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  1. There is lots of room for innovation when you un-tether your concept of a book as a singular thing, and mentally re-boot it as, for example, a Classroom, Game, Theater, Amusement Park Ride or Art Installation.
  2. The raw ingredients that go into creating such eBooks can themselves be product-ized into an orchestrated framework, so as to accelerate the process of rolling new book concepts into the market, and iterating same within the market.
  3. Using Corona SDK for building eBooks works exceedingly well, and there are all sorts of lifecycle benefits of embracing it as a foundational platform for eBook creation.


Building a Foundation for Success

First off, let me acknowledge a bias. I am a platform guy, which is to say that in building products, one of my questions is always, “Where is the leverage, how can we re-use this, and does it facilitate derivative offerings that are still custom products?”

As such, when we began building apps for Apple’s iOS (we now have 17 apps, 8 of which are built using Corona SDK), we asked ourselves the above questions.

First off, we chose Corona because it was clear to us that we’d get new component functions out more rapidly than via Cocoa Touch or Cocos2d, both of which we use on other products.  Second, we liked the hands-on support vibe we felt from Ansca, which is integral when evaluating platform providers.

Lastly, we knew that there would come a day when Android made sense for us from a development target perspective, and our thesis there was that Corona makes supporting Android closer to a recompile option than a re-architecting effort.

An upside surprise in this decision is that we found that supporting all of the iOS device variants (think: iPod touch, iPad, iPhone across N-generations) was a lot more seamless for us than was the case with, for example, Cocos2d.

Meanwhile, on the eBook front we quickly came to the realization that if we were going to build multiple books in a leveraged fashion, we needed a palette for doing so, which led us to create our own meta-framework that rides on top of Corona.

What does this framework do? Simply put, it consists of a parser to read an array of data that can be instanced with different flags and graphic data points, such that the parser reads the data set and automatically compiles it into a book.

Specifically, each element in the data set can be given an animation or interaction type, such that we can easily implement and customize unique book recipes that include:

  • Pulsing elements
  • Moving elements
  • Blinking eye functions
  • Spinning elements
  • Clock elements
  • Floating effects
  • Multi-Layered, psychedelic-style effects
  • Vibrating elements
  • Spinning coins
  • Rotating elements
  • N-frame animations
  • Burning effects
  • Spotlight methods
  • Fades
  • Push elements
  • Scaling effects
  • Sequencing effects

Given the range of procedural, input-output methods that can be applied to such a model, and how media types can be both graphical and audio-based, we have found the approach to be quite powerful and straightforward at the same time.

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3 Responses to “Guest Post: Corona SDK and eBooks, a match made in app heaven!”

  1. Chris

    Hi. Very interesting. I am trying to build a type of PDF reader with Corona that fetches about 10 pdf documents from a server with about 40 pages. Do you think that would be straight forward?



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