iBooks Author comes with its own set of widgets you can embed inside your book. But, to make your book even better check out third party widget creators! They will take your book from good to great! Some third party widget builders are free, some cost a small fee, and some are free for a short time before charging you. If you are going to be writing a lot of books, I say go for the paid version. My three favorite widget creators online are www.bookwidgets.com, www.bookry.com, and Tumult Hype. At these sites you can create online quizzes, embed webpages, create word puzzles, interactive images, games and more.
Here is how bookry.com and bookwidgets.com works:
- Create an account at bookry.com or bookwidgets.com.
- Search through widgets and select one you like.
- Add your own content into the widget.
- Download said widget.
- Drag and drop it from downloads to your book page.
It is that simple. The user will see the interactive widget when they go through your book. Remember, you can preview your book either on your iPad or your Mac to see how your new widget looks in real time. Keep in mind devices must be connected to the internet to be fully functional.
Tumult Hype is an HTLM5 animation creation tool. It is a separate software package that you can download for a cost. Educators do get a discount. This program is useful if you want to create your own interactive content. Let’s say you have a graphic, like a flow chart or a diagram and you want it to become interactive. Hype can do that for you. You import your graphic and add content layered on top to create the interactivity. Next you export it out as an iBooks Author widget and drop it on your page.
Like any piece of software, Hype takes time to learn. Tumult has an extensive YouTube channel full of easy to follow tutorials. Remember, widgets need to serve a purpose. Refrain from spending hours creating amazing graphics if they don’t support student learning and outcomes. This is a graphic that I created in Hype. I used basic shapes, changed opacity, added text boxes and created an interactive path. Because Hype can export files as a videos you could create your intro media as well. These are just two useful ways to utilize Tumult’s Hype 3 program.