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Take Your Book to the Next Level: 5 Ways to Build a Knock-out Multimedia eBook

Take Your Book to the Next Level: 5 Ways to Build a Knock-out Multimedia eBook

The following is guest post from Manoush Zomorodi, the author of Camera Ready: How to Present Your Best Self and Ideas On Air or Online. Her on-camera expertise comes from years of producing and reporting for BBC News, Reuters Television, and other media outlets. She moderates conferences on digital technology and hosts live video events, in addition to doing media coaching. For more information please visit http://www.manoushz.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

As a news reporter, I prefer telling stories with great sound and riveting video — and I love showing others how to use multimedia too.

For years, I’ve worked with journalists and non-profit people to produce quality video and get them comfortable and articulate on camera. I always wanted to write down my techniques but thought text could never do my tips justice. How could I write a book about being great on camera without video demonstrations?

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Then I found the enhanced ebook publisher Vook.

Video + Book

An “enhanced” ebook (yes, it sounds slightly suggestive) combines text with video, audio, and hyperlinks.

The video is actually embedded right in the page — so you can be reading along and then watch a video that demonstrates or adds something extra to the story. Reading about Pilates? See how to do the exercises. Researching social media? Watch how small businesses are using it. Multimedia ebooks look amazing on the iPad, Nook, or Kindle Fire. Vook has created a desktop reader that lets you read and watch them on a PC or laptop too.

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Tablets and online video are exploding. Combine that with the self-publishing boom and multimedia ebooks are just getting hot. And it’s not just Vook — there are other new multimedia tools out there like Aerbook Maker and Kwik (read this article from PBS’s Mediashift for more).

    How to do it

    The key is to think through what kind of video content can add to your writing.

    Here are some ideas for various genres:

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    How-to: Writing a book about flower arranging? Demonstrate your favorite techniques. You’re an expert at computer programming? Show us your computer set up and how you maximize your productivity.

    Business and Finance
: Include a video of you making a killer presentation or interviews with CEOs who have implemented your strategies.

    Romance: Do a video diary, explaining how you get your ideas. Show us your reality behind the romance.

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    Travel
: Create short video profiles of your favorite restaurants or cafés and interview the locals.

    Children’s: Commission an art student to produce animated scenes from your book or include a video of you doing a reading at the local library.

    The Future

    Creating an ebook is relatively easy, even for non-techies like me. Writing and filming Camera Ready took 6 months, from start to publish.

    Self-publishing is no longer stigmatized and ebooks are outselling hard copies. If you are reading this you get that technology is dismantling the publishing industry. An enhanced multimedia ebook is an innovative way to stand out, reach a growing mobile audience, and stay ahead of the digital curve.

    Featured photo credit: 3D rendering of a background of print letter cases with the word e-book close-up via Shutterstock and inline photo by Andrew Mason via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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