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Category: Coding and other skills

ONIX

This is a guest post from Emma Barnes. Emma is co-founder of General Products, and indie publisher Snowbooks. General Products is the company behind FutureBook-award-winning Bibliocloud, the web-based all-in-one publishing management system.

Did you go into publishing so that you could spend your days copying and pasting ever-changing metadata from spreadsheets, emails and databases into InDesign? You did? Great. No need to read on.

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ONIX

This is a guest post from Emma Barnes and Rob Jones. Emma and Rob are co-founders of General Products Ltd, and indie publisher Snowbooks. General Products is the company behind FutureBook-award-winning Bibliocloud, the web-based all-in-one publishing management system. Here is an edited extract from The Bibliocloud Book: read more at http://bibliodocs.com/manual 

About XML

XML is one of those boring ideas that can make business run more smoothly, like ISBN numbers or barcodes. Really it’s just some general rules for how to write down information so that computers as well as people can read it – mainly computers, though. It’s not even a full set of rules; it’s just enough to help people make a start on designing their own formats for sharing information.

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Sophie GoldsworthyFive years ago Oxford University Press initiated a project to transform the way old texts could be accessed, read and re-purposed online. Oxford Scholarly Editions Online finally launched last week and I caught up with the Project Director Sophie Goldsworthy.

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This is Part Two of Dean Johnson’s look at how to survive in the cut-throat business of app development. Read Part One here.

RULE THREE: Design and build a great app not a good one

Create an app that does the original (or new) content justice. If you don’t, you will risk Apple rejecting
your title, or worse, the consumer voting with their wallet, star-rating and review.

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ONIX

This is a guest post from Emma Barnes. Emma is co-founder of General Products, and indie publisher Snowbooks. General Products is the company behind FutureBook-award-winning Bibliocloud, the web-based all-in-one publishing management system.

API is one of those acronyms you hear bandied about. “APIs”, people say, “are vital. Vital!” But if, as you fervently nod in agreement, you’re thinking of another acronym — “WTF?” — then this article is for you.

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This is a very basic introduction to XML (extensible markup language). If you think that XML is exclusively for techie people or you don’t really know what it is at all, this post is for you.

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Andy Roberts

 

Ustwo’s Nursery Rhymes iPad app by most measures is a success. An innovative interactive ebook, by mid-June after less than four months it had shifted over 37,000 copies, was subject to rave reviews and benefited from being promoted several times by Apple itself. Most developers would be extremely pleased. The only downside: £60,000 spent, £24,000 in income; it is still a long way off from breaking even.

There’s little doubt that their app will eventually make a decent profit. Ustwo was remaining fairly philosophical about the situation: “Innovate now, don’t think this is about making money now. It’s about pushing the medium forward. Have a lot of fun and you’ll benefit in the future.” A view I highly applaud, but a view which many publishers will understandably be weary of. There’s no shortage of avenues where money can be spent with no return! But mobile apps need not be one of them.

I’ve worked on a successful series of apps for an educational publisher. Below are my views about how publishers can get into the right frame of mind to approach the app market and avoid common pitfalls.

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Dean Johnson

The app business can be as cut-throat as any other. When Brandwidth launched our first Guinness World Records app in April 2010, we were accused of jumping on the bandwagon as many other developers had either been creating apps for the iPhone or publicly immersed in the publishing world for years.

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