Jerry Courvoisier has a genuine love for photography and for education. He teaches photographers to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in person, through books, and via online workshops. And thanks to Blurb’s enhanced ebooks, he has another way to share his Lightroom knowledge: through the iBooks app on the Apple iPad. Jerry’s ebook, Learn Lightroom, combines text and still images with audio, video, and hyperlinks. As part of our enhanced ebook launch, we talk with Jerry about ebooks, education, and the importance of rich media in telling stories.
Blurb: As an educator, what will enhanced ebooks do for you that printed books don’t?
Jerry: The ability to record video and audio, and place it in the context of an electronically delivered book, gives me the opportunity to provide a more focused and easier to understand form of instruction.
The wordy book component acts as reference material, whereas the video and audio provide immediate reinforcement with the learning process. It can be reviewed numerous times in a relaxed, no-pressure environment to acquire a comprehensive understanding of a specific technique or process.
Blurb: What does an enhanced ebook do for you and your readers that a blog or web page can not?
Jerry: Blogs and web pages can only provide short snippets and tips that need to be fed constantly to maintain traffic. The enhanced ebook provides me with the opportunity to focus on emerging trends and techniques and to provide content that is immediately relevant within the photographic disciplines.
Blurb: Can you talk about economics and distribution with ebooks?
Jerry: I’m of the opinion that specific content is available anywhere these days with a few Internet searches. But it’s a bit fragmented and you’d normally need to look at a variety of choices before you can actually find what you’re looking for. Distilling down a lot of the information is where you can waste a lot of time.
Having organized and concise content, on the other hand, provided at a reasonable price, can move you to waste less time trying to achieve the end result. When was the last time you actually received a CD or DVD and put it in your computer and tried to follow along with the instruction?
From an economic distribution point of view, my first book sat on the shelves in brick-and-mortar stores and required predominant shelf space and inventory to maintain significant sales. Fortunately, this enhanced ebook can be downloaded for one-tenth of the cost and I would expect that if the content is good, it should sell itself at a price point that achieves volume.
Blurb: We’ve focused a lot on your work as an educator, but do you have ideas on how you’ll use enhanced ebooks for your own creative or consulting work?
Jerry: What intrigues me the most is that the creative process is just not limited to those with high-end, sophisticated digital cameras and mountains of accessories. The model is completely changed now in that creativity can come from many directions and can change within seconds of capturing the moment. I think photographers, for the most part, were loners and worked hard to express and make a visual impact. I think I’m going to look to more collaborative projects. Incorporating many different ideas and ways to present visual artistry and content.
Blurb: What would be your number one tip – or guiding principal – for photographers looking to show their work in an enhanced ebook?
Jerry: First, I think the ebook provides a photographer with the ability to talk about the project, the process, the end result of what they’re trying to achieve upfront. Building an audio narrative at the beginning can provide the viewer an overview of what they’re about to see.
The storytelling component associated with the enhanced book can combine stills, audio, and video that’s appropriate to enhancing the storytelling process on a more personal level. Integrating all the components now requires using more senses to establish the new project.
Just think about this for a minute: integrating stills, interviews, background music, motion video, and the ability to combine all of these elements can completely change how you approach your projects. I think that the enhanced book has more potential and more diversity in approaching how to make a statement with your conceptual idea(s).