Wick Communications

New technology, old photos

In Online media on 11 Jan 2013 at 9:16 am


Over the past few weeks, some of us published a selection of our year’s best photos. This is a classic newspaper space-filler for those slow weeks around the holidays, but it is also a chance to showcase something we have traditionally done really, really well: document community news through photography.

Now, don’t you wish we’d done this as well?

The Seattle Times published a whale of an e-book formatted for iPad that shows just how good its photojournalists are. It looks fancy, and I wouldn’t sugar-coat the work involved, but it was accomplished with a free app download from Apple. It comes with strings attached: You can only sell it through Apple’s iBook store, but whatever. It’s marvelous and looks pretty easy. You can read more about it here.

For months and months, I’ve been trying to get off the snide and make an e-book out of The Kicker. I’ve been a bit flummoxed because the programs I saw weren’t the drag-and-drop variety. iBook appears to be something different.

For now, please take this as a suggestion to consider new technologies when you are thinking about annual editions like this. Apple’s high-resolution devices are perfect for showcasing the talents of our photographers. And you can’t beat free.

— Clay

  1. I have written two ebooks, had web site dedicated to selling those ebooks and used social media to promote and market those ebooks. I used adobe publisher for the final version. It was pretty easy to handle. The book went out as a PDF in an email attachment. I wrote the books in Word originally then transferred them to the final format.
    This new Apple ap looks pretty cool and easy to use. Like you say, it can still only be sold through the apple store.
    I will say this, there is no short cut to putting a book, even a book of photo’s together. It is time consuming and a lot of work. I do recommend considering the return on such an endeavor.
    The way I did it and the time and effort I put into it did pay off. I sold 500 copies total at $8.95 each. But I did a lot of selling through social media.
    I still have one available on one book site, now at a higher price, but have not sold one since. I have also shut down my Web site because I found there is a very short shelf life once you exhaust the social media route and our left to more traditional means of marketing and advertising, which cost money. Which I would never a see a return on my dollar invested. Not because of the cost but because of the product I produced (they were Ok, not great).
    The thing I discovered is that a book is a book is a book no matter what format you deliver it in. It takes time, effort and you should make sure that you have an available market to make it pay. If monitory considerations are not a priority that’s fine too. But just because its an ebook doesn’t mean it should not be as professional as you can make it.

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