Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids
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Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids
Interesting news, reviews & trends in children's digital publishing from founder of Digital-Storytime
Curated by Carisa Kluver
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Apps take e-books beyond mere reading

Apps take e-books beyond mere reading | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

You can buy the Kevin Kling-Chris Monroe picture book, "Big Little Brother," for $17.95 and read it to your child. Or you can buy the iPad app of "Big Little Brother" for $7.99 and hear Kling read it himself -- and also watch the characters move and hear the toys talk.

 

Book apps for tablets and smartphones and enhanced e-books for e-readers are going far beyond the transfer of book text to Kindle screen. By bringing audio, video, animation and games to what was once the simple printed page, apps are beginning to fundamentally change our understanding of what makes a book a book.

 

So far, the trend has been cautious, but publishers predict enhancements will be common within two years. "It's clearly a market waiting to be fed," said Corinne Helman, vice president of digital publishing and business development for Harper Collins children's books. "This is still very, very early days."

 

"I think this is going to be a huge deal," said Dan Leary, design and production manager for the Minnesota Historical Society Press. "It's really changing what a book is."

 

Book apps can be ...

 

For Digital-Storytime's review of "Big Little Brother" - http://digital-storytime.com/review.php?id=437

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Harold and the Purple Crayon - New 5-Star Review from Digital Storytime

Harold and the Purple Crayon - New 5-Star Review from Digital Storytime | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

The classic story of a little boy and his purple crayon comes to life in this book app in a way that enhances the orginal 1955 print title without losing any of its brilliance. Over 50 years later, this story still captures the creativity and imagination of childhood with simple line drawings and slowly paced text. As a digital offering, the story comes to life even more, giving a whole new generation of children the magical feeling that comes with anticipating what Harold will draw next.

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Looking for the 50% Solution

Looking for the 50% Solution | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

E-books and other forms of digital content are transforming all aspects of the book publishing industry. While the transition from print to digital is not moving at the same pace for all segments, within five years it is generally believed that e-book sales will account for about half of trade revenues.

 

With that in mind, PW asked nine executives to tell us how their company is preparing for that eventuality and what impact it will have on their businesses. A clear theme running through these essays is that, while a few years ago traditional companies were more frightened about the digital challenges than excited about the opportunities, that equation is now reversed.

 

Publishers, booksellers, distributors, and agents are busily reworking their operations to take advantage, as Sourcebooks’ Dominique Raccah notes, of a future “with more readers, more writers, and more outlets than ever before.”

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Applying the 4Ps of Marketing to Apps | Mobile Evolution

Many developers are using a “shoot from the hip” approach to marketing their apps, if anything at all. It's not that developers don't want to market, but the question often is, where to start? As an engineer, I was always excited when encountering a formula or a structured method in my business classes. In marketing, there IS a structured approach—the 4 P's: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (aka distribution). Often we think of Promotion as the only form of marketing, but three other areas can also be tackled. In order to have a strong marketing plan, each area must be addressed. Oftentimes, many techniques in each area are overlooked. Starting with the basics, ensuring thoroughness, is the best way to begin the marketing process. Over the course of several posts, I'll outline specifics for each of the 4 P's ...

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Scholastic Releases New Kids’ Content to iOS and Android | Good E-Reader - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News

Scholastic Releases New Kids’ Content to iOS and Android | Good E-Reader - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

The world leader in children’s publishing, Scholastic, Inc., has made tremendous strides in 2011 to incorporate a transmedia experience for today’s young readers. Fans of the book clubs will fondly remember the excitement of the monthly book order forms, and today’s school-aged readers are no different. Except, of course, that books now compete with various forms of interactive entertainment for today’s readers’ attention, a fact that Scholastic has embraced.


Several months ago, GoodEReader reported on a few of the initiatives that Scholastic was launching in order to keep its content current in the minds of children’s and young adult readers, including the pending incorporation of ebooks into the book club offerings and the additional 39 Clues content that came out in time for fans of the series to need reading entertainment over the December school holidays.


Now, Scholastic has announced to new features for digital devices and the transmedia reading experience ...

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Video Interview: The Future of Publishing | Jane Friedman

Don't miss this one! ~ Carisa

 

Earlier this year, I had a video chat with Jon over at Children’s Book Insider about the future of publishing, among other things. Please overlook any funny face you see in the screen capture (a sure-fire sign I’m making a really important point). It’s a 24-minute conversation.

