Reinventing Textbook Publishing

Recently Apple made three announcements of new or updated technologies: "iBook Author," "GarageBand for eBooks," and fundamental changes to iTunes U. These solutions, put together, are designed to be an end to end solution for the interactive eBook publisher- create, organize, and publish.

These tools are putting the ability to create and publish rich, interactive content without a publisher. In all likelihood, some of the early releases will not be as high quality as a professional publisher, but as the tools improve and the user experience improves, the output will get much better and is forcing people to think about new ways to deliver all kinds of content that can improve the student, customer, or end user experience.

Are there other applications for these tools? Is it only for an e-textbook creation? We now have new ways of delivering electronic course packs, user manuals, training documents, and orientation materials. In fact, these areas are gaining the most traction in the immediate future because the content is fairly discrete and not as dense as a textbook.

Consumerization of eBook publishing is a start. What was once reserved only for the professional, is now available if you own a Mac. Look for many other technology companies like Adobe, Google, and others to come out with their tools.

As with any method of reproducing material, it’s crucial to adhere to copyright laws. Two Northeastern resources that are quite explicit about using copyrighted materials for use in classes or otherwise are the following:

External resources that may also be helpful are as follows:

Posted in 2012 Spring IS Newsletter.