User-friendly tools for authors to build rich-media publications?

User-friendly tools for authors to build rich-media publications?

Does anyone know a way for authors (bloggers, content marketers, even magazine editors) to build rich-media digital publications without programming expertise?

Is there any tool that does cool digital publications like what WordPress does for me as a blogging marketing consultant?  I have no knowkedge of CSS, nor HTML5 and Javascript. Online reputation and awareneness are everything in my job. I find ebooks hard to read, especially the media rich ones. And I need infografics, interactive items (such as maps). Everybody does the free ebook stuff today. Ebooks are offline and disconnected from the social web. No social interaction with readers. No facebook likes.

I know I can go with a 3rd party building an app for me but I don’t have that budget.  And I can’t just committ to new app to be developed everytime I want to create my (wannabe super-cool) digital publications.

Besides, I hate to be “prisoner” of formats or app builders, and  I hate the fees I would owe the app stores like Apple & Android.

Am I asking too  much?
Does anobody share the same need?


2 thoughts on “User-friendly tools for authors to build rich-media publications?

  1. Huge question. The short answer is probably: “no”. The only non-proprietary format available on the digital publishing arena is ePub3. Even if you are not interested in ePub, you know that ePub3 means (X)HTML(5) with some packaging rules & metadata.
    HTML5 authoring is potentially huge (the Web!), it really depends on what you are expecting as output, source control, responsiveness..
    So the answer could span from “an HTML authoring tool with an ePub3 post-processor” (from – e.g. – Dreamweaver or something simpler + Calibre to a more dedicated solution like the brand new BlueGriffon Editor to a “DTP tool (like InDesign) with a bunch of plugins” (Aquafadas plugins seems interesting in this perspective, for example).
    Moreover, the need of content adaptivity (different screen sizes etc) – and in turn the consequent need to manage separately presentation and content would probably bring to the scene structured authoring system&tools (e.g. I love the Infogrid Pacific approach Take a look to Inkling, they should sooner or later make available their authoring system, called Habitat. Promising, And, since you are a WordPress guy (i love it too!) check out also, simpler but smart.

    But..what do you exactly mean when you say that ebooks are “hard to read” for you? Where (on which device)? When?

    • Thanks Franco. Regarding “hard to read ebooks”: In my experience ebooks are perfect for text-centered book with some images, maybe some links. You can read them just like you can read them in paper. Whenever they include graphics or other content that require zooiming and panning, the experience is over. The ebook becomes an obstacle to the reader. What’s your take on this? It needs to be a different thing, but this is another topic. The interesting thing is that today everybody is pushing free ebooks or adding them to their existing offering at no additional cost. They are easy and cheap for publishers, and readers are used to that.


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