It’s a great time to be a writer as there are so many paths to take to realize your dream of publishing your book. Just the other day I was speaking to Reva Solomon who is the People Editor for the Society of Children’s Book Writer & Illustrators Magazine about how the industry has changed so much in just the past five years. She and I spoke about what a great time it is for writer! Today we are featuring Karen Robertson who paved her own way and is a true pioneer and supporter of indie authors. She wrote an eBook that showcases 27 children’s authors in her new release What is a Book App and Could You Create One? How 27 Writers Did! which she is offering for FREE from April 9-13th so make sure to download it! I think you will find some useful tips from the writers featured that just might help you get off the fence and go after your dream of creating a book app or book!
You recently released What is a Book App and Could You Create One? How 27 Writers Did! Tell us where you got the inspiration to create this eBook and why do you think it is important for aspiring writers/authors to read it before they venture into creating an app.
Out of all of the writing and speaking I’ve done, this eBook is the one I’ve loved the most because it showcases how over two dozen writers have made their publishing dreams come true by creating their stories as book apps.
In the eBook, you’ll not only read Melissa Northway’s inspiring story, you’ll also read the personal stories of:
-Published authors who wanted to give new life to works that were out of print
-Authors who wanted to extend their work beyond one country to a global audience
-Self-published authors who wanted to break free from the boxes of books in their garage
-Writers who’d been sitting on their stories, because they didn’t know what to do next
-Writers who’d just missed out on publishing deals, who took their futures into their own hands by creating book apps
-Author-illustrators who wanted to start bringing their own personal projects to life
-Picture book authors who wanted the freedom to create beyond 32 pages
-Entrepreneurs who imagined using book apps in a whole new way
-Writers and creators who wanted to demonstrate “proof of concept” for their work, in hopes of attracting traditional publishing, TV or movie deals
Publishing my printed book, Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island, as a book app transformed my career. I went from selling my book in Australia (where I lived) to selling my book in nearly 100 countries; and from selling my books at events to selling my book app every day for the past two years.
It’s exciting to show other writers and illustrators that they can publish their books as apps, even if they’re technophobic!
This new eBook reveals the proven, step-by-step process for publishing a book as an app.
The 27 personal stories included demonstrate that there are a number of ways to approach such a project that will achieve a writer’s objectives and budget.
I’d been sharing some of these personal stories via my blog (www.digitalkidsauthor.com) over the past 18 months. I got the idea to write this eBook when I read a book on entrepreneurship that featured the personal stories of two dozen entrepreneurs. I learned so much from the personal stories that I was inspired to write the same kind of book for the book app industry.
What changes have you seen in the industry as a whole since you created Treasure Kai?
The biggest change I’ve seen in the market over the past two years is the flood of licensed content. The Top 200 is dominated by Disney, Dora, Dr. Seuss, etc.
I find it’s harder to sell apps via promotions now. It used to be that if I did an App Friday promotion, I’d sell over a thousand apps. Now, I don’t sell as many when I do price sales and price promotions.
While there is a perception that there’s a “race to the bottom” on pricing for apps, if you look at the top 200, you’ll notice that many of those apps are $3.99-$4.99. (Many of these are also licensed content.)
I find that innovation is still coming from the independents and smaller shops.
I’m surprised by the lack of consumer understanding of what a book app is. I was recently at an event with 400 moms. When I told them I wrote interactive books for the iPad or used the term “book app,” I was met with many blank stares. But when I showed them Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold, they were absolutely blown away. After that event, Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime and I created a short video about book apps. You can see that at http://www.digitalkidsauthor.com/reading-fun
I’m also surprised that there hasn’t been more innovation in the way interactivity is integrated into storytelling. When I do author talks at schools, I have an exercise I do where I ask the kids to imagine how a book app might work for a classic nursery rhyme. The things that kids imagine their book app would do are not currently happening in the book apps that are in the market place!
What are three main steps you would recommend an aspiring author do before they create a storybook app?
1. Understand your objectives – your objectives will determine what you create from a creative perspective and will impact your budget. Is your objective to simply publish your book so you can share it with family and friends? Is your objective to deliver an innovative reading experience? Is it to demonstrate “proof of concept” so you can attract the attention of a publisher or TV producer? I discuss these further in the eBook
2. Get educated – you need to understand what’s involved with creating an app and what is happening in the market.
3. Write a terrific story – Fantastic story and quality writing are essential!
Any news you want to share with Penelope’s mates?
Yes! I use both of my “Treasure Kai” book apps as examples in the eBook so have put them on sale April 9-13 to accompany the FREE eBook promotion.
Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island is a twist on the choose-your-own adventure format with thousands of ways to reach gold. Winner of the New Media Film Festival San Francisco in Nov 2011 and included in a number of Top 10 lists.
DOWNLOAD What is a Book App and Could You Create One? How 27 Writers Did! HERE: http://www.amazon.com/What-Could-Create-Writers-ebook/dp/B00BMH1KJK