Top 3 ways to use enhanced ebooks in business!

The plain, text-based ebook has evolved over the years, but ebooks are generally associated with textbooks, novels or children’s books. We rarely hear of ebooks used in business context. But this changed drastically with the release of Apple’s iBooks Author 4 years ago. We could now add interactive elements, and multimedia to create rich, engaging ebooks that have a place in business.

Here are 3 ways  to consider using ebooks in a business context:

1. Digital sales material

To remain competitive, organizations need to keep their sales binders up to date and filled with information that will give their sales team a competitive edge. During a sales calls, staff will be using multi-media such as videos, animations and image galleries, in addition to the usual sales material like brochures, presentations and price sheets. And all of these features will be part of the enhanced ebook.

2. Studies with engaging charts and tables

Studies tend to be published as PDFs, which are often the exact replica of their print sibling. With enhanced ebooks, interactive charts, tables, timelines, and other tools can be added to provide further details and engage readers.

3. Training material

When training their employees, providing them with basic printed material or even some e-learning modules will usually ensure that the material is forgotten. Supplement your course with an enhanced ebook version of the material so that multi-media and interactive widgets are available even after the course is finished. The ebook as supporting material ensures that your employees better retain the course material during and after the class.

There are more ways to use enhanced ebooks, but for many organizations, these three should probably be a starting point when considering using enhanced, multi-touch ebooks as part of their publishing process. Follow-us on twitter to discover new ways to use ebooks in a business context.

Nice Oak launches Widgets Hub

On October 8th, at the iBooks Author Conference in Nashville, TN, Nice Oak launched a new ebook widgets marketplace. This is the first time widget developers will be able to sell their widgets to ebook authors and designers.

More information can be found on the Widgets Hub Website.

Nice Oak sponsors iBooks Author Conference

Nice Oak is proud to be a sponsor of the first iBooks Author Conference to be held in Nashville, TN, October 8th to 9th.

The conference will bring iBooks Author users from across the world to share their experience with iBooks Author, the Apple software used to develop ebooks. It’s a chance to attend great presentations on a variety of topics related to producing iBooks, ebooks and widgets.

Nice Oak is scheduled to present on business widgets on October 9th.  The presentation will provide an overview of custom HTML widget development tools and platform and will demonstrate example of business-oriented widgets.

Nice Oak will also take this opportunity to make a major announcement for a new platform that will put together Widget developers and iBooks authors. Stay tuned for more…

Math widget for iBook on Arithmetics

Nice Oak created a pretty cool interactive widget that was used in an enhanced ebook called “Arithmetic Made Understandable”, authored by John L. Hank, a retired math teacher. The ebook is available as a free download on the Apple iBookstore:

“I must also give enormous credit to Stephen Beauchesne who single handedly created the arithmetic interactive widget(s) that appear uniquely here for the first time,” said Mr. Hank in the iBook’s dedication section.

This will be the first of many widgets added to the iBook as new versions of the publication are made available.

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.

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.

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