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From an Aptara publication:

In May, Aptara produced the Vatican’s first eBooks, the illustrated version of Pope Benedict’s weekly addresses for the iPad. Available from the Apple Store in Italy, the series contains 13 highly illustrated eBooks. Each of the Pope’s weekly talks focuses on a prominent figure in the Church’s history and is accompanied by elaborate portraits, paintings, and photos.

With their first foray into mobile publishing, the Catholic Church hopes to expand its reach to younger and more technologically savvy audiences.
“Every new communication technology is important to the church’s missionary activity,” said Father Giuseppe Costa, CEO of Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Publishing Company of the Vatican. “And the most obvious way to reach young people today is via their mobile devices.” Aptara produced the eBooks using Apple’s Fixed Layout format which retains the pagination of the books’ printed counterparts. “We’re thrilled with the quality of the series, in fact the eBooks give new life to the texts’ magnificent imagery,” said Father Costa.

“The adoption of eBooks by an institution founded before Gutenberg represents a significant coming of age for publishing,” said Dev Ganesan, President and CEO of Aptara. “The Vatican has a centuries old tradition of printing. So to be the first organization to help the Church embrace digital
publishing is quite an honor.“ This was the first series of illustrated books to appear in Italy. Next on the Vatican’s agenda is the English version.


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