The Right Tool for the Right Job: iBooks Author & Other Book Writing Tools

Several months ago my coworkers and I were looking into how we might use iBooks Author with our students and after completing some training I started considering which of my writing projects might work well with the app. I was also inspired to do some serious writing because I had been attending the monthly meetings of the Orlando Indie Authors group and left every session inspired by the conversation from these creative folks, most of whom had several book titles under their belts. My first thought was that I might use iBooks Author on the family photo archive I’d begun. I hadn’t been very happy with the WordPress themes that I had to work with. But I still had a lot of research to do, verifying the names, dates and places connected to the photos, so then I switched projects and thought about gathering my blog posts related to my religious journey, to begin there.

It turned out that in the ten-years that I’ve been writing this particular blog I’ve posted over 200 articles. I also soon discovered that iBooks Author was not the tool to use to organize this much work. Once one has the content gathered, then iBooks Author might be the right production tool, but that also depends on the kind of content one is working with. The thing that attracted me to iBooks Author was the idea that one is not limited to just text or still images, but one can use video and interactive media. As I’d previously written, iBooks Author might really blur the line between traditional media and something almost akin to gaming or interactive storytelling. That’s the exciting part. The not-so-exciting part is that neither of the two projects really fit the tool and would require a lot more work than seems reasonable. Basically after researching and writing the text of the book I would need to create media, audio or video content, to justify the use of this tool. Having done some media work before, I know that adding audio or video to the project would add about 10 times the amount of time needed if I was just writing text… Funny, “just” writing text… Anyway, I’ve used enough video in my blog posts to know that I should keep the iBooks Author option open, but it’ll be much further down the road because first I have ten-years of writing to go through and massage into a more cohesive story. In the meantime, I’ll probably be using a combination of Circus Ponies Notebook, Evernote and Scrivener to organize and edit this mess. Okay… back to work…


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