两周之前互动中国收到theFWA founder Rob Ford邮寄过来的5本《The App &Mobile Case Study Book》，相信关注我们的读者都在微博上看到我们晒的照片了。经过一周的传阅之后，编辑部的一致结论是——这是一本就算你每一页只看标题当字典用都值回票价(238.5RMB on Amazon)的工具书。不过对于非从业人员或移动应用爱好者来说，花200大元请这样一本工具图书回家是否值得，见仁见智。
以下是互动中国对《The App &Mobile Case Study Book》的测评，简单介绍了该书的内容与制作过程，同时也向Rob咨询了不少独立出版的经验，意欲管中窥豹，对国内相关领域出版者（乃至所有在个人项目上倾注心血的人）有所助益，希望有志于此的读者不要错过。
除了图片以外，《The App &Mobile Case Study Book》的每一个案例都统一解构为The Brief, The Challenge, The Solution, The Results四部分，从四个维度解析该应用的成功之道。本篇测评也将以该方法介绍这本书。
《The App &Mobile Case Study Book》全书结构简单脉络清晰，将目前市面上成功的移动类应用分为六大类别：
每个类别各选取了16个当下最成功的移动案例，全书一共80个。另外每个类别各由相应领域的业界大佬撰写介绍，其中不乏Chillingo（某知名射鸟打猪游戏的发行公司，现被召入EA麾下）和Adobe的高层献言，更有Mobilium international的CEO Ralph Simon（移动娱乐业大腕）与前奥美北美首席数字创意官Lars Bastholm（关于这位的言论点这里）为其撰写前言与结语，可谓是星光熠熠。
同样，《The App &Mobile Case Study Book》的装帧也是可圈可点，以独立出版而言纸张、印刷与装订质量不错，由KentLyons设计的页边索引凸显工具书特性的同时也大大方便了查阅。不过装帧并非我们的专长与重点，在此点过不提。
在之前互动中国对Rob和theFWA的专访中我们了解了theFWA Mobile自2010年9月开始实施，《The App &Mobile Case Study Book》从单纯的想法到成书出版历时一整年，其内容的滞后性与Mobile行业的高速迭代严重矛盾——既然整天都在讨论Mobile，那为何要出一本老套的实体书？同时作为一直以来走Solo路线的Rob来说在运营FWA的同时出版这么厚一本书，找钱找内容找人脉也是很大的问题。
首先Taschen——这套系列书的出版方，似乎在艺术/创意书籍领域巨牛逼，Helmut Newton的那本著名的《SUMO》也是其出品——出版的书籍除了传统属性之外更是一种充满设计的艺术品，就是摆架子上看也很美观，送人当礼物也挺有面子（编者：吐槽一句，其实光从这句话来说传统图书业在出版者自己眼里都式微成什么样了，内容好看不顶用，面皮才是王道。）另外该书的电子版（基于哪些平台不得而知）也在议事日程之上，并且照Rob所言成品“will hopefully be very interactive as well with new types of content taking them to another level.”，思路很清晰。
Complementary Interview with Rob Ford For The Review:
DM: Who is Taschen, does it play only the publisher’s role or more than it?
Rob: TASCHEN is a publisher of amazing books, created by Benedikt Taschen in 1980. TASCHEN publishes books of high quality design and content in art, architecture, design, photography, lifestyle and classics. They also set the world record for the most expensive book published in the 20th century when the first of many oversized limited editions, Helmut Newton’s SUMO copy #1, signed by over 80 celebrities featured in it, fetched over $320,000 at auction. They have subsidiaries in 8 countries and over 10 bookstores throughout the world. Their books can be found in all good bookstores and online.
DM: The book’s decoration design is beautiful, who does it and do you have any comments on them?
Rob: The book’s design was by KentLyons http://www.kentlyons.com/, from London UK. They have design all 3 books in this series, including Guidelines for Online Success and The Internet Case Study Book, which were also best selling titles.
DM: As such a “figure” in digital design and communication industry, why do you make a solid book instead of a e-book on Kinlde or other digital reading platform?
Rob: Firstly, Taschen books are more than just books in the traditional sense. They are a work of art, a design icon and something that will always have a great place on a coffee table or in a treasured bookcase. They are perfect for giving as a present. Having said that, Taschen will soon begin to roll out ebooks so you’ll be able to read them digitally as well and the ebook versions will hopefully be very interactive as well with new types of content taking them to another level.
DM: We always wonder how can you manage so many content contributors, I see almost all good fellows in mobile/app industry in your book, and how do you persuade them working for you?
Rob: Indeed! This is always one of the most difficult parts of any book or project. Bringing so many well known people together is hard but I have built up an amazing network of people and contacts in my 15+ years online so I always manage to reach the important people who make these things possible. Nothing is impossible if you have the will to succeed!
DM: How long is the process of the book (from planning to shipment)?
Rob: This can vary and can be as long as 18 months. The App & Mobile Case Study Book was fast-tracked as the medium is so popular right now. The process still took around 12 months though.
DM: Can you give some advices to those who doesn’t have a big budget or human resources but want to make a publication？
Rob: Of course, there are many ways of self-publishing a book these days online but the reality is that you’d have to be extremely lucky to sell a lot of copies. Powerhouse publishers like Taschen can make a book to the highest of quality and translate books into many different languages (all my books are in four languages… I hope we can translate into Chinese soon as well!). The most important thing is the marketing of any book after it is published and Taschen can do this with such a wide network and huge reputation for amazing books. I have read stories of people making a book but not selling many copies because they are unable to market it properly.
DM: What will be the main theme if there’s a fourth one of this series?
Rob: I have close contact with Julius Wiedemann, the Digital Director at Taschen and we are always considering the next title in the series. It’s possible we will make Guidelines for Online Success 2, as the first edition was hugely successful and sold around 50,000 copies.