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2012 publishing predictions part 1 & 2 | FutureBook

2012 publishing predictions part 1 & 2 | FutureBook | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Part I: http://www.futurebook.net/content/2012-publishing-predictions-part-1

 

Part II: http://www.futurebook.net/content/2012-publishing-predictions-part-2

 

Yes, it’s prediction time of the year. After such an amazing year for publishing and with some key issues seriously heating up, thought I’d ask our clever bloggers and twitter pals to pin down their thoughts for 2012. So many of you have given your predictions that I have broken it into 2 posts. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

 

This time next year I’ll check back on this post and openly ridicule those who were off the mark and crown the person with the closest predictions the King or Queen of FutureBook. Ok, that’s not actually going to happen.

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It’s a book … it’s a screen … wait, it’s transmedia! How storytelling is at the center of it all … | The Digital Media Diet

This is an app that is built on the story (and images) from the original holiday TV special so familiar to anyone who was a child anytime after the 1960′s, when the show first aired. It has been a Christmas tradition every year since on TV and one of the first ‘transmedia’ book apps that I have really fallen in love with.

 

Transmedia storytelling, according to wikipedia, is “the technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies. It is not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises, sequels or adaptations.”

 

Really all this means is that the content expands, gets customized and even enhanced through modern means often unavailable to the creator of the original story idea. Charles Schultz may not have imagined his holiday cartoon, originally sponsored for television by Coca-Cola in 1965, would tell the story in an animated book; a good story, I am thankful to discover, is favored by this digital revolution.

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What Makes a Great App

What Makes a Great App | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

In looking at the year in apps and trying to decide which were among its best, I found it impossible to ignore the fundamental question: Just what makes a book app great?

 

First and foremost, it has to succeed on its own terms as a "book" (using the term advisedly in this electronic environment). Apps that started as books, such as Big Little Brother, by Kevin Kling, illustrated by Chris Monroe and developed by Mighty Media, have a distinct leg up in this department. The story, of a little boy whose baby brother grows taller than he is, is an appealing one in its own right, charming on paper. A nonstarter of a story can't wow as an app, no matter how fabulous its bells and whistles ...

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Great Book Apps Beyond Disney, Dora and Dr. Seuss

Great Book Apps Beyond Disney, Dora and Dr. Seuss | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Are you missing some of the best apps for kids?

 

With the tens of thousands of storybook apps in the App Store, it’s no wonder the Top 50 list is usually filled with familiar favorites like Disney, Dora and Dr. Seuss. But some of the most innovative and unique book apps for kids are being created by independent developers, and parents can find these gems in Digital Storytime’s “Top 10” lists.

 

“We created ‘Top 10’ lists to help parents and teachers find the best book apps based on their different needs,” says Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime. Whether parents are looking for the most unique, the best stories for bedtime, the most original, or most interactive, we’ve put together our lists after reviewing over 500 of the top storybook apps available in the App Store.”

 

“Storybook apps have opened up a whole new world for my son, who is a reluctant reader,” said Karen Robertson, mother of two and author who turned her children’s book into an app. “When my son picked up the iPad for the first time and chose storybook apps over games, I knew digital books were something special.” 

 

“Story Book apps incorporate the senses of sight, sound and touch with reading which brings stories to life in a whole new way,” adds Carisa. “For example, the award winning book app, 'Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island' uses touch in a unique way to drive the story forward, having kids tap treasure chests to reveal adventure stories as they try to discover which one hides the gold. It’s a twist on the choose-your-adventure stories I used to love as a child, and with over 13,000 paths to the treasure, it’s got a fun game feel as well.” http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/treasure-kai-lost-gold-shark/id418289114?mt=8

 

 

“'A Fine Musician' uses sound in an enchanting way. Kids are showered with onomatopoeic words and the sounds of musical instruments as they journey through the city with a musician who’s creating a one-man band." http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/a-fine-musician/id406573790?mt=8

 

 

 

"'And The Strange & Wonderful World of Ants,' is a truly phenomenal example of an educational book app. It’s a beautiful and quirky science app for kids that uses visual interactivity I haven’t seen in a book before. And it offers a unique adjustable reading, level making it appealing to wide range of children,” she adds. http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-strange-wonderful-world/id404605416?mt=8

 

 

 

All of the Digital Storytime “Top 10’s” can be found here: http://digital-storytime.com/wp/?cat=15

 

 

Here are some of the most popular “Top 10 Lists:”


Top 10 Books for Reluctant and Struggling readers
Top 25 Most Essential
Top 10 iPad Books for Bedtime
Top 10 Most Read Reviews

 

With many kids out of school for the holidays, now is the perfect time to keep them reading in a fun and engaging way.

