New Releases in the Digital Book World, 4/15/11

Every day, exciting and innovative ebook, enhanced ebook, and app releases come across the virtual news desk here at Digital Book World, and every two weeks, we’d like to take some time to celebrate a few titles that are making waves in the digital publishing space. So here’s a quick overview of newly released projects that have caught our attention:

General Fiction

TS Spivet iPad ScreenThe Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
Enhanced ebook for the iPad from Penguin

An adaptation of Reif Larsen’s graphic novel of the same name, which had included graphical marginalia in print, this ebook renders the images from the original novel into a more interactive form and includes video clips and a secret notebook.

From the description:

When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T. S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal-if you consider mapping dinner table conversations normal-is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T. S. from his family home just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum’s hallowed halls in Washington D.C. The story is accompanied by hundreds of drawings that provide readers with a glimpse of T.S.’s extraordinary mind.

Enter more deeply into the richly imagined world of T. S. Spivet with this amplified edition. T. S.’s personal journals come to life, offering the reader multiple pathways into his story. Readers can unlock a secret journal if they upload their own drawing. A select group of drawings from readers will be posted within the app for other readers to find. With opportunities for interaction on every page, navigating through the text becomes a journey much like T. S.’s own.

The Venetian iPad AppThe Venetian
Enhanced ebook for the iPad from Sage Tales

The Venetian is a “born-digital” novel from Nick Bantock, bestselling author of the Griffin & Sabine books, which pushed the envelope on innovative print projects. This richly illustrated ebook includes audio and animated enhancements with touch navigation, combining technology with the kind of aesthetic storytelling experience that Bantock is known for.

From the description:

Nick Bantock captivated millions with his New York Times bestseller Griffin & Sabine. The Venetian is his latest magical tale and the first in a series of digital books and Apps re-imagined for the iPad™. Slide you finger across the navigation bar to find a page, and explore over 50 scintillating illustrations, whimsical animations, and special audio moments as you’re immersed in an email correspondence between San Francisco art conservator, Sara Wolfe, and Renaissance merchant, Niccolo Dei Conti. Combining Bantock’s signature blend of art and storytelling, The Venetian is a compelling mix of modern technology and alchemy, culminating in a reunion over 500 years in the making.

General Nonfiction

David Roberts' Egypt by Sideways, Inc.David Robert’s Egypt
Enhanced ebook for iOS devices from Sideways

Featuring 19th-century painter David Roberts’ journey to Egypt, this enhanced ebook includes 100 digital reproductions of Roberts’ own lithographs, accompanied by narrated audio from his journal.

From the description:

In 1838-39 Scottish painter David Roberts sailed up and down the Nile sketching the sights and recording his travels in a journal. He was one of the earliest modern Europeans to explore the region. In 1850 his paintings were printed as lithographs by Louis Haghe and sold as a three volume set to an enthusiastic audience. They represented the penultimate expression of hand-colored tint stone lithography and became best sellers. 1839 was also the year that daguerreotype photography was invented. Within a decade photography would replace lithography as the primary visual story telling medium.

History 3D Civil War ScreenHistory 3D: Civil War
Enhanced ebook for the iPad from IggyCo, Inc.

Taking prints from the Library of Congress and rendering them into 3D, History 3D: Civil War was launched to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. According to the developers, proceeds from the app will be donated back to the Library.

From the description:

H3D is a time machine, right in your hands. For the first time ever on the iPad, you will see two dozen 3D photos taken during the Civil War, using cameras with two or four lenses, by legends such as Mathew Brady. Most of them are taken from the original negatives, rather than scanned prints.

H3D converts these images into stunning anaglyph (red/cyan) pictures. Even if you’ve seen these iconic images before, stepping virtually into the 3D world of the 19th century is an experience like never before. All you need is a pair of those oh-so-chic 3D glasses.


MeeGenius iPad ScreenshotMeeGenius! Children’s Books
Enhanced ebooks for the web, iOS devices, Google TV, and the Google Chrome Web Store from MeeGenius!

Not a single title, but a combination of free and paid children’s stories with enhancements, including a read-aloud function and text highlighting. Compelling for the many platforms the MeeGenius! store supports, especially with its browser-based offerings.

From an article by ReadWriteWeb:

Despite the increasing popularity of e-books, children’s literature – particularly picture books – has been slower to go digital. There are a number of obstacles in the way, most obviously the emphasis on colorful illustrations alongside the words. As many e-readers have black-and-white screens and as many formats focus primarily on digitizing the text, you’re unlikely to find a great selection of children’s e-lit in e-bookstores (although that is changing).

It’s more common, perhaps, to see children’s literature as apps, rather than e-books. Apps are full-color. They offer interactivity, with games and narration.

This is just a taste of some of the great things being created out there in the digital book world, but we’re sure there’s more. What did we miss? What are your must-see ebooks, enhanced ebooks, and apps? Tell us in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “New Releases in the Digital Book World, 4/15/11

  1. Rick Gordon

    I would like to recommend Marathon: You Can Do It! by Jeff Galloway, published by Shelter Publications, as an example of an design-intensive, EPUB-formatted, iBooks-focused example (also available as a Kindle edition), particularly, as Digital Book World seems to find much more space to feature app-based examples.

    This book was glowingly reviewed by Joel Friiedlander at .

    TO THE REVIEWER: If you email me at my registered address, I can provide you with a complimentary review copy. -Rick Gordon

  2. Yvette Chin Post author

    Yes, I realized the imbalance quickly, but it was rather too late. Tweaking alerts to be more inclusive for the next one.

    Thanks for the recommend. So many books, so little time!

    1. Lauren Sapira

      Hi Yvette, Is there a way to submit titles to you for consideration for future posts in this area? We (McGraw Hill Professional) recently released some interesting enhanced ebooks in the business and education non-fiction categories.


      1. Yvette Chin Post author

        For any kind of feedback, tips, news items, etc., I’m always available at yvette [dot] chin [at] fwmedia [dot] com.



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