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Archived Message:

Skins in Activ E-Book


 
HuskerMark Does Activ E-Book support custom skins for the look and shape of the e-book? Can't find any recent posts on this topic.

If not, could I design a book image in PhotoShop, use it as a page background and use iframes to load text into the design? That would allow me the flexibility of scroll bars as well. When someone clicks next page, it would load new page into the static book design.

The book itself would then float in the middle of the browser page and links would work through hot spots on the photoshop design.

Interested in other/better solutions with consideration of download time.

I am using FrontPage and relying on its code creation. Can figure some stuff out, but don't worry about talking down to me in your explaination.

BTW, for those of you familiar with my project, we are dropping the video from the ebook and using audio to provide the author's verbal explaination of each chapter.

Hope this is not a stupid question. I hope you can see where I'm trying to go with this...


Posted on: 2:21 am on March 16, 2007
HuskerMark Would like to design a book that functions like this one, posted in a different area of the forum:

(www.copperfieldpub.com/content/down/alice.zip)

If it's possible and covered in detail in the user manual, let me know. I'll register my copy so I can download the manual and get started.


Posted on: 3:56 am on March 16, 2007
rlemire HuskerMark;

I've never seen any specific reference about Activ E-Book supporting "skins" and there are no instructions that I'm aware of. However, by using Activ Script and JavaScript you can create any design of eBook you want.

For example: make any elaborate "skin" you can imagine in PhotoShop, drop the images into a "web" page, then display your content in an iFrame. You can design your own control images like "buttons", "menu bars", or "sliders". Be creative!

The program "look" of HYPrLock and StoryMaker were both created this way.

Ron


Posted on: 2:40 pm on March 16, 2007
HuskerMark Ron,

That's what I was thinking about. The floating book can be accomplished with an additional freeware program that allows you to change the total appearance of an IE browser - which buttons display if any, it's shape and size. You design the browser to look like a book or a rock or whatever.

It's an exe file that uploads with your book, but not sure how to incorporate that into Activ E-Book so it launches as the viewer first then to load the compiled HTML into that. A couple of the $97 programs have this feature.

I'm reconsidering though. After a viewing a few of these I'm seeing some freeze-ups and my cluttered desktop is annoying without some white space.

Is there a way to turn off the toolbar completely so it launches as more of a border with no obvious functionality?

Then I can "float" my book design on screen and use iframes to display a flash index and content. The graphics only load once. I think I can do something with that.

A bit OT, but how do you install a bookmarking feature for saving place before exiting? Okay, a lot OT. I'll post that elsewhere. Pesky XP wants me to reboot due to some new security upgrades.

HuskerMark


Posted on: 6:06 pm on March 16, 2007
rlemire HuskerMark;

I'd stay away from anything that screws around with IE on your customers computer. If anything went wrong your ass would be in a sling. Most of that stuff looks pretty but you pay a penalty in crashes etc.

Regarding the Activ Menu Bar. I never use it myself. Just turn off what you don't want in the Activ E-Book User Interface section. You'll have to design your own Javascript code to replace the Activ Icons but you can still run Activ subroutines in the background. ( forward and backward etc.) I haven't found anyway to remove the typical "windows" border but such is life...

There are very few Activ code snippets to help but get what's available and experiment a lot.

I haven't used bookmarking myself but I seem to recall something about coding it somewhere in the forum.

Ron


Posted on: 10:05 pm on March 16, 2007
Storyman Hi HuskerMark,

In the end what consumers want is content over context. Meaning that if the text doesn't provide the solution to their immediate needs they won't be satisfied dispite if it is the fanciest looking ebook around.


Posted on: 4:03 pm on March 17, 2007
HuskerMark You're right on, Storyman. content is King.

However, if you are charging a premium price for premium content there will be some expectations that need to be met. If the design of the book is poor, the "instant" opinion of the book will also be poor. And while the content may win them over, I would rather have them approach the content with an open mind rather than one already questioning the quality of the contents. I already won them over with my sales copy. I don't want to do it again.

In more than 25 years of marketing and DRTV, I have learned that proper packaging will also help reduce charge-backs, enhance perceived value and increase the status of, in this case, the author.

I don't need the best design ever, but a professional look and feel with some bells and whistles like an intro video and audio instructions throughout. The conent is worth more than all of this, but without the fluff the perceived value may be much less and expectations that come with paying a premium price may not be met.

So I guess, in a nutshell the design in this case is more of a pricing strategy than just esthetics.


Posted on: 11:14 pm on March 19, 2007
Storyman Hi HuskerMark,

Spot on. Frequently newbies spend more effort on flash than content. Seems that you have struck a good balance.


Posted on: 5:50 am on March 20, 2007

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