Publishers plan their iPad publishing experiences

Publishers continue to experiment as they hope to exploit the potential of Apple’s iPad, iPod and iPhone for future developments in publishing, as authors and expressive artists look to develop new multimedia experiences for expression using the Apple tablet.

Artist Jonathan Howard, is putting together a children’s illustrated story as an iPhone app, but he says publishers aren’t fully exploiting the strengths of digital platforms.

Aimed at seven-year olds, Howard’s 99-pence title, Fly Bernard, Fly, will be published as an app in March. It combines music, images and illustrations to tell the story,

Howard told The Bookseller, “Music makes a massive difference in creating an ambience. The download itself includes five apps, each of which has a different piece of music, and the whole story runs for eight minutes, so children can become completely absorbed in what they are seeing and hearing.”

Publishers across the planet are meeting with Apple with a view to staking some space on the iPad when it launches next month. A handful of publishers already have content deals with Apple for the handheld wireless device, which displays text, photos and graphics in high-res colour.

“I think it’s a game-changer for us because of the ability to consume content and consume so much of it all in one place,” Sarah Chubb, president of Condé Nast Digital, told CNN.

With so much expectation, publishers are considering Howard’s remarks. “Traditional books don’t have moving parts or make sounds, and now suddenly publishers have to become experts on e-books that do… They have to become— among other things— multimedia producers,” said John Ott and Eric Freese of Aptara, a digital content and book publishing company.

Educational opportunities should also ensure strong iPad sales. For example, if you need to read a chapter in a history textbook you might be able to read it on your iPad, touching pictures within the text to view a slideshow of related images. Embedded charts, graphs or statistics will offer detailed explanation on request, and books will host presentations by noted experts in their fields.

Documentary-like footage and video will further aid in content mastery and learning. Definitions for vocabulary words can be obtained by touching the highlighted text.

Associated Press and the New York Times (and many others) also hold plans for publication via iPad. AP informs:

The group already has drawn up plans to charge for an application designed for the iPad, a 1.5-pound tablet computer that Apple Inc. is scheduled to release at the end of March. The price of the application has yet to be determined, although it might start free, according to Jane Seagrave, a senior vice president who becomes the AP’s chief revenue officer Monday.

Much like the AP Mobile news product, the iPad app will show custom packages of headlines, stories, photos and video from the AP and from newspapers and broadcasters that choose to contribute their content and share the revenue. AP members also could use the same system to offer their own iPad apps that show their own content.

And the comics industry is terribly excited about the new device.

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