Penguin Books bets big on iPad interactive content

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Penguin Books demonstrated of a series of interactive ebook titles the company is preparing for Apple's iBook Store for iPad, in a presentation looking at how the company plans to accommodate a transition to digital ebooks.



According to a report by PaidContent UK, the London-based publishing company expects ebooks to grow from 4% of its sales to 10% next year, thanks in large part to the market Apple is creating with the iPad.



John Makinson, the company's chief executive, said "the iPad represents the first real opportunity to create a paid distribution model that will be attractive to consumers."



Thinking outside the book



Thinking beyond the simple ability to just view the text of conventional books electronically as the Amazon Kindle does, Makinson said, "We will be embedding and streaming audio, video and gaming into everything we do. This will present us and the platform owners with technology challenges.



"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 digital content as applications, to sell on app stores in HTML, rather than as ebooks.



"The definition of the book itself is up for grabs. We don?t know understand at the moment what the consumer is prepared to pay for [?] We will only find answers to these questions by trial and error.?







Apple's iBook Store vs the traditional book store



Asked whether his company was chafing at Apple's iTunes business model that takes a 30% cut of all sales, Makinson said that this is actually better for publishers than the existing agency model for books, where retailers take 50% of sales.



"There is an argument," Makinson said, "for saying Apple needs the content; that they should be paying us for our content." That argument hasn?t worked however.



"We'll have to become more innovative and take some risks," Makinson said. "We'll need above all to listen to our readers, to understand what they want and what they'll pay for. But if we can do all that, which is a big task, I agree, we'll have a great and varying digital business."



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    hopefully o'reilly gets their "ipad recovery techniques" in e-book format so i can ... oh, wait ...
  • Reply 2 of 72
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Makinson sounds relatively open-minded and willing to embrace new technologies, as contrasted to the image of some media companies who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the scary future.
  • Reply 3 of 72
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Makinson sounds relatively open-minded and willing to embrace new technologies, as contrasted to the image of some media companies who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the scary future.



    He definitely gets it.



    I wonder if Apple will release a proper format for interactive material using the iTunes LP and iTunes Extra forma. While all the video and audio can be encrypted I'd think that content owners would like the other data encrypted, too.
  • Reply 4 of 72
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    -Penguin Books demonstrated of a series of interactive ebook titles-





    OH MY!!! Face it folks...THINGS ARE NEVER GONNA BE THE SAME...EVER AGAIN!!!!



    This beats the toaster by a universe!



    Thanks Steve. This may be the turning point for society.



    Interactive, color and sound books for children, adults, doctors and repairmen.

    If it's broke, anyone can fix it now.



    How about danish furniture assembly! You won't have to take it apart and reassemble

    the bookshelves anymore, because you can see it being put together on the iPad and you won't get part A mixed up with part D!!!
  • Reply 5 of 72
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Is the iPad a game changer ... that seems to be what everyone is arguing about. At its core its not incredibly unique as far as technology or software goes (more evolutionary than revolutionary). However, the potential of the iPad given Apple's public reputation for innovation, and yes ... its closed ecosystem demonstrate how it can excell where other have failed.



    I have been still debating whether or not I would buy an iPad, but after watching that video, and seeing what Penguin is preparing for the iPad there is no way I wouldn't buy one now. I'm convinced ...
  • Reply 6 of 72
    adamiigsadamiigs Posts: 355member
    Nah people want Windows 7 on a laptop that weighs 4lbs with no keyboard! hahaha sorry I couldn't resist
  • Reply 7 of 72
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    That is very impressive. Arguably it is the birth of a new medium, because that is not really a 'book', nor is it a video. It must be quite an exciting creative challenge for the people developing in this format, a whole new sea of possibility to swim around in. Here is another example, in this case the application of this technology in a commercial situation, although whether the device is an iPad or not is not certain; http://distorted-loop.com/2010/01/23/4156/



    The more glimpses we get of this, the more convinced I become that this is the breaking crest of a new wave, that computers have matured to the point where they are no longer 'computers' in the contemporary sense of the word, but are utility devices that will become ubiquitous in a myriad of different applied uses across homes and workplaces.
  • Reply 8 of 72
    gregoriusmgregoriusm Posts: 366member
    Penguins "gets it", and seems to be willing to put in the effort to put out great content and the effort to learn how to monetize their digital offerings.



