We have been working hard over the past six months improving Amber Book’s Military Books App. We are about to launch it for Xmas!
It’s harder than ever for independent publishers to be noticed, with the demise of high street book shops and the likes of Amazon being positively overrun with traditionally published, as well as self-published, books.
For the first year ever eBooks have outsold physical copies, and their popularity just continues to grow due to their convenience, price and access. Because it’s essentially easier for any author to ‘publish’ their books this way, the danger now is that the whole book market is starting to flood.
So how do you draw attention to your imprint? Publishing through Amazon’s Kindle platform or the eBook arms of other giants will see your books drown in the sea of titles already afloat.
Social media has seen independent publishers build their own fan bases, significantly helping sign-post readers to where they can buy their books. But if fans are being pointed to Amazon the risk is that their attention could be diverted to another great title.
Your choice is not to direct them to Amazon at all.
If you could herd readers to your own eBook store, where your books only are on offer, this would abolish the ‘drowning in the eBook ocean’ issue. By branding your store and integrating it completely with your social media accounts and strategies, you’re effectively taking your eBooks to your customers. Amazon et al are fine for those mindlessly surfing as the site stocks so many different items – choice is good for the consumer, but not for those wishing to sell.
The ‘mobile high street’ solution is perfect for indie publishers, as your eBook store brings all your titles together under one virtual roof, instead of seeing them splayed across thousands of web pages on Amazon.
Fostering reader networks builds a community of fans who can instantly recognise new titles from their favourite authors, reducing the amount of promotional work as each title’s links and PR gets sign-posted back to the same place – no more logging in and out of various online accounts to update something or other; after all, time is money. Everything leads back to your eBook hub – your own, personal Amazon.
Mobile web access is also rising in popularity, which makes picking a title out from millions even harder, but with your eBook store filling these small screens, individual books are easier to find.
Your meta data can be simplified and your store, with integrated eReader and enhancements, can be both branded and personalised to suit specific genres. There are no eBook conversion costs as standard PDF files are used and you could even invite other publishers to join ranks, which would bring both of you further traffic.
Sign-posting a fan base and potential readers to your books is made easier if the bookstore is under their noses.
Convert your back catalogue to eBook and determine your own pricing structure; when standing separately from the big sellers you’re far more likely to receive greater revenue and many more sales.
Interested in taking control? Visit www.vizebooks.com for more information.
It’s an astonishing statistic that 60% of us are ‘spatial readers’. This section of our population finds traditional text harder to understand than the remaining 40%; with no effect on one’s intelligence, spatial readers absorb information visually, with images, diagrams, symbols, shapes and colours representing traditional letters and numbers.
What has television taught us?
That so many of us achieve and understand more in this way, with experts suggesting television as one factor in the increase of spatial readers, it surely begs the question whether traditional methods of learning are still suitable.
The rise of conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism and Aspergers, to name but a few, could be down to greater recognition of these illnesses, but poor concentration when learning could similarly suggest a spatial reader – an individual not recognising letters and numbers on a page as easily as a non-spatial reader.
Why settle for one-dimensional information?
Now that technology can provide an array of tools, such as audio, video and interactive software, information no longer needs to be 1D, or even 2D. Information can quite easily come to life.
As our digital world marches on, young children know how to work computers before they’ve learned to write; if our world continues along this vein, it makes complete sense to change the way we educate our children – or, at the very least, introduce other options than the humble book.
VIZelearning provides the hands-on, interactive education that spatial readers crave. With tools such as an eReader and eLibrary, workbooks with integrated software and a simple back-office system for teachers to devise their work-plan, VIZeBooks and VIZeCourses solve many of the spatial reading problems faced by pupils today.
Choose your own way of learning…
Users have the choice of ‘seeing’ information in a visual way, through imagery, conventional reading with words and numbers, or ‘doing’, which allows them to interact and practice solutions.
