Book project log for 2014-01-22. In a narrative mood tonight, it seems.
More documentation review
Reviewed much more of the iBooks Author Help documentation on Apple’s website. Not any major surprises but it did point me to a few things I might not have found right away. I’m pleased at the way connecting lines between objects are handled, as I used the similar functionality in Keynote to produce a number of nice diagrams for presentations that I should be able to replicate well in iBooks Author.
The breakdown of object positioning was helpful as well. Objects are basically anything you choose to insert onto a page that isn’t the primary document text flow. There are floating objects (just what they sound like), fixed objects (also what they sound like), and anchor objects, which attach themselves to an anchor in the text much link an anchor link in HTML. My understanding of the point of this is that if a particular object is related to a word or sentence within your document text flow, that object will move with the anchor as you edit text and it moves around on the page.
An oh-duh moment
The bigger a-ha moment tonight — or perhaps more of an oh-duh moment — was that iBooks can be purchased and read on OS X Mavericks. This had simply escaped my attention, or at least not stuck around in my noggin.
I then immediately purchased David Sparks’ and Eddie Smith's Markdown book, as it is the one I’ve been most interested in personally and deals with some of the same subject matter my project will cover. My first impression was that, while I am certain it was indeed a lot of work, it wasn’t nearly as difficult to produce as one might think when you imagine “writing a book”. Nicely chosen stock images, basic explanations of popular iOS and Mac apps, and lots of links. Great stuff, but not hard stuff. The value (and related effort by David) that shines through lies in the screencasts and interviews.
I’m not certain how technical in nature I want my book to be yet — at the moment, I’m considering only exploring specific applications and tips for those applications in an appendix — however, David’s Markdown book has strengthened my interest in producing at least a few videos.
Things that are actually making a book
Little to report. Spent most of my time reviewing Markdown book and trying out some of the different interactions and settings I’d learned about from the documentation.
- Mac Power Users Episode 112 on iBooks publishing — listened to when first came out, hoping to revisit
- Lynda.com iBooks Author Training — maybe later, doing okay with documentation so far
- Apple iBooks Author Help
- Create auto-updating text field — for example, page numbers or section titles across multiple pages
- Video: Creating Custom Layouts
View > Show Layouts
akin to opening the master slides in Keynote. Apply Changes after implementing. Will change that layout within the template and apply to all instances of that layout within your book.
two types of text. special text inserted in text boxes or on top of shapes, and the "document text flow" that goes into the pages automatically