    This is huge news for the iPad.



    I'm convinced about the iPad. Many don't seem to be.



    I believe they'll see that the iPad is a "sleeper" and down the road they'll look back and realize just how revolutionary, and not evolutionary, it is. ("They" meaning the people who aren't convinced the iPad is anything special.)



    Greg
  • Reply 9 of 72
    ozexigeozexige Posts: 215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post


    Nah people want Windows 7 on a laptop that weighs 4lbs with no keyboard! hahaha sorry I couldn't resist



    I thought they wanted Windows 7 on a tablet that weighed no lbs and had a choice of 4 keyboards.



    But hey, what do I KNOW, I DON'T DO Windows



    or is that - iDo multithingy and some otherFthingy together?
  • Reply 10 of 72
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Just make these books be inside the iBooks app and make the pages turn like the other ones.
  • Reply 11 of 72
    westechwestech Posts: 17member
    Wow!



    On second thought, WOW!!!!
  • Reply 12 of 72
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,583member
    Maybe I'm too old, but I hate multimedia "books". You convert information from something that you can control the pace of instruction to a lowest-common denominator product. Case in point, I bought an 8-DVD training series to run at lunch for the office. Expected 16 hours of content or less that would adequately cover the material. Instead, it is nearly 50 hours of disorganized ramblings, much in line with unnecessary videos on the web.



    Hope it isn't a return to the "Multimedia PC" that the CD attempted and failed, as The Register points out.
  • Reply 13 of 72
    giosacconegiosaccone Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdamIIGS View Post


    Nah people want Windows 7 on a laptop that weighs 4lbs with no keyboard! hahaha sorry I couldn't resist



    Ahahahahah!!!
  • Reply 14 of 72
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,413member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post


    Ahahahahah!!!



    Wow. You signed on to say this as your first post!?



    Welcome to AI.
  • Reply 15 of 72
    techboytechboy Posts: 183member
    Makinson does get it. At least this one publisher has the guts to embrace and explore the possibilities. Kudos to him.
  • Reply 16 of 72
    bspearsbspears Posts: 147member
    It's going to be even bigger and better than I thought.
  • Reply 17 of 72
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post


    Hope it isn't a return to the "Multimedia PC" that the CD attempted and failed, as The Register points out.



    Good point. Watching this reminded me of an Encarta demo from the early 90s. People kept saying "it's going to change the way children learn and knowledge is shared!" Well not so much. I realize the technology is different and the internet makes updates easier and not having to drag a class of kids to a computer lab isl going to make adopting easier, but there is still going to be a lot of barriers to overcome before technology replaces print.



    But man knowing my kids aren't going to have to lug around backpacks full of text books...
  • Reply 18 of 72
    jglavinjglavin Posts: 93member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dogcow View Post


    Good point. Watching this reminded me of an Encarta demo from the early 90s. People kept saying "it's going to change the way children learn and knowledge is shared!" Well not so much. I realize the technology is different and the internet makes updates easier and not having to drag a class of kids to a computer lab isl going to make adopting easier, but there is still going to be a lot of barriers to overcome before technology replaces print.



    You are right, but printed encyclopedias in particular are well and truly obsolete, thanks in small (very small) part to encarta.
  • Reply 19 of 72
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Makinson sounds relatively open-minded and willing to embrace new technologies, as contrasted to the image of some media companies who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the scary future.



    That's because it *is* a good deal for the publishers, despite all that crap from a week or so ago when the publishers were arguing they'd have to be almost the same price as real books and everyone was agreeing with them.



    Productions costs are ridiculously low, distribution is free, advertising is included, and the publishers get a much larger cut anyway.



    For a publisher that already has paper versions of books they've been producing for many years, eBook versions *should* be a no brainer, (and they should be a lot cheaper than the paper one's as well). Capitalism being what it is they probably won't be, but there is nothing stopping them from being so.
  • Reply 20 of 72
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Penguin Books demonstrated of a series of interactive ebook titles ...



    It's worth noting that they didn't demo any "interactive titles" at all here.



    The video shows obvious *mockups* of *possible* ways in which these as yet *hypothetical* eBooks *might* be done.



    It was just a keynote presentation of what they are thinking of doing not a demo of actual product.
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