ANATOMIEs of Three iPad Apps
Nicklin says that thanks to bulk sales of the Among Giants book to corpora-
tions who support Whale Trust, the book was “in the black” almost immedi-
ately after publication. Marketing the app, however, has been limited to e-mail
announcements, and a Facebook page Nicklin created. “Discoverability is a
little bit of the Achilles’ heel of the App Store,” Lytton notes, “So we need to
work harder to address marketing.”
Still, Lytton is excited about the business of producing and selling apps.
While the fees for a writer or photo editor are the same to produce an app or
a photo book, the lack of printing costs make an app far less of a gamble for
a packager. In creating an app, she says, “I’m not on the hook for $50,000 to
print in China.”
That alone, she says, should encourage other artists and entrepreneurs.
“Illustrated book publishing has been a challenge in the last couple of years,
and rather than wading through the arduous and frustrating process of submission and rejection through traditional publishers, I say just make it [an app]
and get it out there. There are so many qualified professionals who can help
with this process—you just need to assemble the right team, like you would
for any project whether it’s a book, a film or an app.”
—Holly Stuart Hughes
© FLIP NICKLIN/MINDEN PIC TURES
A group of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) socializing underwater in Dominica.
Is a DIY Program
Right for You?
We take a look at five
different ways to get your iPad
application or e-book built.
By Larry Dobrow
In the ever-evolving landscape that is self-publishing, photo e-books and iPad apps remain largely a do-it-yourself proposition. While several companies offer e-book and iPad app design and evelopment, they vary wildly in competence and experience. Similarly, though DIY services keep costs low, less technically inclined
users might have trouble navigating in and around the “easy” interfaces.
To that end, here are a handful of recommendations—some do-it-yourself, some here-you-do-it—for photographers hoping to publish
e-books and iPad apps. Our top picks: Blurb if you’re DIY and proud of it;
Wind River Creative if you need a hand; Wix if you’re big on sharp visuals
and next-gen tech infrastructure; Apple’s iBooks Author if, like many
photographers, you’re an Apple lifer; and Baker Framework if you’re tech
savvy and want to save money.
The best reason for would-be self-publishers of photo books to use Blurb’s
do-it-yourself tools is the most simple one: Blurb was founded to serve
would-be self-publishers of photo books and them alone. And now Blurb
has gotten into the e-book space, which has prompted a few tweaks to the
company’s traditional print-book products. Though the e-book service only
debuted this summer, it has generated user enthusiasm for the same reason
Blurb’s printed books have: The product looks good and just about anyone
who can successfully turn on a computer should have no problem using it.
Indeed, asked to explain Blurb’s appeal, CEO Eileen Gittins responds, simply,
that, “Blurb can be easily understood and used by all types of people with
varied knowledge of publishing.”
Gittins touts a handful of basic tools, among them easy-to-use templates
and a range of customization options. She also stresses the creative control
that Blurb users have over the product. Though Blurb offers some basic level
of support, it’s not going to hold users’ hands throughout the process; some
less experienced users could take issue with this.
Pricing starts any where between $4 and $50, depending on the book’s
physical dimensions. Print and e-books with higher page counts, not
surprisingly, cost more.
PRICE: Starting at $4
44 PDN | October 2012 |