What it is:Widbook is a new publishing platform for ebooks. What makes this publishing platform so neat is the social aspect, it allows authors to collaborate and make suggestions. Each user also gets their own bookshelf where they can subscribe to other author’s work.
When students start a new ebook, they can choose who can see the book when it is published, choose whether they will accept collaboration for the book, and choose if they want to accept comments for the book. Actually writing the book is fabulously simple. All of the onscreen tools are easy to use and intuitive as to their function. The book can have a table of contents, multiple chapters, and pictures and video embedded right into the book. When students are finished, they simply save the book and publish it. The finished book gets a unique url that can be shared.
Here’s a video outlining some of the basic features:
"I agree that Apple’s proprietary tools and stores are limiting in some key ways to student access. Not all students will be able to buy an iPad, and certainly some families simply will never have the resources available to do this. However, if someone would have asked me five years ago how many students would have their own iPads, iPods or iPhones in my classroom, I don’t think I would have come up with close to the percentage that already have them. I do think Apple needs to be a little more forward thinking with the smaller devices (eTextbooks, like eBooks and apps should be scalable to all iOS devices) to capitalize on the established base of users, but ultimately it is teachers who are going to set the cost of the digital content students use in their classrooms. If I can design a textbook with my expertise and knowledge and offer it to my students (who I am paid to teach) for free, how can I justify making them spend money on the textbooks major publishers are offering? When I look at reports that include a $15 cost for each course on top of the cost of an iPad, I know that the general perspective on this new system is still broken. It isn’t until we break out of the paid content model and embrace open courseware, which Apple is entirely wiling to let us do, that the cost of an iPad for education becomes substantiated."
According to the company, customers borrowed nearly 300,000 (295,000 to be exact) KDP Select titles in December alone, and KDP Select has helped grow the total library selection. With the $500,000 December fund, KDP authors have earned $1.70 per borrow. In response to strong customer adoption of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Amazon says it has added a $200,000 bonus to the January KDP Select fund, raising the total pool from $500,000 to $700,000 for authors.
Kindle users can now check out e-books from 11,000 community libraries across the country, Amazon announced today. The process is a simple one: Navigate to the website of your local library, enter your library card number, select a title, click “Send to Kindle,” and plug in your Amazon.com information. Your book can then be transmitted wirelessly or via USB – any gadget with Amazon software will do, including an iPhone or Android handset.
The availability of the e-books will vary from library to library, but most titles should be available on your Kindle for about two weeks. After that, they’ll disappear. In a press release, Amazon exec Jay Marine called libraries a “critical part of our communities,” and framed the initiative as the natural next step for library lending.
“We’re even doing a little extra here – normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no,” Marine said. “But we’re fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book.”
This is a pretty exceptional turn of events. Back in March I had shared this article about a library that was lending out Kindles on-site. It’s almost weird to see where things are going when it comes to books and libraries. (relevant picture):
We’re no longer in college, and while there are many downsides to this fact, one of the upsides is that we don’t have to endure long boring classes, and lugging around heavy text books for a full day.
However, if we were going back to school this fall, that textbook problem might not be so bad thanks to Kno, the startup that’s working on digitizing textbooks for the web, Facebook, and best of all, the iPad.
1) This is one of the best lists I’ve seen. Not just because of the book-as-apps that they’ve shared, but because the structure, the descriptions, and the included price and links demonstrate an extra level of writing that makes reading this and learning more completely effortless. I wish I could buy these people coffee for putting this together so nicely.
2) Having had the chance to use some of these, I’d highly recommend anything on this list.
With JustFreeBooks you can find all sorts of free books: public domain texts, open books, free audio books, ad-supported books and more. Just type in the search box the book, author or theme you want to find.
Meg Wilson is awesome. There are a lot of great resources on this page (like an ePub template to create an ebook), or a set of LiveBinder resources. But the killer thing for me was the link to a recorded webinar she did on how to create your own ebook. And the crazy thing is, she actually creates one during the webinar.
If you’re at all interested in creating your own ebook, or at least learning more, I highly recommend a click through.
It is actually quite simple to become a modern author these days by using an ePub template to create an iBook that can be viewed on an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad in the free iBooks app. Recently, I was lucky enough to be a guest on a Classroom 2.0 LIVE show where I had the opportunity to demonstrate how quickly and easily you can create your own iBook with embedded audio, images, video, and web links to make a personalized multimedia creation of your choice. The fantastic people at Classroom 2.0 LIVE are kind enough to archive all their shows, so the webinar will be available on their website for any educator, administrator, student, or parent to watch at any time. Once you learn the process, the possibilities for creating your own mobile content are endless. You can also access all of the resources that were discussed and shared throughout the session; there are some excellent links in the LiveBinder about ePubs and iBooks. The summer is the perfect time to play around with technology, have fun, and think about how you could develop some really fun and creative learning experiences.
LiveBinder Resources: Excellent collection of resources shared during the session… all kinds of great links to ePubs, iBooks, and related topics!
What makes Inkling’s apps unique is the fact that “content isn’t bound by pages or sections or chapters in the same linear fashion. Rather, it’s hierarchical, richly illustrated and augmented. It’s interactive. It’s social,” Watters writes. The digital versions include quizzes, interactive infographics, and a scrolling and searchable interface.