Publishing a book made easy as ABC…but there’s a hitch or two

Nick Billowes shared this via email today, and, while I have some reservations (see below), I can see why he’s excited by the potential.

Nick posted: “I have seen the future… well a small glimpse of a small part anyway! Now I am risking, once again, being told that many of you have “been there, done that” already, and indeed blogged about it in the middle of 2011….Just take a quick look (link below) at something extraordinary that is a way into the future of “publishing” through the “cloud”.

Imagine students (now) writing to this format or doing their reflective journals for you (and the world should they wish) to be reviewed at leisure on an i-device…

English: The iPad on a table in the Apple caseImage via Wikipedia

Might I suggest another quantum leap in “text” and language development as well as authorship and publishing to a global (or selected) audience… user generated content rulzzz…..

Accessibility issues may also be well covered with the capability of readers, multimodal content delivery that meets learner needs/capabilities and scaling that help to create a customised environment.

Very exciting, I think, if you can get past the issues of proprietary products and see into an e-empowered future…. The simplicity of this (free) application is simply breathtaking. Enjoy as you bubble with excitement at the possibilities….”


I love the ideas, and it would be great for anyone to be able to develop such interactive resources to share online, and which can even be set for elements to update automatically. Wow!! However, one of my main reservations came at the end of the video (and Nick does mention getting around the use of proprietary kit), is that the fully functioning, multimodal of the eBook is only accessible on an iPad.  DK, after saying “It is a sexy bit of kit – really lowers the barriers to publishing”, lists some other barriers below:

“- you’re still restricted to their themes
– it only runs on 10.7 OS
– plus you have to be aware of the limitations of publishing through the Apple channel only:
– you have to be a recognised business / author to sell anything through there (you need an ISBN #)
– apple takes the 30% cut
– once on the store you can’t sell it elsewhere
Not to be a naysayer as it’s a great piece of kit – all moving in the right direction for others to enter the market and loosen the reins a little ;-)”.

See for yourself in the video below. Would be great to read your thoughts too.

About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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