On your own, you'll develop an interactive, multi-touch, ebook from existing (verbal and visual) content for multiple platforms: ePub, Kindle (where interactive elements may be minimal), iBook, and (possibly) DPS App (in the form of a Folio) with an eye for enhancing the content with multimedia components and interactivity (where possible and desirable), which might include integration with social media, external links or additional available content. You'll be able to choose your project from a list provided to you, or you may choose to work with a book from another source. Some of your work may involve working with authors or client organizations. At the end of the semester, you'll present your project with your team at our end-of-the-semester showcase. (20% of course grade.).
Available projects will include ones from the Parlor Press catalog.
Steps in the Process
- Meet with Dr. Blakesley: Meet face-to-face with Dr. Blakesley, during or outside of class, for a 5-10 minute discussion of the project. Due: meetings should take place on or before February 12.
- Asset Collection and Development: As early as possible in the project begin collecting and developing assets (source text, images, video, recordings, photographs, illustrations, information graphics, thumbnail images, and any other content that you might eventually use). Create a Creative Cloud folder that you can share with Dr. Blakesley (firstname.lastname@example.org). Use this naming convention: CourseNumber_YourLastName_BookShortTitle Assets (e.g., 489_LastName_Rhetorics Assets). We will discuss in class how to develop, collect, and use assets in the book project, including the form they should take (e.g, file format). You should collect or create many more assets than you may actually use. You should also keep a spreadsheet that includes identifying information about each asset (filename, source, copyright info if any, etc.; keep this spreadsheet in the Assets folder). Due: ongoing; but plan on an asset review on February 26.
- Storyboarding Layout iBooks Author: For this step, you'll want to design your own template or customize an existing template in iBooks Author. iBooks Author comes with a number of useful templates, but you'll likely find that you need to change elements, such as background images. You should create a sample page template for each of the types of pages in your book (page with text only, page with image or illustration, page with video, etc.). Due: Have your storyboards for each of your pages ready for review by March 5.
- Full Draft: The full draft of your iBook, ePub, and Kindle versions should be ready for a thorough peer review in-class on April 2 and should include all the content that you plan to include, with the understanding that fine-tuning will be needed before the book is ready for publication. Due: April 2.
- Final Draft and Poster: This will be the version to be presented at the showcase at the end of the semester, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 23. For the showcase, you'll be able to show your eBooks on iPads, Kindles, or laptops, and you'll also need to print some sample pages for a display poster, which should provide some context for the book and your process of creating it.
In all cases, you will work closely with your peers and me to complete your project. You may also make use of the Production and Design Studio in the 1941 Studio for Student Communication or the MATRF. (For Studio work, tell Barbara Ramirez you are working on a project for this class.)
Resources and Technologies
In the 1941 Studio (middle room, back wall) there are also resources on creating ePubs (Elizabeth Castro) and good Adobe books on using InDesign. Additional resources will be provided, but you can also plan on getting familiar with InDesign and (free) downloadable programs like Sigil, Calibre and iBooks Author (Mac).
Your individual book project is worth 20% of your course grade. Your work will be evaluated for the quality of the deliverables, whether you met all milestones in a timely way, and the consistency of your engagement with the project over the course of the semester. You will need to complete all the steps in the process to earn credit for the project, including presentation of your book at the Showcase at the end of the semester. It won't be possible to complete the individual book project successfully if you don't work at it regularly, meet all (self-imposed) deadlines, and create high quality deliverables on time.