For older students, inbox facilities, an interactive diary and a project-management tool gives them all they need to self-govern their course, whilst the use of Skype brings constant support from teacher to pupil. The added benefit of accessibility and portability also awards extra studying hours, as the time spent gathering references and information, and also preparing their studying through VIZeCourses is effectively instantaneous.
It begs the question: Why not?
It’s true that the world hasn’t changed much with the way we absorb information over the last hundreds of years – the biggest transitions being from ink pen to typesetting and quill to biro! However, just as digital technology has revolutionised almost every other industry, if modern tools can help our children achieve more and learn better, why would our education system not also be due for an overhaul?
VIZeBooks, VIZeReader and VIZeCourses are the results of a lifetime’s work for Angela Patchell, who, as a child, went from the bottom of a class to the top in one term, through visual learning introduced by her maths teacher. Thorough research into spatial reading and interactive education showed Angela just how many children could benefit from a visual learning system, which further fuelled her cause. If you would like to know more about VIZeBooks, contact email@example.com.
VIZeBooks have received positive, very favourable reviews and mentions since its launch, for the reasons mentioned on this blog, and more.
One review appeared alongside other new applications in the popular iPad2 magazine.
The future of VIZeBooks looks very promising, especially if – like in the review above – our only drawback is that the public need more of what we produce!
You can’t ‘do’ much with a 2D book other than read it. For centuries we believed that was all a book could be.
Technology tells us a different tale….
In my 25 years as an illustrated ‘how-to’ book publisher I have created over 85 titles and I can honestly say that the books failed to meet their true concept because the concept was always bigger than the pages bound.
When you focus on the reader of an illustrated, subject-driven book you are looking at a participant of that chosen subject. The nature of participation is in “the doing” and the traditional book could never fulfil this. With enhanced eBooks the reader is truly a participant and can engage and be shown in real time.
The eBook format is more suited to the illustrated book than fiction because it is multi-dimensional. I can hear the critics yawn and shout, “Remember the CD-Rom era and how it lost us money!” My answer to them is that the CD-Rom was a hybrid, a stepping stone and always destined for a short-life span. The CD-Rom was sitting in the physical book market whereas the illustrated eBook is sitting in a rapidly growing eBook market – its natural home.
Four years ago I began my endeavour to truly fulfil the illustrated, how-to book concept, which is when and why I began VIZeBooks (vizual eBooks). I closed my eyes on the traditional publishing world and opened them as a reader and participant in a multi-dimensional, high-tech world. I have always consumed information visually so visual eLearning was my priority, seeing the meaning, a modern day ‘look and learn’. VIZeBooks is now a software that is licensed to other illustrated publishers to sell their illustrated eBooks, within customised vertical eBookstores. VIZeBooks is the illustrated eBook solution with its high-end integrated eReader that works across all platforms.
In time to come, people will wonder why readers bought illustrated physical books that only gave them “half the story”?
Meeting the tide of technology is important for any forward-thinking company, none more so than those within the publishing industry, as book lovers turn to a plethora of electronic devices to read and view printed material.
Earlier this year, Amber Books – a publishing company based in London who specialise in military books, amongst other genres – looked to widen their market, to reach those readers with little, or no knowledge of their titles.
Charles Catton, Publishing Manager, said, “Due to the graphic nature and imagery included throughout our military books, we needed a digital solution that would best serve, or enhance, the visual element.”
“The digital products and options open to us, in April 2011, were extremely limited and very expensive for the level of quality we were seeking.”
“I met Angela Patchell at the London Book Fair and when she showed me the VizEbooks’ app, I saw immediate potential for our titles. As companies, we both face the same issue – our books are carefully and expensively designed to present their content in the best possible manner. The VIZebooks’ platform was clearly well thought out and attractive, both in price and visually; following a few tweaks, it was perfect for our military audience. In fact, the whole process was remarkably smooth.”