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Editorial Guidance in a Self-Published World

Editorial Guidance in a Self-Published World | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Anna Grossnickle Hines is an author illustrator with more than 60 children’s books under her belt, and has recently started a company (appropo) who is creating storybook titles as apps. In this post she shares writing tips for those entering the world of original storytelling. While it’s true that apps have broken down barriers-to-entry in traditional publishing, what about the guidance those traditional publishers provided? Let’s investigate…

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New in Digital Reading for 2012 | Good E-Reader - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News

New in Digital Reading for 2012 | Good E-Reader - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

This is the time of year when sources start to close out their thoughts on the current year and make heady predictions for the coming year. New technology, new updates and upgrades, new content. And one of the sources that GoodEReader has been watching closely this year, iStoryTime and its parent company zuuka, have a few things up their sleeves for next year, throwing themselves out the gate with some January releases ...

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Day Seven of The Twelve Days of Christmas with Digital-Storytime | There's A Book

Day Seven of The Twelve Days of Christmas with Digital-Storytime | There's A Book | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

In celebration of the upcoming holidays I thought there could be nothing better than sharing my favorite bloggers with my favorite readers! For the next twelve days I’ll be sharing posts written by my favorite bloggers about their favorite holiday reads. From food bloggers to book bloggers each one is one I’ve long loved reading and know you’ll enjoy as well. So sit back and enjoy!


Already to day seven of our twelve day celebration, I’m thrilled to share a favorite reviewer and friend of mine Carisa from Digital Storytime. This was a stand-out year for me because I was able to meet and connect with so many new bookish friends and Carisa is one of the highlights of those “meet-ups”. Initially we met on Twitter through our shared passion of digital media and digital picture books, and then we were able to meet in person when she traveled up the coast of California to where our family resides. It was an absolute treat!

 

Carisa and her little boy are amazing and I only wish they lived closer so that we could spend more time together. You’ll find Carisa at her incredible site Digital Storytime and her companion blog The Digital Media Diet where she reviews hundreds of book apps & apps for children. So, without further hesitation on my part, Carisa from Digital Storytime…

 

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20 great resources for aspiring writers of children's books - Writers and Editors

Want to know how to write and sell a children's book? Children's book publishing works in a different universe from adult publishing. Educating yourself on the basics by exploring the excellent resources of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Go to meetings of local chapters and make like a sponge. This is a specialty you WANT to learn about from practitioners with experience. In Canada, check out the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (CANSCAIP).

 

You can learn the basics by reading what you find on the following links ...

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A few future sources of ebook innovation | FutureBook

Usually, at the end of each year, the media gaggle gathers, regurgitates the nonsense they’ve been spouting all year, and washes the stale bile down with a set of inconsequential predictions of what might happen next year. It’s a catchall opportunity for prognostication for an industry whose main contribution to society is inane gossip and fact-free misinterpretations of research and science.

 

Instead of being a silly beggar and making specific predictions of the future, all of which are almost guaranteed to be wrong, one way or another, I’d like to highlight a few of the future sources of ebook innovation.

 

None of them, I’d like to emphasise, are in any way related to the big publishing companies, which will have to work very hard just to remain in publishing in ten years time ...

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2011 – The Year’s Best Book Apps for iPad – 31 Not-to-be-Missed Titles : iPadmodo

2011 – The Year’s Best Book Apps for iPad – 31 Not-to-be-Missed Titles : iPadmodo | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Seattle, Washington – After a very full first year curating the best of the iPad app market for children’s picture books, Digital-Storytime will celebrate the site’s first birthday with a full month to focus on the very best book apps published in 2011 – featuring 31 titles that have received a perfect five stars.

 

“These are some of the most exceptional enhanced book apps in the children’s digital market,” says site co-founder, Carisa Kluver. “More importantly,” she adds, “This list represents 27 of the finest developers to enter this new market. Since we began this site to highlight top notch digital reading opportunities for kids, we want to take a moment at the end of our first year to say thank you for creating great content.”

