iBooks Author

The Dallas Morning News Features Claxton Creative & The Maya Calendar

The Dallas Morning News Features Claxton Creative & The Maya Calendar CC Yellow Books Circle 60 by 60 TR 1

The Dallas Morning News  just featured our book for iPad on their website in a comical post where we asked all the media in our reach this morning to at least ensure that they’re using the right Maya Calendar and not the Aztec Calendar Stone.

One of thes we’ve noted here time and again is how Google brings up the Aztec Calendar Stone when one searches for the Maya Calendar instead of the Maya Calendar.  So, we sent out an email this morning just saying, “If your art department doesn’t bring you something like this today and calls it the Maya Calendar, they’ve probably got it wrong.”

What does the Maya Calendar look like?

This is the Maya Calendar. The round thing most quoted is the Aztec Calendar Stone that they Maya never even saw.....

This is the Maya Calendar. The round thing most quoted is the Aztec Calendar Stone that they Maya never even saw…..

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What Apple Didn’t Say About Changes From iBooks Author Version 1 Series

What Apple Didn’t Tell Us About Changes From iBooks Author Version 1 Series

We published our book for iPad 21012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya by Dr. Mark Van Stone on Aug. 23, 2012 using the 1.0 version series of iBooks Author. The book cleared through Apple’s approval process in a day or two and was up on the iBookstore without us even realizing it.

The book has been selling well; not as well as we hoped, but it’s been selling. As we get closer to Dec. 21, 2012, interest has been picking up and we’ did a TV interview here in Dallas Tuesday that’s slated to run soon.

But there’s been a problem we didn’t know about until after the October 23, 2012 update to iOS 6, iBooks 3, iBooks Author 2.0 and iTunes Producer 2.8. At least three customers have bought our book and reported not being able to actually open it once it’s on their iPad. While that number is small, in our opinion, that’s three too many.

What is more troubling is that we received no notification from Apple, iTunes Support, iBookstore Support, meaning the problem could have been with the individual users. We just don’t know. When we asked iTunes Store Support why they gave refunds instead of letting us know about the problem, their answer was that they simply don’t discuss why they issue refunds.  Not helpful.

Trying To Get To The Problems Caused By iBooks Author 2.0

So as we publish this piece, all we know is that three customers said once they downloaded version 1.0 of our book for iPad, they couldn’t open it. The bar across the icon of the book was black, which tends to indicate there’s a problem.

When we opened our .iba file made from the version 1.0 series (It was last opened on Aug. 23, 2012)  in version 2.0 on Nov. 24, 2012, we immediately got a flag warning from the software saying that the image on page 156 was too large. Thumbing through the book also showed that iBooks Author 2.0 had messed up multiple widgets we’d laid out perfectly in version 1.0.  They were compressed into a tiny size and were sitting at the left sides of pages. Several of them we’d laid out to encompass an entire page. Version 2.0 messed all that up and required us to repaginate several places in the book.

The first flagged warning is pictured below:

Warning Screen in iBooks Author 2.0

Warning Screen in iBooks Author 2.0

It never occurred to us that we might need to open up an old version of the book made with an earlier version of the software to ensure that the new version didn’t mess it up. That’s not how software updates are supposed to work! And certainly, one wouldn’t expect that something that had passed muster in an earlier version suddenly was being flagged as a problem. But that’s what happened.

So up popped that first screen warning asking if we wanted to see the problems it’d found.

So, I clicked yes and got this next screen:

Issues with Photo on Page 156

Issues with Photo on Page 156. This dialogue box appeared and said an image that worked fine up until Oct. 23, 2012, was no longer any good in our book for iPad.

To fix the photo problem meant taking the original, running it through Photoshop, shrinking it, and then reloading the page. Nothing difficult there, but if there is anything causing a problem with people downloading the book and it opening now in iOS 6, it’d seem this was it.

But wait. Version 2.0 caused even more disruptions inside the original product.

