September 24, 2015
What I love the most of all about technology is that amateur or professional writers can choose from a variety of platforms and tools to publish their own digital books. BookPress joins this agglomerated market and provides tools to help writers create and publish books, both online and in print. Of course, it has its limits.
BookPress by Bookemon is an app developed for creating digital books. As such, it gives you access to some basic editing tools and helps you through the creation process. This presumes that you already have the book written. If not, it’s no problem: You can't import the text into the pages anyway, either on the iPad app nor on the Web (you can also create books in the Web version).
Packed into a slightly skeuomorphic interface, BookPress gives you the option to choose from different templates, which I find very useful, since you don't have to start the book design from scratch. You can do that if you want by choosing the blank template.
Note that you cannot import MS Word or Pages documents, so you either type the text into the text field, or copy and paste the desired paragraphs. You can simply add an image (unfortunately, I wasn't able to add – for unspecified reasons – any of my images taken with the iPad, but I could use the clip art library that comes with this app). Although I kind of miss the feature of adding custom images, you can add custom shapes and use colors if you like.
The editing and book design process should be (sort of) effortless on the iPad, particularly if you have your concept ready. When you're done, you can publish the book and start sharing it. Now comes the tricky part: BookPress locks the book into its own platform so your friends and family can choose to either download it to their iPad/iPhone, or read it online.
On the downside, BookPress is somewhat reminiscent of the skeuomorphic era of iOS, which, in the context of redesigned apps that focus on a clean interface, looks dated. Also, I wasn't quite happy that the app couldn't handle my custom images, and this is something the developers should address. On the other hand, it has all the basic tools to enable an effortless creation process for amateur writers. Download BookPress for iPad, the free book creator, from the App Store.
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