Interactive books using HTML5 canvas in association with JavaScript

Interactive books using HTML5 canvas in association with JavaScript
(Creando libros digitales con EPUB3 y HTML5)
Producing interactive digital books with EPUB3 and HTML5 is now an excellent option. EPUB3 is great for doing HTML5 ebook development, especially once EPUB 3.0 specification is formally adopted.
The following basic steps can be useful if you want to produce interactive digital books:
  1. Download Calibre application and convert your original to epub format. Do not expect a nice result after conversion. It will be just a starting point from which you have to work on
  2. Learn how to zip/unzip epub files, work with xhtml files inside an epub, and zip it again.
  3. Add EPUB3 and HTML5 multimedia and interactivity to expand beyond traditional text and graphic books. Just add your HTML5 file to your epub zip as any other HTML content, include the standard XHTML namespace on the <html> tag and get all resources referenced in the OPF <manifest> file.
  4. Validate your EPUB files with EpubCheck.
  5. Upload your EPUB to iBookstore (or other online stores, blog, webpages…).
If you are interested in making your ebook available on Amazon’s Kindle platform, EPUB is not an option. Amazon provides a tool called Kindlegen, but results are low performance.
If instead of EPUB, you are interested in making ebook apps, you may want to look into Baker ebook framework or PhoneGap.
If you are brave enough and enthusiastic about digital books, just try it. If not, you may want to contact digital book experts from Publiconsulting Media too.

Appstore vs. iBookstore [EN]

I was recently asked if my interactive epub books were applications for the appstore or epub books for the iBookstore.

Books in the appstore are applications as sophisticated and spectacular as old CD-ROM Multimedia. However, both suffer from the same defect: they are games for iPad or PC, which main driver is not reading text but user interaction through multiple possibilities that are related to reading the book only marginally.
By contrast, epub books from iBookstore focus almost exclusively on text and give readers just a few options to improve the reading experience. By default, tapping on the iPad screen you can bookmark pages, search words in the book, dictionary lookup (currently only in English), external searches (which now make you quit reading the book if, for example, want to google), access external links… and little else.
Interactive epub books I’m working on (some examples shown in this blog), try to pick the best of both worlds. First, main driver is text, as seems logical for books. Second, these books adapt digital content to epub format, adding interactive features (video, audio, images popup, references popup, searching …) that enrich the reading experience.
In summary, interactive epub books address readers seeking to follow text as main driver, and willing to use technology to interact with books in a non-intrusive way. The aim is to enrich the reader’s experience adding interactive features to text, without disrupt or impede, even when the reader decides to seek for an explanation of a term, listen to audio, or watch a video included in the book.