Widgets All Messed Up

Things got even wonkier after that. There were multiple widgets in the book that got totally screwed up by iBooks Author version 2.0. As you can see, some of them got zapped in size and then moved to the top left portion of a page, completely affecting the pagination within a chapter.

Widgets From iBooks Author 1.0 Are All Messed Up In Version 2.0

Widgets From iBooks Author 1.0 Are All Messed Up In Version 2.0

 

To fix everything back required going through all 179 pages of the book and ensuring that the pagination wasn’t messed up.

There were numerous cases where it was.

Pagination From iBooks Author Version 1.0 All Messed Up in Version 2.0

Pagination From iBooks Author Version 1.0 All Messed Up in Version 2.0

Last Saturday night a week ago, we tried to save these changes so that we could quickly upload the book back to the Apple servers and have the issue resolved.

Then came about the whole issue of the destination drive was full that was written about last week.

Software Updates On Our Mac

It is important to note here that we keep our MacBook Pro’s software up-t0-date. We updated to Mountain Lion the day it came out. We updated iBooks Author as soon as Apple released it on Oct. 23, 2012.  We updated to iBooks 3 on an iPad 3 on Oct. 23. We updated to iTunes Producer, which is used to send books for iPad to Apple’s servers as soon as we saw it was available. So you can imagine how we felt when we started getting responses from the truly good people we’ve been working with for three months off and on now at iBookstore Support suggesting that our uploading problems might be coming because we HAD NOT updated the software. No, our problems were happening because we HAD.

iBookstore Support

So after the problem with the destination drive, we reported the problem to the iBookstore Support team.

We kept also trying to get our book to upload once we got past the destination drive issue.  And we soon had more problems, which will be discussed in the next post.

For now, the book has been uploaded to Apple and it has been approved. But to say this hasn’t been quite upsetting and frustrating would be a great untruth.

Suggestion To Publishers

We strongly recommend that if you have a book on the iBookstore right now that was made in version 1.0 of iBooks Author that you open it up in version 2.0 and see what kinds of bugs might pop up.  Then we also suggest you do an upload of a new version to the iBookstore. You can imagine the pain in our hearts the past week and a half trying to get our book reloaded to the iBookstore when it’s about the 2012 Maya prophecy and we’re down to 17 days away. This could not have come at a worse time for us. But thankfully, we did get some great one-on-one support from our many friends at Apple to help get this resolved. It was just a real nail bitter there for a spell…..

 

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iBooks Author Issues–Verify your destination disk isn’t full

iBooks Author Issues For Uploading A Book for iPad–Verify Your Destination Disk Isn’t Full

It has been a struggle the past few hours to address several iBooks Author issues while trying to upload a new version of a book made in the pre-Oct. 23, 2012 versions of the software.

The problems began with two reports from customers who bought Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya on the iBookstore. They say they downloaded the book and it won’t open.  Having a copy from the 1.0-series of iBooks Author, knowing it is working fine on my iPad, and knowing how Apple works out the bugs in software before releasing an update, I was puzzled by this and begun to investigate.  As a result, a fresh copy has been uploaded to Apple, but it has been a multi-hour process and since it’s a weekend, iBooks Support is closed.

What I Had To Do

When I opened our book, which I’d not had the .iba file open since Oct. 8, 15 days before the release of version 2.0, it first alerted me that there was a photo on page 156 that was too big. It had worked from in version series 1.0-etc.  Nonetheless, it was now being flagged as a problem, and so I loaded the photo into Photoshop, resized it, saved it and then loaded it into the.iba file, while also extracting the older, bigger conflicting photo.

I also fixed two typos we’ve found and then began to save the book for exporting and reloading to the iBookstore via iTunes Producer. I then saved the file and exported it a couple of times as a .iBooks file.  No problem. I then began the process of “Publishing” the file to send it to Apple.  Here’s where the troubles began.

