Book publishing on the iPad: BCNBase launches three versions of the same cookbook, and a work of fiction
Despite spending every day combing through the iTunes App Store, one gets a sense that there is a lot more going on there than can be perceived. Take, for instance, the case of this new publisher, BCNBase, a start-up company from Barcelona. Over the past seven weeks the company has released four apps into the App Store, a cookbook released in three different language editions, and a work of fiction by Saúl Álvarez Lara.
The Spanish version of the cookbook came first, BCN Cocina. Then an English edition, BCN Cuisine, followed a couple of days ago with the release of the French version, BCN Cuisine France.
The book is the collaboration between the three members of the company: Serge Herbiet, who is listed as the ‘seller’, and the two people credited with being the authors – Paco Gaya and Lali Domenech. Gaya studied food photography at Santa Monica College and worked in Los Angeles until 1990 when he moved back home to Barcelona. Domenech studied graphic design at the Massana School in Barcelona and has worked as a food stylist and writer, authoring several cookbooks.
All three apps are free to download and give you total access to the contents. The company’s website doesn’t give you much of a clue as to their motivation in releasing these apps, but I would guess that this is part experimentation, part promotion for their capabilities.
As for the apps themselves, the design takes advantage of both portrait and landscape modes. For the most part the content is the same in both orientations, but sometimes there is additional information to be had by switching the orientation of the iPad. (To see this properly you probably need to click on the screenshot at left to enlarge the animated GIF.)
The programming here is fairly simple, easily accomplished through any of the now standard digital publishing tools available. In this regard, this is not one of those tour-de-force apps that one might expect from a major publisher. Instead, this might be considered a dry run for bigger and more complex apps to come. We’ll see.
Note: the fourth app is called BCN Litertura 1, and is an app version of a story by Saul Alvarez Lara. As I don’t read Spanish I did not download. The app costs $1.99 in the US App Store if you want to check it out and report back.