In conjunction with the launch of our enhanced ebooks for the iPad, we’re bringing you interviews with authors who’ve made them. Aruna Khanzada is a photographer, book designer, and a curry master. She created a ebook of her cookbook Curry Base, adding instructional videos to what was already a beautifully enticing book on the art of making curry. We interviewed the lovely Aruna Khanzada about what Blurb’s rich media enhancements mean for her and her cookbooks.
Blurb: What did the enhanced ebook allow you to do that the printed book did not?
Aruna: It allowed me to personalize the book more than I could have dreamed possible! Particularly when writing recipes, it can be very difficult and time consuming keep the text concise in order for it to fit one page and I have often spent hours juggling words and images to achieve this. The phrase: “watch the video below” is going to be featured a great deal in the future so that I can include in that what I would otherwise have had to omit for want of space!
Blurb:How do enhanced ebooks change the economics for sellers?
Aruna: I have no doubt the enhanced ebooks are going to boost the sellers’ economy! In this age of fast-growing technology and electronic gadgetry, there is a large market that isn’t interested in the written page, that expects immediate access, that demands video instruction on the spot and the enhanced media ebook fulfills those demands. The ability to sell your work, adding whatever profit margin you want through the Blurb Bookstore, as well as the iBookstore, will definitely benefit sellers. There are still those who love the written page and are willing to wait for the arrival of their book, and that market will always be there. For those who don’t want to pay that extra for the printing and postage, the cost effectiveness of the ebook means more people will be willing to buy.
Blurb: Tell us about your previous book making experience.
Aruna: I found Blurb.com in 2006 by word of mouth and it was literally life changing! I started with my own family photos and when I exhausted my own stock, began seeking out other people’s treasures and before I knew it, it became a business. In less than a year I had helped art students, a jeweller, a photographer, and a chef make portfolios, catalogues, and recipe books. Every book I put together was a step on the ladder of experience for me. Book designing unleashed a passion for art, poetry, writing and cooking too!
Blurb: Any tips for photographing and taking video of food preperation?
Aruna: The ability to take videos and make audio recordings on the iPad, mobile phones, and cameras immediately, anywhere, anytime, gives you free range to express yourself as casually or formally as you want. My approach to making books has always been to keep them informal and “real” and I prefer to create videos that follow that vein, especially in the context of cookery, giving the feel of being in the kitchen with a friend. The added advantage of this is there is little need to rehearse and do many takes to create the clip! Similarly, with photography, I only ever use natural light. I find daylight through the window softens the look of the dishes. Take advantage of your own possessions – crockery, glass, sculptures, plants, fabrics – anything – to add more dimension; you don’t need expensive studio equipment, just imagination!
Blurb: Has creating an enhanced ebook made you think differently about making books in the future?
Aruna: Absolutely! I am really thrilled about this new dimension, what I see as another layer of creativity to further express myself in the future! The fact that I can enhance books I have already made without having to start from scratch is brilliant. It means I can add new life to an already vast archive!