We talked to Corrado Bonora author of "Aldo Manuzio, Questione di carattere", an interactive photographic ebook created with PubCoder celebrating the genius of humanist Aldo Manuzio, the father of modern publishing. The ebook is an excellent example of interactive digital non-fiction book. The ebook is available on iBooks Store, free of charge.
Tell us who you are and how did you go about the project.
I am an experienced photographer who focussed and worked over the years on Italian culture for foreign press stories. The project Aldo Manuzio, humanist and father of modern publishing, began about three years ago starting from some photographic reports made for important Italian libraries. This publication was produced on the occasion of celebrations of the fifth centenary of Manuzio’s death and was made possible by the generosity of institutions and publishing houses who granted rights of publication of interesting texts and precious iconographic artifacts.
"Aldo Manuzio, questione di carattere” is an illustrated ebook with about 80,000 characters, all to read. The publication was made possible thanks to Angelica Library in Rome, the Museum of Bassiano Scriptures, the birthplace of Manuzio, the music, Harmonia Mundi Adelphi, Garzanti, Giulio Einaudi Editore, Il Veltro editore and publisher Edizioni Il Polifilo.
What inspired you to create a digital illustrated book on Aldo Manuzio.
I wanted to make a digital aldine edition. Aldine is the name that is commonly given to a book by our publishers. So this should have been the format, a vertical, paperback book, clear and legible as well as beautiful, drawing on humanist principles with the aim of reaching as many readers as possible by inviting them to read more. The publication is free and every text refers to print edition. This is the only format available on the market of the proposed book.
What was the feedback from the readers? Do you think the market is ready for interactive digital books that are not only the transposition of the paper on the digital?
I am not an expert but in my opinion interactive books offer more opportunities for authors and publishers to create beautiful books. It is not only an aesthetic characteristic, thanks to the ability to insert audio, video and animations which make them more appealing than those on paper, but I believe that books generally do well to other books, whatever format they have. I see the behavior of my young daughter who when she is reading, she is shifting naturally from one format to another. If there is a conflict, it is just an economic one, the substance does not change.
PubCoder is a widely known software for the creation of children's books, what prompted you to use it to create an interactive ebook for adults?
I must say that PubCoder won me before using it. I immediately liked the idea of being able to insert my own code in it, the affordable price, and the support in a language I know. I enjoyed the interface, maybe a little childish and basic but I would say "detoxifying" after long and lonely months of using Adobe. And all this without detracting from the project and its complexity. For the rest I cannot give advice. I simply recommend to use PubCoder because it does what it promises: "Publish in all digital formats for tablets, smartphones and the web. Without writing a single line of code. ".