29 Jun, 2011 | Posted by: st

Choosing the right publisher . . .

The Evolving “Engine”

Running Your App or Ebook

By Lee Foster

Some basic concepts about publishing your content as apps or ebooks are different from publishing in traditional printed books.

Understanding these concepts can be vital for many reasons, including your decision about which publishing partner you choose.

One such concept is that the publishing form will evolve. Not only will your content evolve, which is something you control, but your publishing partner’s “engine” running your content will evolve. Therefore, it is important to choose a partner whose software is on a promising trajectory.

For example, my three travel photo guide apps in the Apple iTunes App store with Sutro Media have just been re-released in an updated form. If you already own the apps, you will get automatic and free updates. The apps are San Francisco Travel Photo Guide, Washington DC Travel Photo Guide, and Berkeley Essential Guide.

The new releases have new content, which is my contribution. But the new releases also have a couple of major software advances from Sutro Media, my partners with the “engine” running my app content.

Now, for example, a user can view the app in both a vertical and a horizontal mode on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Think of the pleasure of seeing horizontal photos as horizontal. They are now bigger.


A user can also now see offline or online the maps useful in locating photo locations and travel sites. Formerly, the maps were only viewable online. This is a huge matter in Europe, where the user can now see the maps without requiring any connectivity. The maps reside in the software on the device. This greatly reduces any data access costs a user might incur.

Sutro Media is also working hard to develop a “web based” version of their software to run my app. This would make the app accessible beyond the Apple iTunes App Store. This “engine” change could potentially open up further markets for my apps.

Sutro Media appears to be constantly evolving, on the cutting edge of content presentation. They need to be on the cutting edge to survive. I need them to be there to be successful.

Suppose I had chosen another publishing partner whose software looked good at the time of the original publishing decision, but whose software was not evolving further. I might be stuck with a software “engine” that became progressively irrelevant, compared to the competition.

This was not the situation in earlier print book publishing. When the book dimensions and layout were decided on, and the printing occurred, you knew the final results. Those results would last forever. There might be a need or desire to update the “content” as time went forward, but the publishing vehicle itself was fixed and not variable. Successive future printing would be “re-prints.”
This is not so with apps and ebooks. Future “re-prints” hopefully will have new and added functionality in the “engine” running your content, possibly opening up new markets.

Lee Foster

Foster Travel Publishing
PO Box 5715
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-2202

Travel writing/photos on 200 destinations for consumers and content buyers at http://www.fostertravel.com
5,000 hi-res photos searchable and downloadable at http://stockphotos.fostertravel.com
Two new photo travel guidebooks at http://www.fostertravel.com/book.html
Latest thoughts on travel at http://blog.fostertravel.com
Travel photo guide app on San Francisco at http://www.sutromedia.com/apps/sfphotoguide
Travel photo guide app on Washington DC at http://sutromedia.com/apps/DC_Travel_Photo_Guide
Travel guide app on Berkeley, CA at http://sutromedia.com/apps/Berkeley_Essential_Guide


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