This Became A Major Drama

First of all, apparently via the iBooks Author autosave function on my Mac, (loaded on a hard drive that has some 300-plus Gig of memory left on it), began to display the following message:

Verify your destination disk isn't full and that you have permission to write to it

“Verify your destination disk isn’t full and that you have permission to write to it” while loading a book for iPad to Apple.

“Verify your destination disk isn’t full and that you have permission to write to it”  kept displaying. I took those exact terms and did a search and there is pretty much NOTHING in Google about this.  NOTHING.  Great. It was 11 p.m. at night on a Saturday and I was stressing to get this done and off to bed.

After a little more digging I learned that if you go to the “Title Bar” of an open file on a Mac, a little triangular box will appear and you can do a drop down.  That produced this box:

Title Bar Dropdown Menu in iBooks Author for Versions and Autosave

This is the Title Bar Dropdown Menu in iBooks Author for Versions and Autosave. After getting the dialogue box above, I then proceeded to “Browse All Versions…”

From there, I chose the “Browse All Versions …” link that then took me to this amazing looking screen. The problem was, none of the earlier versions on my machine were ones that I could open. I don’t know if they’d been purged or if there is still some other issue remaining.

 

Browse All Versions ... Screen on MacBook Pro Using iBooks Author

Browse All Versions … Screen on MacBook Pro Using iBooks Author

 

The next thing I tried, since I couldn’t pull up an earlier version, was the “Move To…” option, which allowed me to move the autosaving and to actually SAVE the .iba file again.

Move To ... Screen in iBooks Author

Move To … Screen in iBooks Author

Now that that hurdle had been overcome, I thought I was ready to load the book once again to the iBookstore. It’s been on sale on the iBookstore since Aug. 23. We’ve had a good run of sales.  It’s an established product.  But when I chose to “Publish” this newer version, Lord have mercy…. Over I went to iTunes Producer 2.8 and that’s another story to tell….

More about that in the next post.

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Books For iPad–The Ongoing Training & Maintenance Manual Revolution

Books For iPad–The Ongoing Training & Maintenance Manual Revolution

Books for iPad now are being used for training purposes as well as in the field for things like aircraft and automobile maintenance, and even things like cookbooks.

English: An image of an iPad 2.

English: An image of an iPad 2. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because images, scrubbers/interactive images, 3D animations and even videos can be embedded in a book for iPad, they can be used in the field by technicians and practitioners.

Which would you rather haul around, a 3-inch binder full of technical manuals or an iPad that has the same and regularly updated information with photos and videos?

There exists great potential for books for iPad in corporate training and even maintenance manuals. Picture yourself as an aircraft mechanic working on a jet engine and instead of hauling around a 3-inch binder written by the manufacturer a couple of years ago, you now can have an updated version on your iPad with you all the time and use it whenever it is needed with far less hassle and inconvenience.

Training and maintenance materials in a book for iPad can save time, costs and maybe even lives.

 Do You Have Materials Ready To Process?

We are a publisher of books for iPad located in Dallas, Texas, USA and we are ready to work with your company to develop the right materials to help make your training and maintenance manuals and materials the most up-to-date and innovatively successful tools you can provide your employees. Just complete the manuscript submission process above or give us a call today at 972-863-8784 and let’s talk about how to move your company forward.

 

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Maya Myth Moment–The Aztec Calendar Stone Is Not The Maya Calendar

Over on our special project site, The Wonders Expedition, we’ve begun the series–Maya Myth Moment–that we’ve developed in conjunction with our author, Dr. Mark Van Stone, one of the most renowned Maya Scholars in the world, to do a daily debunking of Maya Myth from Nov. 21 thru Dec. 21, 2012.

The Maya Myth Moment

The Maya Myth Moment from TheWondersExpedition.com is a daily update from Nov. 21 – Dec. 21, 2012 designed to debunk much of the nonsense circulating about the ancient Maya.

Dr. Van Stone has worked with us throughout the year 2012 to produce his first book for iPad2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.

