolution in the same way as iBooks Author did when it launched in 2012.

To hear more, attend our presentation:
Constructing Interactive Books: The Next Step For Digital Publishing
Stephan Beauchesne (Principal, WPA Consulting)
Oct. 2, 2018 from 3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
Session #236

WPA Consulting Virtual Press Office

WordPress site to promote screenwriter’s projects

Anne M. Brauer, a movie and TV screenwriter needed a major Website refresh. It was built on a platform that was inefficient and the design itself was very dated. We approached the project with a new angle. First, we proposed to develop the new site in WordPress, the most popular web publishing platform. Second, after showing some potential layout, Anne chose to go with a one-page website. This is a very modern design that works well with smaller sites.

The project took a day of development time over one week. You can see the site at: https://annembrauer.com

Journaling hack app helps users break the stress cycle

A Case Study

E-book app background

MoodShift owners, David L. Greene, M.D. and Pamela Jones-Greene, approached us with the idea to convert their material to break the stress cycle into an interactive eBook. They had already prepared the content in a flowing PowerPoint, with backgrounds, text, and some animations and transitions at key moments.

For a better experience, the reader would be reading the content sequentially, therefore following a logical series of steps on their journey. That’s why the interactive eBook model was so appealing. At the same time, we all felt it was necessary to allow the reader to reach any part of the content, as well as access previous responses for review or editing.

Technical Process

At first, the authors suggested we use a development platform that allowed for the creation of an iOS and Android App instead of a traditional eBook. This was something very important to them because current eBook readers would not allow for the interactive experience they envisioned for their product. Yet, they desired the look and feel of an eBook. As we designed the eBook, we quickly realized that the custom widgets we developed created conflicts in the chosen platform. We had to find another solution.

We proposed to develop the eBook app using Adobe PhoneGap, which essentially allowed us to create a universal code base using HTML5/CSS/JS, and produce both an Android and an iOS app. The added bonus was that the app was responsive, allowing for different tablet size screens.

The main interactive activity (widget) was a writing tool which preserved the reader’s thoughts at key moments in the material. We also developed a multiple-choice tool, where the user’s selections were kept in memory for future reference.

Finally, we added a menu bar with access to author information, an introduction video, and a pop-up chapter navigation side bar, and wrapped the content into an elegant interface and easy-to-use forward and back navigation system.

Special Features/Tool Tips

  • Scrolling answer boxes
  • Answers are automatically saved within the tool for privacy.
  • Edit/delete your answers
  • Create a diary. Begin your answer by entering the current date to track your progress.
  • Use this app as a quick guide to give focused attention to a particular aspect of your life.
  • Use this tool when you feel like giving up on the life you want to live.
  • Grant yourself the pleasure of completing the entire experience without interruption.
  • Repeating this experience is like pulling on a thread ––– the more you pull, the more that is revealed to you.

Philosophy behind the app

Suppressing your heart-connected desires is at the core of your stressful condition and circumstance. Ancient wisdom embedded in the Dead Sea Scrolls provides the prescription to come alive and transform an unfulfilled life.

“If you bring forth what is within you,

what you bring forth will save you.

If you do not bring forth what is within you,

what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

– Dead Sea Scrolls

This ancient wisdom is the foundation for MoodShift’s proprietary Shoshin Technique. The technique is multifaceted and facilitates the discovery of solutions to your stress.

One facet of the Shoshin Technique involves using the Socratic Method — a non-judgmental style of asking questions. This method naturally develops sound thinking.

We are born with the “shoshin” way of being. It is an attitude of openness and willingness to explore without hesitation. It is an attitude of eagerness and lack of preconception. The “shoshin” attitude is unencumbered.

As we socially adapt to the world around us, the cultivation of limited thinking evaporates the natural “shoshin” way out of our being. As we are pressured to follow the status quo, we start to distance ourselves from the core of our being. This process of limited thinking suppresses our life force. This stressful cycle becomes increasingly difficult to break.

LifeShift breaks this stressful cycle of limited thinking by arousing your heart-connected desires.

While using this tool, you can enhance your experience by listening to your favorite, soothing, instrumental tunes.

Availability

You can access the app from the MoodShift Web Site: http://www.moodshift.me/lifeshift/

Book of Hours: A flipbook with audio

Book of Hours is a contemporary ‘illuminated manuscript’ comprising text by some of the author’s favorite poets, writers, scientists, and songwriters, placed alongside carefully selected playlists, and accompanied by her own beautiful drawings. When Rebecca Clark approached us to see if we had ways to enhance her PDF with audio tracks, we jumped at the opportunity. The complexity was not necessarily with adding audio and create an interactive ebook—we have many tools for that—the challenge was to do it in a way that reproduces the current PDF experience.

Because of the need for a quick turnaround and a tight budget, we eliminated the iBooks Author option. It would have required us to basically re-create the book in that tool, and it had over 230 pages! So, we looked at Kotobee and 3D Issue. Both accept PDF and provide a quick way to add audio files. An important factor was the ability to store the ebook on her iPad as there won’t be any internet connectivity where the art presentation will occur, and both tools can do that. However, one big advantage that 3D Issue offered is the ability to have 2 facing pages, which was critical for the Author as her book used 2-page spreads on many occasions.

So, we went with 3D Issue, and added all the audio snippets. The ebook was published on 3D Issue cloud and the author was able to download the ebook on her iPad. We look forward to seeing her ebook in action at the By the People exhibit in June, in Washington, DC!