“Easily, one of the biggest benefits of VIZebooks was its Apple-like ease of use – it was so simple to understand, even if the user had never come across an e-bookstore before. We instantly saw a way of quickly making our content available digitally, reaching more consumers, such as those without access to a bookshop. Even for readers that do frequent book stores, there are few outlets that house a wide range of military books – with VIZeBooks, anyone can search or find our titles.”
Stamp your own brand
As VIZebooks’ software is easily customisable, Amber Books were able to completely brand their digital bookstore with their own logos and images. The app is easily accessible, which served their needs of reaching markets previously untapped.
Charles found that the quality of VIZeBooks outstanding, and the first of its kind designed for visual books. He said, “VIZeBooks gives an enhanced reading experience for the illustrated military enthusiast, because it allows him or her to zoom into the illustrations and photographs to see real detail, in an easy and convenient manner. It’s even better than a printed book in that respect.”
The creator of VIZeBooks, Angela Patchell, is delighted Amber Books found what they were looking for. She said, “Amber Books’ military titles are perfectly suited to the VIZeBooks’ concept. The product was borne from our frustrations, as publishers of visual books, that the concept of a title was often much bigger and better than the finished, printed product. VIZeBooks was created to allow users to interact with what they were reading.”
So what does the future hold for Amber Books, now that they can access new markets and collect reams of new military book enthusiasts?
“We want Military Books to be more than just a bookstore. We want it to become a destination of choice for military enthusiasts; therefore, we are approaching other military publishers to bring their content on board. We have exciting plans for the future development of the app!”
For more information on Amber Books’ Military Books, visit http://www.amberbooks.co.uk.
Digital technology and the internet has revolutionised most industries, not least education. Giving students the freedom to learn from a distance and equipping them with the skills of managing their own work patterns and pace, technology has advanced traditional methods.
Even within the digital revolution, evolvement is continuous. Written material and CDs have given way to cloud-based storage of course content and individual access.
A whole new way….
The newest format, which further enhances the learning process, is the introduction of the VIZecourse App, designed for Visual eLearning. Offering a complete course in a single app, students, readers and tutors form a virtual class, tutorial or study group.
Students’ work is private with contact between the individual and tutor made through secure, personal mailboxes. A digital e-library offers continual resource material and students’ coursework, links, articles and images can all be saved in the user’s individual ‘box’. A purpose-built digital workspace is amongst the app’s best features, providing a notebook, sketchbook and diary; placing them in-hand at any time, day or night, for whenever inspiration strikes or when other demands on your time allow you the time to work. Everything will already be at the individual’s finger-tips, offering up the time spent gathering materials to be spent creatively, working towards core competencies or skills.
User control allows students the freedom to decide when tutors are allowed access to work for grading. The project management calendar helps students to manage their time effectively, whilst still acting as a personal reminder as deadlines approach.
Contact through the VIZeCourse app is easy via an email inbox and SKYPE is integrated for tutorials or face-to-face interaction. An integrated community blog also encourages discussion, feedback and the exchanging of ideas as a group.
Freedom is an outstanding factor of the app, and offers students a confidence that they’re learning on a level playing field, not inhibited or under pressure from their peers. Even the most introverted students can shine and project their individuality through this eLearning phenomenon.
Review and grading
Teachers can edit course-book content, upload seminars and update to-do lists, with the app allowing them to exercise their control within the learning tool without detracting from the freedom experienced by the users.
Having everything you need at your fingertips can be very empowering, not to mention stimulating. The seamlessness of the app perfectly complements any course, allowing visual elements, written soltuions and real-life examples – along with support and resources.
The whole world around us is speeding up; technology lets us work, play and earn faster than ever before. The very nature of the VIZeCourse app equips students with the digital and time management skills they’ll undoubtedly need in our time, whilst they’re learning about other subjects and gaining valuable competencies.
The sheer convenience of the VIZeCourse’s app, not to mention the innovation, does beg the question, “Where would technology go from here?”. Twenty years ago, few people used the internet for their shopping – now we live most of our lives out online.
What are your thoughts, given the all-encompassing offering from VIZeCourses? Can life get any faster?