TLP were invited this week to a sneak preview of a new piece of publishing technology created to aid publishers transform their picture books into animated ebooks. And to do it themselves. On any platform.
It was a long day, with interesting ideas and exciting proposals. Oetinger – one of Germany’s largest children’s book publishers – and the mother of said technology – TigerCreate – had invited all the right names – they are clearly going after this market like nobody’s business. And I can’t say I blame them.
The current options for epublishing are complex; publishers are faced with a choice between picking one single restrictive market or high development costs, and a certain loss of creative control. The current situation is inefficient and backwards. In MD Till Weitendorf’s words “this is not a viable business” and what TigerCreate proposes is easy, efficient and open. Your titles made available to the largest audience, in the shortest amount of time with the lowest costs. Editorial and production teams united once more. You download the software (for free), add your assets, create the animations then publish to the iBookstore, Apple and Android stores Amazon, with windows and Browser (exciting) options to follow. Making your titles available across all markets, and giving you the power to move with market fluctuation.
We were taken through a demo of the software (MAC OS Lion onwards, English only), which – although rather drawn out – was demonstrably user friendly and attractive. We did not however get to see a finish product on a device.
Publishers simply drag and drop assets (images and sounds), add in movements (rotation, up and down) fix these to time scales, and add in ‘buttons’ for touch screen points to set off features. You can choose Italian, German and English texts and sounds, and easily switch between the two. A hell of a lot easier than coding it yourself. And cheaper too. At £20 – £215 per title (ranging from basic to fully interactive animated) it’s a lot cheaper than your average developer fee (sorry devs.)
They also promise to update book formats in accordance with the constantly transforming platforms (for free). A particularly nice feature is of a collaborative nature; they promise to be available and to try to implement features suggested by publishers.
Oetinger are clearly not the only group thinking about this. The Turin based PubCoder presented their interactive publishing tool at Frankfurt this year, publishing to Kindle, iOS and Chrome plugin. The Australian Resin also launched their Augmented Reality software, adding a digital pop-up effect to print books on iOS.
The TigerCreate software looks good, the deal sounds good. Now all we need is to see the final product.
By Alice McKeever, Editorial and Projects Assistant, TLP Collective