Diversity and Inclusion Annual report

Diversity and Inclusion is not only a good idea, it improves the bottom line. IFC knows that a broad range of outlooks and experiences is good for our business as it allows them to better serve their clients. We also know it creates a working environment where all benefit from the vigorous exchange of ideas. IFC values the differences that make each and every staff unique—differences in nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, and more. This rich array helps IFC mirror the world at large as well as the people they serve. 

IFC approached us to develop an interactive flipbook for their Diversity and Inclusion annual report, to be viewed in a Web browser. We created the following functionality:

  • Intro video
  • Image galleries
  • Pop-up boxes with staff testimonies
  • Explainer videos throughout the flipbook.

E-learning module for staff mentoring program

A large international organization asked us to develop an e-learning module for their mentoring program. The objective was to not only replicate but enhance an existing set of presentation slides and create a SCORM-compliant module to be used in their LMS. The module takes about 40 minutes to complete and takes the user through the concept of mentoring inside the organization. It covers in-person as well as virtual mentoring and distinguishes mentoring, supervising and coaching. The module contains a series of exercises to reinforce the learning material.

In addition to e-learning modules, WPA has extensive experience in developing all kinds of business learning products such as explainer animations and training ebooks. Contact us for a free evaluation of your learning and training needs.

Flipbooks: The future of digital content?

We’re big fans of Apple’s iBook Author, the enhanced ebook development software used to create iBooks that can be viewed on any Apple device. The tool is very powerful in and of itself, but what makes it a truly exceptional development platform is the ability to add custom widgets, which are essentially small apps running inside the iBook. There is really nothing that allows developers to create engaging interactive publications that make your content come to life they way it does.

As much as this software is in many ways ahead of its time, there are two main issues we encounter when proposing this service to our clients.

  1. Limitation to Apple devices: The software produces an iBooks file which can only be viewed on Apple devices. In many cases, that’s not a problem. Some companies have adopted iPads, iPhones or even Apple computers as their default tablet, smartphone or computing device. But that’s certainly not the case for the general public: There are a multitude of Android tablets and smartphones as well as PCs and Chromebooks in use. These users wouldn’t be able to use the iBook you spent so much time and money developing.
  2. Apple support for the iBooks Author software: This is becoming an increasingly valid concern. The software came out in January 2012. Since the first release, there have been only a few enhancements to the software. The last major update was almost 2 years ago with the addition of a new template allowing the creation of ePubs, the standard markup language for traditional electronic books. Unfortunately, the resulting ePub file is not compatible with any e-readers we tested, especially if the ebook contains interactive features (e.g. image galleries and custom widgets). It is, however, fully compatible with Apple devices. But that defeats the purpose, no? Why not simply create a full-featured iBook if it’s going to be working only on Apple devices – Apple missed the mark on this one.

So, with that in mind, we have been actively looking for a tool that will allow us to create engaging ebooks (as opposed to basic text and image ePubs) for our clients. We had been eyeing 3D Issue for a while. The Irish software firm has been developing a software platform to create PC-based flipbooks for a while. These publications were becoming ubiquitous, but the quality of the interactivity really lacked behind what could be done with iBooks Author. This changed late last year with the most recent release of the software. It was now possible to create a dynamic, interactive and engaging ebook that approaches the quality and polish of iBooks, with the advantage that it can be viewed on multiple devices and operating system. Could this be the tool that would replace iBooks Author?

We decided to join the partner program and got to work on our first two flipbooks: A branding and style guide for a large international organization, as well as an annual report for an internal initiative at another organization (the latter one will be published in the summer). We are excited with this new opportunity, and although we will still embrace iBooks Author for Apple device projects, we are now going to market Flipbooks as the future of enhanced ebooks.

Contact us for a free analysis of your business content and publications to see if iBooks or flipbooks are for you.

Launched iBook for leadership coaching

What do you do to stand out from the competition? Certainly, quality of service is key, but in the world of executive coaching, your reputation as a leader is extremely important. You achieve that leadership through experience and results. What do you do once you have established yourself as such a leader in your field? You need to look into cutting edge tools to further stand out. Such an organization reached out to us to help them take their printed material and bring them to a whole new level.

We developed an enhanced, interactive digital tool, which clients can use to keep notes and perform exercises and tasks as part of the coaching engagement. The result was an interactive, dynamic and engaging app-ebook hybrid viewable on iPads.

Although the iBook reader comes with its own built-in note-taking tool, the client wanted to have the ability to email notes and comments to the coaches. We came up with a custom app for this special task, making the ebook a living document which can be referred to throughout the engagement. We also enhanced the material with engaging activities to reinforce the concepts covered.

Contact us to learn more about our digital content app-ebook hybrids and the business uses for this technology.

iBook for branding style guide

When our client was developing a new set of publishing guidelines, they wanted to reach as many of their users as possible. Conventional methods wouldn’t be enough to attract their attention. We went beyond the traditional print and PDF versions of their style guide, by creating an enhanced ebook version, using Apple’s iBook format.

This interactive version not only contained all the text and images of the traditional publication, we added a few twists to make the guide standout: An interactive color palette picker and extensive use of image galleries to show many more examples of templates than the print version could show.

The enhanced ebook was very well received by the users who were impressed with the results.