Why YUDU for your digital textbooks?
Demand for digital textbooks has never been higher and our platform offers you a simple, fast, and affordable way to publish and deliver digital textbooks and eBooks, with all the functionality teachers and students want from a cutting-edge platform.
Read on to discover a selection of features available when you publish your digital textbooks with YUDU!
With YUDU, there are no adverts and no rival publishers to be seen. You have full control of the published content and this includes control of the branding, with the option to customise the loading icon, overlay colours, toolbar logo (which you can link to your website), background colours (you can even add a background image) and toolbar icons and colour scheme, ensuring that you always stay on brand. Everything is fully customisable, including the text prompts, which can even be translated into a different language for non-English content.
Top Tip: For that authentic printed textbook look, enable the page turn animation and centre shadow. You can even add a page turn sound effect.
Images: (Above) Example of a custom branded application
Start your textbook with an Intro Page to the left of the cover. This is a prime location and can be used for a number of different purposes, such as navigation and help instructions.
Top Tip: You can fully leverage this page by making it interactive. You could enhance it with multimedia elements, such as video and audio, or interactive elements, such as a survey.
Students have multiple options when navigating your digital textbooks. They can turn the page with a swipe, click or tap of their keypad. Alternatively, they can launch the page carousel and jump straight to a chapter of their choice...
Images: (Above) The page carousel - click or tap a page to jump to it
To make navigating textbooks as easy as possible, make sure you add a table of contents menu - this menu is especially powerful since it can be accessed from anywhere within your textbook.
Image: (Above) The table of contents menu - select an item from the dropdown to jump to that section of the textbook.
If students are looking for something in particular, then what better way to simply search for it? When you upload your textbook to Publisher, its plain text is stripped out and stored, making your entire publication searchable using the inbuilt search tool.
Top Tip: If you're publishing multiple textbooks, you may want to think about leveraging our archive search tool to allow students to search across their entire collection of textbooks.
The sharing feature may not seem like an obvious choice for a textbook but, even if you disable the social media sharing options, you might find the share by email option useful. Teachers might want to share links to specific chapters or pages, and students might want to flag a particular topic with their teachers.
Top Tip: Don't forget to customise the sharing email's subject line and message template in your textbook's settings on Publisher.
Image: (Right) The sharing options from the toolbar menu. These can be individually enabled/disabled in the Sharing options on YUDU Publisher.
If you want to fully leverage the benefits of digital, you can't ignore the power of multimedia. Why not add videos and audio to your digital textbook to help engage students and explain topics in ways not possible with traditional print?
Audio files are especially useful for language textbooks.
Top Tip: You have multiple options when adding video or audio. You can embed on the page, trigger content to appear within lightbox pop-ups or stream in content from an external website like YouTube or Vimeo.
Alongside multimedia content like video and audio, you might choose to include animations or interactive elements within your digital textbooks - text boxes, infographics, interactive exercises and quizzes. This is possible using elements created in html, either by yourself or sourced elsewhere.
HTML can be added to your textbooks by either uploading and embedding the html assets or streaming them in via URL. Again, you have the option to add such content in HTML Lightboxes or as on-page HTML.
Top Tip: There are numerous tools and services available these days for creating html content, such as Adobe Animate, or third-party platforms like Typeform or Articulate. Digital agencies and contractors can also produce bespoke html content on your behalf that can be included in our digital textbooks.
Image: (Above) Screenshot of an interactive quiz embedded within a HTML Lightbox.
Our app solution is especially popular with our educational clients. Although publishing to Web Browser and distributing a live link (or embedding on your website) is still a great way to disseminate access to your digital textbooks, our Apple, Android and Windows app solutions are an excellent way to create an easy-to-access portal for students and teachers; all they have to do is login once and they see all the publications that are available to them, based on their purchase history. You can even create categories for your content; whether by academic level, such as primary or secondary, or subject matter, it's completely up to you.
Image: (Above) YUDU apps are available for iPad, iPhone, Android tablets, Android mobiles and Windows device.
Top Tip: The app is the perfect way to create a hub of information for students and teachers, with the added benefit of establishing your brand across as many platforms as possible. Pull in dynamic feeds; promote certain books; send out custom push notifications. There are lots of reasons to consider investing in your own custom-branded application. Unlike Web only content, our apps also provide offline access.
When we talk about "subscribers" here at YUDU, we're actually talking about anyone that needs to login to access your content. In the case of textbooks, that's usually teachers and students. While other digital publishing platforms handle "subscriber" information for you, and usually take a cut of the revenue as a result, we believe our publishers should keep full control of both. This is why we've developed a sophisticated subscription management system for handling "subscriber" data and publication access. This might look daunting at first but a little extra work can go a long way to maintaining your long-term independence, and our team are at hand to guide you through the set up process.
This powerful system will allow you to manage access to your publications, down to the individual user level; determining how many devices they can login from, which textbooks they can access, the resetting of passwords, and so on.
Top Tip: You have multiple options for adding subscribers - individual subscriber management, bulk csv uploads and API integrations, whether with third-party subscription houses or using YUDU's very own API. You can choose the method that suits you best but be sure to speak to your account manager for guidance.
Redemption Code Platform
If you have an existing redemption code system, then you can leverage our YUDU API to grant access to textbooks by passing over the appropriate textbook permissions to YUDU Publisher at the point of redemption. However, if you don't have a redemption code system in place, then you might want to consider adopting YUDU's own redemption code platform.
