The abundance of digital publishing tools available today offers the self-publishing author choice in creating their next masterpiece. Each tool seems to have special qualities in both feature set and target platform. I won’t go into a detailed analysis or exhaustive breakdown of tools but will share a few I think will have an impact for authors.
As we develop our own in-house tools (have you heard of TREEbook?), I take time to explore what is available today. A few stand out, in my humble opinion, among the crowded space of technical innovation and the “next big thing” in publishing. Whatever you choose, it’s obvious the future is bright for digital publishing.
We have all heard of Apple’s publishing tool for creating and publishing to iBookstore. Apple has pushed a few updates, making it extremely easy for authors to create media-rich publications. The layout tools are fantastic and intuitive, subduing any fear for the novice, non-geek casual user. I believe iBooks Author is well suited for textbook-style layout and will shine for academic publications. Give it a try. You will be amazed at how quickly you can create a polished work of art. iBooks Author is a Mac OSX based tool available on the Mac App Store.
I came across this one recently and was amazed at how I could develop an interactive, choose-your-adventure-style story and quickly publish to Kindle. The graphical, browser-based layout tool presents a user-constructed visual tree graph of branches a reader could take by offering choices. Authors just write directly in the tool and construct multiple-choice questions to steer the direction of the story. Give it a try at Inkle Studios. Browse to the Inklewriter menu.
I have always thought tablet devices (now with ultrahigh display HiDPI resolutions) were perfect for delivery and consumption of comic books. Madefire takes it a step further. The platform removes traditional comic book style panels and replaces them with visual depth, transformation, and interactive animation and sound. As Madefire explains, reading left to right is replaced by layered motion and audio. You have to experience it to understand. It appears Madefire has plans for releasing publishing tools, but as of now they are in private beta. Check it out at madefire.com.
I can be reached at brian (at) medallionpress.com. Shoot me a message and follow me on Twitter: @TripleThreatMob.