Friday, August 31, 2012

The Nerdy iAuthor

I have been slaving away this summer on a couple of projects. Well, I've been slaving away at many different projects, but two involved book writing. I'm no stranger to the world of book writing, but I have wanted to give iAuthor a try and had some ideas that were finally ready to get on digital paper and this summer was a good time to start.

I thought it would be fun to create a guide to using Evernote on the iPad using Evernote and Skitch. I loved how easy it was for me to write and edit photos using Skitch and then use Evernote to sort out my ideas. It was a great planning process. Once that was done, I figured I would jump into iAuthor to see how it all worked out.

I have never been one to read directions. I've gotten better with age, but I still prefer to learn by doing no matter how frustrated I may get. Well, iAuthor was pretty easy to pick up as I went. As you can tell, the Evernote book is nothing more than images and text. I wanted it that way. I knew I needed to start off doing something simple before I tried to tackle something more complex like embedding video and have interactive pages.

I was able to create new chapters, add a picture and move the picture around to where I needed it. Scaling the photo was very easy and little bars appeared to let me know if everything on the page was even. The OCD in me was very happy to see those. They probably saved me hours of adjusting to make things look just right.

I was able to adjust the font size and color without much hassle and hyperlinking was a breeze. I was a bit surprised at how easy it was. I was looking at my book take share without much problem. Well, that changed when I was "done".

Since I did not read the directions, I didn't know that the book would look completely different in portrait mode. I designed for landscape and didn't think to look at what happens when you flip it. Ugh. I needed to go back and work on the font and spacing of all of the images and text so they could be seen because Apple rejected the first edition because of those problems.

I will say that the iBookstore team was SUPER helpful. That is not sarcasm either. Their team answered all of my emails promptly and directed me to the right spot on the directions to help solve my problem. It took me a couple of hours to correct everything, but I was able to re-submit the book and have it ready to go. It was not as bad as it could have been.

The weird part of putting the book together was pricing. My initial thought was to make the Evernote Guide free. I thought I could just create something and place it on the iBookstore without having to charge anyone or pay anything. Wrong.

Every book needs an ISBN. In the United States, they are freaking expensive. $150 for one ISBN for one book or $250 for 10 ISBNs for 10 books. Buying in bulk is obviously the way to go. I bought the 10 because I knew I was going to need another one so I might as well as pay $250 now so I can have 10 books down the line. This fee changed my thought process on a free book.

I have the price set for $1.99 USD for the first month and it will jump to $2.99 after than. Seems like a small price for a book that will have unlimited updates when Evernote rolls something out. I will have to sell a ton of e-books to make the money back, but it's really not ALL about that. It's about sharing something with people who might need a little extra help using an awesome tool.

Overall, I liked using iAuthor for my Evernote book. There are tons of bells and whistles I have not explored yet, but will be looking into as I finish my next book. If you are thinking about writing your own book, iAuthor is a great option to try out. Nothing in life is free as they say, but you can have a book of your very own to share with the world if you want it.

P.S. I'm not ready to say exactly what my new book is about, but let's just say it's about Everything I Have Ever Learned. :-)

- You can find my Evernote Book "The Beginner's Guide to Using Evernote on the iPad" here!

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