Using Apple’s iBooks Author in your ministry

Last week I wrote about getting your personal documents onto a Kindle or your iPad’s Kindle app. At the time, I assumed that all e-books were more or less equal. That is, since it’s all just text, it doesn’t much matter what device you read it on. And then Apple’s announcement last week changed everything. Suddenly an e-book is not just a long string of text with the occasional static picture thrown in. With the iBooks 2 app, electronic books can become truly interactive and multimedia experiences. And even more incredibly, the (free!) iBooks Author tool allows absolutely anyone to publish them. Video, audio, interactive links and more can be easily added to text, creating an immersive reading experience.

Clearly the news last week had far-reaching implications for the world of education. Even K-12 institutions will be able to upload their content to iTunes U which was previously limited to colleges and universities. Hardcover textbooks that used to cost students hundreds of dollars at times will now be produced electronically for a fraction of the price. Backpacks that previously were loaded down with a ton of books now only need to carry an iPad (although suddenly the 16 GB version seems a tad limiting).

But I read the reports on the iBooks Author app with dreams of what I could do with such a tool in my ministry. Remember, you can disseminate your iBook creations through iTunes, but you can also simply create documents to be downloaded from your website or handed out on a CD. Here are some ideas that came to mind while brainstorming.

  • A catechism instruction book with your PowerPoint slides built in and links to BibleGateway.com.
  • A book of your personal sermons, complete with audio and/or video of the day you preached them.
  • An intro to your church for prospects, with an interactive map, welcome video from the pastor, tour of the chancel, etc.
  • Bible study “textbook” for your Sunday morning classes, with links to supplemental materials on the internet.
  • Or record a Bible study series and, when it’s done, create an iBook version with text and video for those who could not attend.
  • A worship manual for the altar guild or worship committee, with how-to videos on setting up for communion, etc.
  • An interactive Bible History book for use in Sunday Schools, parochial schools, and homes.
  • An outreach tool with the “way of salvation” clearly laid out through a combination of text and videos.
  • A virtual trip to one or more of our church’s world missions with video of  local worship services and interviews with the missionaries.
  • A book of devotions prepared by the pastor. Could you include audio of the church choir singing? (I don’t know about the copyright laws on that one.)

My plan is to adapt my Interactive Passion History site for the iBook layout, if I can get my hands on some good art to accompany it.

Of course, as inspiring as this authoring tool is, it’s clearly limited by the fact that it only works on iOS devices. That’s unfortunate. Apple’s decision is obviously meant to drive their hardware sales rather than purely out of a desire to improve education.

But perhaps enough of your target audience already owns an iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch to make it worthwhile. They seem to be everywhere these days. If you decide to try the iBooks Author, let me know how you intend to use it in your ministry.

Advertisements

2 Responses to Using Apple’s iBooks Author in your ministry

  1. Geoff Kragen says:

    There has been a bit of concern over the issue of publishing rights for books created in Author. The following was taken from the Slash Gear website:

    <>

    Of course this undercuts the benefit of using author because all of the “special effects” will be lost if the work is offered in any format other than .ibook. So this is a way of Apple getting a bigger piece of the action.

  2. Geoff Kragen says:

    The quote from Slash Gear didn’t get posted. Here it is.

    Apple today updated its new e-book publishing app, iBooks Author, to version 1.0.1, but the only change was in the End User License Agreement. The update clarifies a controversial portion of the EULA that suggested any content created by the app could only be sold and distributed through Apple’s iBookstore if it were to be sold at all.

    “If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a ‘Work’), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple (e.g., through the iBookstore) and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple,” read the original iBooks Author EULA terms.

    Apple has changed those terms in today’s update, saying that only the iBooks Author files in the .ibooks format are restricted to distribution through Apple. The restriction does not apply when the content created with iBooks Author is distributed in other forms. This means that creators retain the rights to their content and can distribute it in other formats, such as PDF.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: