Link of the Week: Incorporating Augmented Reality Into Books

Traditional print books and ebooks are getting technological facelifts that aim to make readers’ experiences more immersive, and publishers are only just starting to discover the possibilities.

Considering the constant advancements in technology, coding print books for e-readers is far from the end of the evolution timeline for interactive books. Established publishers are currently exploring how to use phone apps to interact with readers, such as what’s being done by Melville House‘s HybridBooks Project and Sourcebooks’ DragonHunters trilogy. These examples typically use apps as quick ways to search text in a book or to give pictures 3-D effects.

What it looks like to view the Modern Polaxis app over images in the book.

Modern Polaxis and Head and Neck Anatomy, which are both successful Kickstarters, use their apps as crucial storytelling and learning components respectively. While HybridBooks Projects and DragonHunters don’t require apps to fully appreciate or understand the material in the book, Modern Polaxis and Head and Neck Anatomy include so much information across these platforms that having just a copy of the book is having only half of the full experience.

What it looks like to read a Sensory Fiction book with all the gear needed.

There are even projects that take the blend of books and technology beyond including apps and ebooks. Sensory Fiction is one company that aims to accomplish this by using a vest and a digital e-reader to generate physical reactions (like temperature and vibrations) to complement what’s being read.

The amount of progress being made in the world of book publishing to create new and memorable reading experiences using technology feels like it’s only just beginning. There’s going to be room for exploration and growth in this area that will impact the future of publishing, whether it’s discovering new ways to incorporate technology or helping to carry-out ideas that become the norm in publishing. These changes happen so fast, it’s important to be aware of now and consider as we move forward with our publishing careers.

Link of the Week: 2016 Best Career Apps and Websites

link1The job search process is a challenging and downright stressful task that every one of us has to endure in our lifetime. There has to be tools out there to make the rdeal simpler and easier. Thankfully Huffington Post has published an article by career strategist, Sherri Thomas, listing the best career apps and websites to land you your dream job. The list includes an app that is basically the Tinder version of job hunting and her 3 favorite career sites.

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Click here to read the article.

Link of the Week: Novel Writing Help with Apps?

Many of us in the Publishing program would someday like to be editors. As editors, we will have the crucial job of leading an author towards the ultimate goal: perfecting and finishing a novel. This task may seem daunting, and the process can be painful. The experience is a little like to trying to wash a cat. However, with some perseverance, a freshly washed cat is something of beauty. This goes for a greatly pruned and polished novel as well.

What can an editor do to make an author’s writing process less painful so that the novel might show up in time for the next deadline? Maybe, a smart phone app? In the grandness of the digital age, we are bombarded everyday with new ways to improve ourselves, our cooking, our shopping, and now, our writing. A smart phone is in all of our pockets at all times anyway, so why not utilize it for publishing, too?

What’s one of the best things a writer can do to improve his writing? Read more. Oyster, an eBook subscription app, will allow you to do just that.  Check out our entire post about Oyster here.

Jotting down ideas on the train or when walking around is another way to improve a writer’s skills. Sometimes though, it is hard to keep track of a pad of paper and a writing utensil. A phone is always in our pockets, however. Dragon Dictation will turn your voice recordings into text quickly and easily. Evernote allows you to record observations in a more structured way where you can then add photos, reminders, and to-do lists. MindNode is a great app for plotting and character mapping because it aids in the creation of flow charts.

Sometimes an author’s problem is not a lack of words but a plethora of words. The app fittingly titled Hemingway analyzes an extensive block of text, highlighting hard-to-read sentences. The app also points out adverbs, and synonyms are supplied to minimize verbosity. Writer Pro is another app that can help simplify writing. You can select and highlight different parts of speech within the text, and it also displays the reading time and number of sentences.

The most difficult obstacle for any editor is definitely getting an author to stay focused. Writer’s block is the most evil of monsters when it comes to finishing a manuscript quickly. It’s even worse when the editor’s red pen taps away impatiently on his desk. Thankfully, there are a couple apps to help whisk the writer’s block monster away. With Write or Die, writers can set word count goals for themselves. If the word count is not met within a certain time period, then the app can administer various “punishments.” Although, when it comes to writer’s block, the biggest distraction can be the smart phones themselves. So when you using your phone to better your writing, use SelfControl. This app simply lets you block other sites and apps, like Facebook or Twitter, for the time of your choosing.

Let’s not let our smart phones become our biggest distraction. Let’s embrace the phone and the ingenious apps that can make our publishing lives a little less stressful.

Check out the entire list of helpful writing apps here.

Job Opportunity

MeeGenius is a digital reading company and our mission is to help kids foster a love of reading. We have an extensive library of over hundreds of beautifully illustrated e-books for children, each professionally narrated with our read along technology. Our e-book reader apps and bookstore can be found on all major platforms and mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, Android, web, Google Chrome Web Store, Google TV, and soon, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Installed on over 2 million mobile devices and used by over 3,000 teachers, any time can be story time.

