Book Widgets: Everything you need to know

Book Widgets - Everything you need to know

Book widgets could be the next big thing in digital publishing. Ever since their introduction by Apple’s iBooks Author, they are being used more frequently in interactive ebooks. Especially with their easy customization and integration, they have the potential of rapid expansion in this industry. They resemble Lego blocks, with the difference that they can be reproduced and re-used infinitely. Because the contents of a widget are based on open web standards (HTML5), they can be created or edited in basic HTML/JavaScript editors. Thus, the flexibility.

However, book widgets are considered to be a new topic for many, as there are no confirmed standards yet (or is there?) to be employed by creators other than iBooks Author. So you will find online resources about book widgets scarce. This is why we decided to collect as much information as we can about book widgets, and give it to you here.

This article is divided as follows:

Book widget examples

Types of book widgets

Where to find book widgets?

Adding book widgets in Kotobee Author

How to create book widgets from scratch?


A lot of visuals will be used to make this article light and easy to follow, so no worries. If you’re ready, jump in to the first section. Continue Reading

How I published my interactive ebook to the Apple iBookstore [Case Study]

Getting your ebook approved by Apple’s iBookstore can be a pain in the butt. Apple can be extremely strict with requirements. But the great potential and users behind its stores makes it all worthwhile. In this post, we’re interviewing Mark Kroeze, from San Antonio Texas, who has lately published his interactive ebook Sleeping Time Series to the Apple iBookstore.

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First tell us about yourself

I was raised on a farm in northern Minnesota, United States near the border of Canada. We worked hard on the farm and I always enjoyed the outdoors and the weekends when my father and I could go fishing. I graduated from the University of Minnesota and work as a forester for the State of Texas. My fiancé works as a Colon and Rectal Surgeon in Texas. My four year old son is a little nature boy too and we love our talking pet parrots! Continue Reading

How to create an interactive ebook: A step-by-step guide

Ebooks are the current expanding trend in education and publishing. Add interactivity on top of that, and you’ve got yourself a top-notch product that won’t be going away anytime soon; one that is sure to put you ahead of the game. This comprehensive guide will lead you on the journey to learn how to create an interactive ebook, as well as publish the ebook to different platforms. We will start together from defining what you want to create, to choosing your preferred online and offline tool, with the occasional suggestions and warnings.

Create interactive ebook


Learning how to create an interactive ebook is simple, but let us start first by defining the concept of “interactive ebooks”. Clearly this term has been over used in past years by publishers who think that inserting a moving picture in their ebook would deem it “interactive”. Well, they are not at fault here but it just sounds quite silly given that they didn’t even scratch the tip of the interactive iceberg. With current technologies like HTML5 and EPUB 3.0 you can go way beyond a digital moving picture – provide experiences rich with videos, audio and even touch-based games if you like. All inside the same ebook.

And that’s how we would rather define interactivity. This guide is divided into 5 steps:

1) Setting your target

2) Preparing interactive ebook content and material

3) Online services and websites to prepare your interactive ebook

4) Ebook creators and editors to build your interactive ebook

5) Publishing and distributing your interactive ebook

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Alice in EPUB-Land: Understanding the EPUB format


EPUB is boring – there I’ve said it. To make it sound even worse, I’m running a company building EPUB authoring tools for two years. Try Googling what is EPUB format and you’ll find yourself buried alive under IDPF pages of complex definitions and terminologies about EPUB – something that will basically give you a nightmare. There seriously aren’t many good online resources explaining EPUB format in a simple way, and that’s what makes it boring. It’s unfair because EPUB format should not be boring – it actually solves a lot of problems with digital publishing. And it shouldn’t take a tech-savvy to like it, let alone understand it. I thought I’d spice things up, and explain the EPUB format metaphorically in the easiest way possible. We will explain the anatomy of an EPUB format’s file structure, if you look inside. To make it stick, this will be as visual as possible: a variation of Alice in Wonderland.

So.. down the rabbit hole! Continue Reading