We invite you to wormhole on over to The Wonders Expedition and check out our first video on the Aztec Calendar Stone. While you’re there, also sign up to receive the daily updates we’re going to send out for the Maya Myth Moment.

It’s going to be a good and educational series, and was designed to help knock down some of the major nonsense that’s going to get stirred up in the 30 days remaining before Dec. 21, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

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Books For iPad–Should We Even Be Calling Them “Books”

Books for iPad–Redefining the Word “Book”

Something needs to be done about what we call books for iPad.

Books For iPad--Should we even be calling them "Books?"

Books For iPad–Should we even be calling them “Books?”

Apple says, “iBooks should be used to refer only to the application and is always plural. Do not use the word iBook to refer to a publication or to the general category of ebooks. Instead, say your publication is a book available on the iBookstore.”

According to the Google Keyword Tool, the term “iBook” generates 1.22 million global monthly searches on the Internet. The term “iBooks” generates 1 million global monthly searches. To those who have signed end user licensing agreements, Apple says not to use “iBook” in marketing literature. But Web searchers are using it in their Google searches, so if you don’t use it on your Web pages, you’re reducing your chances for even being found via on-page content.

Not having an Apple-sanctioned, Apple-approved brand name for books for the iPad is hurting business for those in the publishing industry who focus on this type of book.

In my opinion, Apple needs to come up with a brand name we can use, or stop prohibiting publishers who have signed end user agreements with them from using iBook and iBooks without fear of retribution.

This Is Not My Grandma’s Louis L’Amour Type Of Book

This is not a book in the traditional sense. Yes, it’s got words in it and you can take a traditional book and put it into the software and ergo, it’s a book, but when was the last time you read a book with two hours of video in it?

We shouldn’t even be calling these creations “books.”

There should be some new term created for what these actually are because they’re not normal books.

Part of the frustration I have as a publisher and marketer of these books is that I call somebody and say, “Hey, I want to talk to you about the book we’ve made for the iPad.” What comes to their mind is the traditional book. They’re thinking about something you can thumb thru like a magazine.

“When I do interviews, if I can help it, I’m going to that station or I’m going to find that reporter so I can put an iPad in their hands and I’m going to say, ‘Here is my book. Here is what it can do. And here, let me show you the Rio Azul Mask in 3D where you can turn it.  Here, not me, you, turn it.’ And when you do that, their eyeballs pop. And it’s magic and they’re going, ‘Holy Cow!’ Because they’ve never seen anything like it because this isn’t a book. This isn’t like a normal book.”

Apple’s marketing dollars are spent on hardware, not on software and not on the products one can make using their software to use on the hardware.  This is making it harder to exist in this space, but it’s also freeing up the opportunity to share the message of what these books can be, should be and how they can be built.

Simply put, this is not the kind of book my grandmother would have sat and read. This is not a Louis L’Amour western. And given his imagination, I really wonder what he would be doing with this vast accomplishment in technology.

What Do You Think?

So what do you think?  Is there a better term we could be using to describe books for iPad?

 

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iBooks 3 Adds Social Media

iBooks 3 books for iPad now includes a powerful Social Media component that allows a reader to share content with others via Twitter, Facebook, Message, and Email.

iBooks 3 Social Media tools

iBooks 3 Social Media tools

From an educational standpoint, this is significant.

The new “share” function from highlighting allows for the exchange of text within a book via Mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook or allows a reader to copy for pasting elsewhere. Because of this, the world’s classroom just got a lot bigger. And with the release of the iPad mini, it’s going to grow even faster.

As we’ve mentioned before, a superintendent with $1 million to spend on hardware before the iPad mini, could spend those funds and purchase 2,000 iPads. Because the iPad mini is priced lower, a superintendent can now buy 3,000 iPad mini units for roughly the same $1 million.  Apple‘s strategy clearly was to offer a lower-priced unit that could be smaller in size and not compromise usability–after all, elementary and middle school kid fingers are smaller, so it was a perfect fit.  And think about this, what demographic has the most growth potential in the use of social media?