Image: (Above) Redemption Code Platform login screen – the logo can be white-labeled
This is a separate platform that we can set up to integrate with your YUDU Publisher account. Unlike our subscription management system, this keeps student data private and hidden from publishers, but it allows you to set up mid-level admins, such schools, colleges and universities, and empower them with the ability to manage their own student data.
For more information, please speak to your account manager.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
Another powerful addition to YUDU's suite of features, and especially useful in the context of textbooks, are our UGC tools - Bookmarks, Notes and Highlights.
UGC refers to elements that can be added to digital textbooks by the end user - in this case, students and teachers. Please note, UGC content is only visible to the user that has added it and no one else.
Moreover, these elements can be synced to a user's login; allowing them to see their UGC content on whichever device or platform they log into.
Let's look at each type of UGC content in turn...
When reading a digital textbook, a student or teacher can tap or click the star icon to bookmark a page.
Top Tip: Bookmarked pages can be located quickly by opening the thumbnail viewer and selecting the "Bookmarks" tab (see below), allowing readers to quickly and easily return to a specific page or chapter.
Image: (Above) The thumbnail viewer with tabs for "Pages", "Bookmarks", "Highlights" and "Notes"
Another useful tool for students and teachers, is the Notes or Annotations tool. This allows readers to add annotations directly within their textbooks and other resources.
Image: (Above) Adding a Note to a page
Top Tip: If you have added a series of notes throughout a publication, then you are able to cycle through these notes quickly using the tab on the thumbnail viewer or by choosing the "Browse" option when selecting an existing Note.
Image: (Above) The "Browse" option on an existing note that lets you view all your Notes in the current publication
Finally, we have the highlighting tool, which allows the reader to select from a number of options that can be used to mark sections of text or make notes directly within the digital publication.
Images: (Above) The Highlighting tool colour, tip and opacity options and (Below) an example of text highlighted with a yellow marker
Top Tip: Don't forget to enable the logout button for your Web browser textbooks. This is especially useful if students are sharing a single machine, such as a computer terminal in a college or school; it ensures they can logout after their session has finished and prevent any unwanted UGC elements being added to their account. Contact our support team for assistance.
Projector Mode (Windows App only)
A new feature, only for Windows apps. When a projector is connected to the Windows computer, this mode allows a teacher to mirror only the contents of the primary app window, so that any actions taken within a textbook, for instance, will be shown on the projector’s screen. Meanwhile, other windows or the notes feature (see below), which would also open in a separate window, will not be mirrored from the monitor to the screen.
Minimum requirements: Windows 10, version 1803 or later.
Teacher Notes (Windows App only)
A new feature, only for Windows apps. This feature allows education publishers to create and provide optional Teacher notes via YUDU Publisher for a ‘teacher edition’ (a copy of a student textbook), using HTML.
Please note: this is entirely separate to UGC notes created by the teacher. UGC notes are part of the digital textbook, so anything in the textbook will be mirrored to the screen when using Projector Mode, including anything the teacher creates in the textbook.
Image: (Above) The Teacher Notes panel alongside an example digital edition.
When a 'teacher edition' is opened by the Windows app, if that digital textbook contains Teacher Notes, it will also launch a separate window that will present the Teacher Note for that page, or in the absence of a Teacher Note for that page, it will display a placeholder message such as ‘No notes available for this page’.
As a teacher turns the page of the digital textbook (and perhaps has them mirrored to a projector), the separate Teacher Notes window will change content to display the speaker notes for that page (or 2 pages worth, if the digital textbook is in 2-up mode). The teacher can rearrange the notes and primary window on their screen as they prefer - note that changes to the primary window would be reflected on a projector version too, but the Teacher Notes window is not mirrored.
You may already be aware of government guidelines regarding accessibility in relation to official websites and digital documents, while the Marrakesh Treaty means that a broader range of digital publishers also need to think about how they can offer accessible versions of their content too. At the end of the day, Accessibility is all about our responsibility to our readers and ensuring content is available to the largest possible audience.
At YUDU, we've been working hard to ensure our content is mobile-friendly for many years. This began when we launched our mobile apps and advanced dramatically with PhoneView (Reflowable Mode) but continues today as we work hard to ensure our platform adheres to WCAG guidelines in light of the upcoming deadline for the Marrakesh Treaty in 2025.
Image: (Above) Re-sized text using toolbar icons from smaller to larger (L-R) in Reflowable (PhoneView) Mode.
Reflowable Mode (also known as PhoneView) is a responsive HTML-based format that improves the readability of your textbooks on smaller screen sizes and can be leveraged to achieve levels of Accessibility in your publications that aren't possible with the standard, fixed-layout format. This is possible because the html-based format allows for the incorporation of ALT-Text, Image Descriptions, screen reading, ARIA tagging and so on, as you seek to meet WCAG standards.
Reflowable Mode can handle multimedia elements such as video and audio, while larger images and graphs can be viewed in pop-out lightboxes to make for easy viewing.
If you would like to convert your digital textbooks to Reflowable Mode for a superior reading experience on mobile devices or if you would like to make your content more Accessible and have questions about Accessibility and WCAG requirements, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Top Tip: We also have reporting available specifically for this format, so you can see how many users are reading in this mode vs the standard layout.
You've enhanced your textbooks with multimedia content and interactive overlays, launched an app on iOS, Android and Windows, and finally published live. Sooner or later, you're ready to check your textbooks' engagement levels...
YUDU gives you the tools to get all the information that you need - whether that's via our inbuilt YUDU Reporting, with its wide range of reports, including total and unique visits, or by integrating with Google Analytics. You can choose whichever option suits you best.
Thank you for reading, we really hope you found this information useful and we look forward to working with you as we have done with so many educational publishers over the years.
- YUDU Team