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February 12, 2013

Inkling Habitat Helping E-Book Publishers

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

E-book publishing has made rapid gains in the last several years, as new devices specifically geared toward the presentation of this new form of literature emerge and new writers emerge to take advantage of this new and profoundly accessible new form of publishing. Inkling has stepped in to offer a little help for authors looking to publish under this new system, by way of its Inkling Habitat digital publishing kit, which got its first showing at an event in New York just last night.

The Inkling Habitat kit is free, but seems somewhat more geared toward full-on publishing houses, especially those houses that deal in educational materials. But the Habitat system, based on the early looks at the event last night, is sufficiently powerful to take on many of the biggest names in the system, including Apple's (News - Alert) iBooks Author and even Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite. Inkling's focus previously was on textbooks, but with Inkling Habitat, it looks like the company is looking to branch out.

While books created on Inkling Habitat can be sold through Inkling's current app structure, the producer of Inkling Habitat won't be limited to the app. Any platform that can sell EPUB books will do the job, and titles built in Inkling Habitat will even have access to Creative Commons licensing so that the intellectual property that went into the construction of the books can be built on from there. That's a big deal when it comes to making education materials, and explains why it's here.

Writing a book is great, but if no one reads it, that doesn't exactly bode well for the creation of more. That's why Inkling has even brought out a discovery system by which books developed with Habitat are increasingly SEO-friendly, and are thus more likely to show up in a search result. With the new content discovery system, users might launch a Google (News - Alert) search around a particular question or topic, and if part of the book answers that question or relates to the topic, a preview of that page would show up. From there, the user could decide whether or not to buy the entire book itself.

Several prominent figures have already found success with Inkling, including Lonely Planet, DK Publishing, HarperCollins, and even tour master Rick Steves.

While this may not be a good choice for the budding novelist, it's certainly going to prove a good possibility for those working on educational materials or planning to target schools. It's hard to ignore the overall growth of the e-book market--many still remember the surprise success of "The Mill River Recluse" when it went to an e-book format--and the growth of the number of writers eager to try and land a slice of publishing glory for themselves and their work.

Those tools designed to improve a writer's chances will likely be well-received, and tools like Inkling Habitat may well boil down into the consumer market for other kinds of books. Look for more expansion along these lines to follow in rapid fashion.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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