Social Media In An iBooks 3 Book For iPad

We’ve said it before on this site, but it is worth repeating.  The Social Media component in a book for iPad means a reader now can ask a classmate, parent, teacher or maybe even the book’s author a question about something within the book. Think about the power of that development? Think about being a student and you get to a part in a book you don’t understand and you leave a note for a classmate, the teacher or even the author and ask for further explanation!  That’s mind boggling compared to what happened in education just 10-15 years ago, let alone a month ago before this capability was introduced.

Using the iBooks 3 Social Media Tools

As you might expect, using the iBooks 3 Social Media tools is easy.  A reader just highlights a portion of text they want to share by rubbing their finger over it. Up will pop a dialogue box to color it with a virtual highlighter or underline it, and then the reader has the option to click a MORE button that will lead to a SHARE button.  From there, up pops various Social Media icons.  From there, the reader picks which one to use and goes through necessary logins and addressing and sends the information along with any messages intended.

It’s that easy.  It’s that powerful.  It’s going to change how learning is done in the worldwide classroom.  And just think, if you don’t have an iPad or iPad mini, you’re missing it.

ClaxtonCreative.com

Thank you for reading our series of posts, What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad.  You’re welcome to download a free copy of it for your iPad or iPad Mini, or you can download a free .PDF version of the book so you can read more about these powerful developments in books for iPad. Our company is located in Dallas, Texas, USA, and we are a designer and publisher of these special books for iPad. Yes, the iBooks Author software is available free to use. And nowadays, most people can get their hands on a copy of Photoshop, but that doesn’t make a person an expert at Photoshop.  Likewise, we have found throughout 2012, that making books for iPad isn’t just something one plops down and does. There are tricks to the process.  An entirely different way of thinking is necessary in designing such a book.  This isn’t like a traditional book, and it’s not even like one you’d write for a Kindle or Nook.

That is why we continually offer our services and encourage you, our readers, who may be considering making a book for iPad, to contact us and let’s talk about how to build it for you.  You can reach us today by calling 972-863-8784 or by using the book submission form at the top of this page. Thank you.  More posts coming Monday!

 

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Books for iPad–Apple’s Push Into Education With Study Cards

Books for iPad–Apple’s Push Into Education With Study Cards

If you’re still walking around thinking that the iPad mini is something to go after the Kindle or Nook, maybe this will finally cure you of that misconception.  With the Study Card feature that now works in iBooks 2 and iBooks 3 for iPad and iPad mini, this clearly, maybe more so than anything else, marks the way for Apple’s big push into the education arena.

Study Cards for Books for iPad clearly mark Apple’s keen interest in the educational arena for iPad and iPad mini.

Now, within books for iPad made with iBooks Author, there is the inclusion of what Apple is calling “Study Cards.” This is probably one of the most un-marketed features of these books for iPad, but it is truly a helpful aspect.

Within each book for iPad, there now is the  “My Notes” section of the book, which includes a chapter-by-chapter listing of all notes taken within the book by a reader. That may not seem like a big deal, as surely, when you make a note in a book, you’d presume it’d go somewhere.  But it’s what happens to them that’s cool.  I should also point out that “My Notes” can be formatted within a book’s text in traditional highlighter colors.

Study Cards

As a book is being built with iBooks Author, the publisher/author has the ability to create an extensive glossary of key terms or words used throughout the work.  Those all populate in the glossary section, but it’s when the book is done, that they reappear in the “Study Cards” that can be generated from the notes made by the reader as well as through glossary terms within each chapter. Glossary terms also may include options for illustrations and index links to every use of the word in the text throughout the book.

Let me explain in simpler terms. If you’re reading a book for class, you come along a section you would have highlighted with a Sharpie in a traditional offline book, you can still highlight it in the same way.  Just rub your finger across the text in question, a dialogue box pops up and you can choose the color you want the text highlighted in.  But on that same menu bar is an option for making a note. When clicked, the on-screen keyboard pops up and the opportunity exists for the reader to add a commentary like, “I NEED TO REMEMBER THIS! THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST!”