We are looking for a Freelance Editor to support our Content and Production team. We need a person with professional editorial experience, who’s excited about digital media and cultivating children’s love of reading. The Freelance Editor will be responsible for working with a variety of different titles for children ages 0-8, maintaining the consistency and quality of the titles, and maintaining communication with their primary point of contact in the Content and Production team on a regular basis. The position will be paid as an hourly wage.

To be a strong fit for the role of Freelance Editor you will need to:

  • Assist in the editorial development, planning, and execution of MeeGenius books
  • Review and edit manuscripts
  • Ensure all personal deadlines are met
  • Communicate with the Content and Production team during all phases of development and troubleshoot any related issues
  • Excellent attention to detail, be able to identify and solve problems, and possess strong interpersonal skills.
  • Self-motivated, resourceful and have a proven ability to organize time and meet deadlines along with being an active team player.
  • Applicants with a degree in a related discipline preferred
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate professional editorial experience

 

To apply for this position, please submit a portfolio of your work that demonstrates your editorial capabilities (only pieces that would be appropriate for a 0-8 audience), a current resume, and a cover letter as attachments to jobs@meegenius.com. Please include your name in the subject line of the e-mail as well as the position that you are applying for. For all questions and queries regarding the position, please contact us at jobs@meegenius.com.

Internship: Random House Digital

Random House Digital, Inc. is offering a summer internship with a focus on social media and mobile applications. Interns will gain an understanding of how apps are conceived, developed, and maintained at a large publishing house. RHDI  provides digital distribution and business development for eBooks and applications as a service to a broad range of publishing groups. Please see their website for more on eBooks and apps.

 

Length of Internship: Summer

Location: New York, NY

Interns will assist with the following responsibilities:

– Manage RHDI’s Twitter feed and Facebook page

– Sales analysis and reporting for RHDI apps

– QA apps in development

– Monitor top-selling apps and app store bestseller lists

– Research app categories, pricing models, and platforms

– Opportunity to sit in on developmental and department meetings

 Requirements:         

Applicants must be eligible for school credit, available to work a minimum of 3 – 4 days a week, and have a strong interest in digital publishing and mobile apps. Qualified candidates should possess solid organizational and computer skills, outstanding communication abilities, and experience working effectively with colleagues.

How to Apply: Please contact Professor Denning at jdenning@pace.edu if interested in this position.

Internship with Cupcake Digital

An internship with Cupcake Digital provides emerging Production Artist/Designers with hands-on, professional experience in an exciting creative digital studio. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to gain experience creating artwork on large-scale projects from the collaborative process to art production to marketing graphics.

Cupcake Digital is a new digital media company focused on the development of fun-filled, interactive storybook and game apps for kids and families. We work with major entertainment properties, including Bolder Media, the emmy award winning team behind the popular Nick Jr. TV series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” The successful partnership resulted in a top-ranked storybook app, Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure, available on the Itunes and Android market. Cupcake Digital has scheduled a wide release of a robust suite of digital apps for 2013.

Description:
Primary responsibility is to execute art based on conceptual and visual direction. Interns will be working with creative leads across a wide range of app and web-related projects including app and website designs and development, banner campaigns, graphic user interfaces, style guides, and presentation materials. Current college students or recent college graduates who have completed course work or internships involving graphic design, vector illustration, and online media are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be available to spend at least three days per week at CD studio.

Requirements:

  •  0-2 years of interactive web design experience
  • A self-motivated individual with interest and experience in interactive design
  • Diligent, detail-oriented, and able to follow direction well
  • Strong skills in typography, graphic design, and layout
  • Proficiency with industry-standard software and Adobe CS 4 applications such as PhotoShop and Illustrator a must
  • Working knowledge of HTML, current development practices, and design trends
  • Drawing/illustration skills highly desirable

Interns will assist with the development and execution of various concepts, in addition to individual design projects, and collaborate with the team on various tasks as needed. Must prioritize work and manage time effectively, meet deadlines and demonstrate reliability, partner with co-workers while being receptive to ideas of others, take direction and constructive feedback from creative team, deliver effective written and oral communication, exhibit enthusiasm for work, exhibit motivation to learn and build skills.

We are looking for an individual who is excited to bring to life a brand identity for a theme, story, or characters, and create a variety of layouts and artwork for development and marketing of our digital media properties. The graphic designer will work closely with the Creative Producer and Project Manger to create/re-touch artwork, maintain an organized archive of all assets (including images, video and typography) related to each digital property, create video content and assemble mock-ups.

To apply, please send a resume (including software knowledge), examples of work, and dates of availability to christine.norrie@cupcakedigital.com.