Apple iPad iBook Sneak Preview (Video)

Mar 2nd, 2010 | By | Category: Apple iPad, Commentary

This video is a sneak preview of Penguin Book’s iBook plans for the Apple iPad.

Penguin is bullish on the iPad iBook model, because giving Apple a 30% cut could be a lot more profitable that the 50% that they give traditional retailers.

One of the things that makes this iPad iBook preview interesting is that Penguin appears to be ready to abandon traditional ideas of what a book is.

Penguin Books’ CEO John Makinson explains:

“We will be embedding audio, video and streaming in to everything we do. The .epub format, which is the standard for ebooks at the present, is designed to support traditional narrative text, but not this cool stuff that we’re now talking about.”

“So for the time being at least we’ll be creating a lot of our content as applications, for sale on app stores and HTML, rather than in ebooks. The definition of the book itself is up for grabs.”

Makinson is thinking way beyond the shovelware idea of PDF books.

Why shouldn’t a children’s book let kids color the characters? And why shouldn’t a travel book automatically present you with information, audio and video based on your location?

The iPad’s potential for redefining what a book is and what a magazine is is one of the most exciting things about the platform.

If Adobe was looking forward, instead of backward, they’d come up with the Pagemaker of iBooks – an inexpensive book application platform.

The same people that make blogs, podcasts and video podcasts are going to want to make innovative “smart books” that do things like:

  • present you information based on where you are;
  • let kids incorporate their picture and name into story books; and
  • listen to music, spoken word or ambient sound that matches what you read.

These ideas, and Penguins, are just scratching the surface. Makinson is right- the definition of the book itself is up for grabs.

via Paid Content

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2 Responses to “Apple iPad iBook Sneak Preview (Video)”

  1. Fred says:

    Why shouldn’t a children’s book let kids color the characters?

    To belabor the obvious, there’s much more inherent resistance to drool, sippy cup spillage and sudden tantrums in the old technology. I can’t imagine even the most indulgent, most spendthrift parent putting a several hundred dollar iPad into the hands of a child, at least not without strict supervision, not when the alternative is a few-dollar book.

    Not to get me wrong. I’m a big fan of the idea of the iPad. But until someone comes out with a ruggedized model or the price drops into two figures, I can’t see it having much impact on the children’s book market. YA yes. toddlers, no.

    • James Lewin says:

      We’ll have to see on that – but there will be a flood of cases to address concerns like that.

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