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eBook Creation Tool In Development for Linux

Feature-rich office and productivity suite Calligra have announced plans to create a new eBook creator.

‘Calligra Author’ – the name of the new app – will ‘support a writer in the process of creating an eBook from conception to publication’.

With such a comprehensive goal in mind, the developers are aiming to pack the app full of useful, author-orientated tools. These will, Calligra say, assist authors in every part of the creative process: from synopsis, writing, reviewing and polishing, to the final act of ‘publishing.’

But that’s not where the lofty ambitions end. Support for adding interactive content elements – such as multimedia, animations, javascript scripting, etc – are also on the drawing board.

We will provide writers with the tools they feel are important…”

Developers will be working closely with real-world writers to ‘provide them with the tools they feel are important’.

“We have seen a lack of dedicated writing tools to create eBooks that at the same time support the Wysiwyg model,” Inge Wallin, one of the driving forces behind the new app, wrote on the Calligra blog.

“We will support modern enhancements of the traditional book format with dynamic contents and the interactivity that will be the foundation of textbooks of tomorrow.”

‘Coming in Late 2012′

The first version of Calligra Author will be made available in ‘late 2012′, alongside the 2.6 release of Calligra Suite.

‘eBooks Are Now Big Business’

Is this exciting news for the Linux desktop? If you’re remotely interested in reading it certainly is.

eBooks are no longer only read by geeks with wacky gizmos. They’re big business.

Sales of Kindle books have overtaken physical print copies for the first time.”

Amazon recently announced that sales of Kindle books have overtaken that of physical print copies for the first time.

And Apple managed to shift over 350,000 digital textbooks in just three days earlier this year, after launching their digital ‘iBooks’ platform.

Keen to stoke the creative and financial appetite for the interactive tomes, Apple released a free iBooks creation tool, giving writers and publishers alike the chance to create rich and immersive products.

‘Badly Needed’

But despite the populairty of eBooks across so many platforms only Apple have created and delivered a competent, non-technical eBook creator (‘iBooks Author’).

An intuitive, capable, and format-friendly eBook tool is badly needed on any platform. One only needs to have read a couple of Kindle titles to know that poor formatting blights many of the works on sale.

Sigil tries hard, but ultimately confuses the less technical writers; Scriveners eBook export is far from flawless; and the ‘Writer2ePub’ LibreOffice extension prefers producing errors than eBooks.

So is a competent media creation tool tailored to the needs of the professional needed? I’d say so.

Like Triple-A gaming titles from Valve, or an Oscar-grade video editor from Lightworks, Calligra Author, if done right, could prove important in cementing the viability of Linux as a computing platform.