Inkling Unveils E-Book Creation Software for ‘Professional’ Use

By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

E-textbook creator and seller Inkling has launched a new e-book creation tool for “professional” users that has the potential to impact the digital workflows at major publishing houses.

“With Habitat, we’re going to be introducing a method for the industry to scale and build born-digital content,” said Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis.

Dubbed Habitat, Inkling’s new e-book creation software creates cross-platform content using cloud-based technology that offers to users the ability to revisit any point in a project and to readers automatically updated e-books.

Translation: Habitat creates files for multiple e-readers and can be worked on simultaneously by teams around the globe. Those teams can revisit any saved point in the project if mistakes were made and had to be fixed. If one of those teams makes a change in a book, fixing an error, for instance, that update can be pushed remotely to readers who have purchased the book.

Inkling has been using the software for its own projects with partners like Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wiley and Elsevier. The company has so far produced 115 works using the software. E-book production houses Aptara and Innodata have both signed on to use the tool. All told, hundreds of e-book production specialists have been using Habitat for the past year.

The company has inked deals with several of the big-six publishing houses for e-book production with the tool, according to MacInnis.

Use of Habitat is free, but Inkling charges a percentage of the sale price of the book, around 30% but it varies by the book, according to MacInnis. According to reporting at paidContent, the royalty is only charged for books sold at the Inkling store. The books are sold through Inkling and as applications through the iTunes store.

Habitat produces XML and HTML 5 code “that can be taken anywhere easily,” said MacInnis. Inkling is launching a new Web-based e-reading platform to support the works produced with Habitat.

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