When the reader is ready to review, they can follow to the My Notes section of the book and find all the notes and highlights they kept throughout their reading.  But they can also turn those notes into study cards that are going to feature their notes, as well as glossary terms so that as they are studying, they can be quizzing themselves about the definition of terms within each chapter.

And that, friends, is powerful when it comes to self-paced learning, and in Apple’s foray into the education arena with books for iPad and iPad mini.

 

 

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Scholar To Release Daily Debunk Of Mayan Calendar Ending Predictions

Scholar To Release Daily Facts To Debunk Mayan Calendar Doomsday Predictions

SAN FRANCISCO—Maya Scholar Dr. Mark Van Stone Thursday announced that beginning Nov. 21 and running until Dec. 21, daily emails, texts and web postings will be available to highlight and debunk the many myths that have been perpetuated about the upcoming end of the Maya calendarin 36 days.

Fill out our Maya Myth Debunk Sign Up and begin receiving daily factual updates on Nov. 21, 2012 that debunk wild doomsday or bliss out predictions cast upon the ancient Maya..

Available through the publisher of his book for iPad, 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, Dr. Van Stone said each daily update will feature one of the more common “predictions” that have been wrongly projected onto the Maya, and answered with helpful resources to debunk them.

“There are dozens of misconceptions, myths and just plain wrong pseudo-scientific claims that have been cast upon the innocent Maya and now that we’re under 40 days before the end of their calendar, I expect them to grow in number,” Dr. Van Stone said.  “To counter the non-sense, we have assembled a list of 30 myths and we’re going to focus on educating the public on how wrong they are.”

Among the chief misconceptions Van Stone said he will address are:

  • The frequent misuse of the Aztec Calendar Stone to represent the Maya calendar
  • The galactic alignment will cause the earth to be sucked into the heart of the universe
  • Massive pole shifts will cause major magnetic disruptions around the world
  • There will be massive earthquakes
  • We will enter a new era of blissful human consciousness

To subscribe to the daily messages, parents, teachers, and children who are hearing about the predictions and are concerned, can visit ClaxtonCreative.com and register to receive daily emails, texts, or can log on to read more.

“We want to get the word out to the public. Already we’re hearing daily from parents who say their son or daughter heard something at school and are very scared about what’s going to happen on Dec. 21, 2012,” Dr. Van Stone said. “As a scholar, but even more importantly, as a father myself, I feel there’s a duty to ensure as many people get the right information about this as is possible. There is so much bad information out there. In many ways it’s become sickening.”

Van Stone is recognized internationally and in the field of Maya studies as one of four Maya scholars who have written a book about the 2012 phenomena that should be taken seriously.

In August, he released his first book for iPad, which is 179 pages long, has 53 videos of 14 additional Maya scholars, four 3D animations, and hundreds of interactive multi-touch images.

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Books for iPad Now Have Puzzles!

It made me smile when I saw for the first time that books for iPad now can have puzzles.

In Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, we used the iBook-Widgets.com app to build one of Tortuguero Monument 6, one of the most important elements in all of Maya prophecy.  In the book we’re wrapping up, There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse, we’re including one of the book’s cover.  In What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books for iPad, we also included one of the cover.

They’re very easy to make and they’re even more fun to try to solve.

The good thing about them, is that they add interactivity to your book.  They’re also challenging, as you have to figure out the right pattern and movements to make the things all come back together.

And that’s part of what Apple likes most about them. They fit the requirement for what these books are all about–interactivity.

Want to see how one works?  Easy.  Just download What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad–it’s free here on ClaxtonCreative.com. Also check out the other cool aspects we’ve been featuring and highlighting here on the site.

Do you have a book you’re ready to submit? We invite you to fill out the submission form and let us take a look.

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