 

Developers on this list include: Oceanhouse Media, Loud Crow Interactive, Auryn Apps, Nosy Crow, Disney Digital Books, Zanzibook, Monster Costume, Game Collage, Bayard UK, OCG Studios, One Hundred Robots, Grids Interactive, Callaway Digital Arts, MoonBot Studios, Egmont Books, Tizio Publishing, Ink Robin, Shape Mind & Moving Images, Electric Eggplant, Amos Latteier, Mobad Games, Ruckus Media, Jelly Biscuit, Tokeru Publishing, Apphaus Design, DemiBooks and Extra Special Kids Apps.

 

Digital-Storytime was founded by Marc and Carisa Kluver. Marc was a seasoned computer programmer who decided to try his hand at iOS & Android app development in 2009. Carisa, a former social worker, counselor and researcher in child & maternal health, began working with apps initially by promoting some of her husband’s efforts. She soon realized there was an even bigger need she could fill by creating a dedicated site for book app reviews.

 

“It was like the wild-west for content in the app world,” remarks Carisa about the apps she first downloaded onto her iPad in April of 2010. She reports searching for an educated source for advice about what would be appropriate for her own child. When she couldn’t find a good site, she talked her computer savvy partner into creating a custom database to house her reviews, which now number over 400.

 

The site will be expanding to cover cross-over hits for the new Kindle Fire & Nook Color markets in 2012. The couple plans to continue their focus on the iPad book app, though. “These new enhanced book apps are really special,” says Marc. “We noticed right away, as parents, that these were really engaging reading experiences for our own child, but the quality of the apps we discovered varied a lot. Once Carisa got the reviewing bug, what could I do but support her efforts?” he adds.

 

The site also maintains a handpicked list of ‘daily deals’ featuring the best free apps & price drops on kids apps for all iOS devices, providing curation beyond just digital books.

The list of 31 top titles is featured in the blog, The Digital Media Diet, also maintained by Ms. Kluver. It is one of over a dozen unique lists of recommended reading for kids that includes a top 25 to start a digital kids library, best apps for animation, most innovative interactivity and even a list for older & reluctant readers who need a little ‘digital inspiration’.

 

For the time being, this husband and wife team has also put app-development on the back burner. “There are already more than enough apps out there,” remarks Carisa, “it’s finding them that really matters now.”

 

To see the full list: http://digital-storytime.com/wp/?p=988

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Out of print

The way we buy and read books has changed dramatically over the last 12 months: once-mighty national chain store Borders closed its doors, and sales of digital e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad and Barnes & Noble’s Nook increased exponentially. New advances in electronic reader technology are taking place all the time, such as the Kindle Fire, which came out in November. While the potential impact of e-books was fuzzy just a few years ago, it’s now clear that sales are competitive with printed books and could perhaps displace them in the foreseeable future.

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Crayola’s Digital Shift to Ebooks | Good E-Reader - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News

Crayola’s Digital Shift to Ebooks | Good E-Reader - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Crayola has been known for decades for its crayons and markers, but in the last several years the children’s art supply manufacturer has been branching out with more and more amazing creative tools for kids. Earlier this year the company developed an app with Griffin Technology that allowed kids to color with their fingers or with an optional iMarker stylus on tablet devices, but that app had a lot of competition from a multitude of free and paid drawing programs for small hands.


Now, Crayola has partnered with Ruckus Media Group to develop coloring ebook apps for both iOS, due to release in January, and Android, which will come out later in the year. Three titles for young children will launch at the onset to smartphones and tablets with more ebooks to follow later.

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Harper Charges Open Road with Infringement in E-Release of 'Julie of the Wolves'

Harper Charges Open Road with Infringement in E-Release of 'Julie of the Wolves' | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it
HarperCollins filed a copyright infringement lawsuit December 23 against Open Road Integrated Media over Open Road’s publication of the e-book edition of Jean Craighead George’s bestselling and award-winning children’s book Julie of the Wolves.
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Amazon On the Move | Kidlit Apps

Amazon has pulled two moves recently that are, quite frankly, downright admirable in their overreach. Now, I am going to say something here that is my own opinion and does not reflect the opinion of any publisher, agency, or author with whom I am associated. I come from the dot com world. I am a tech gal in part of my heart. A book gal in another part. These parts are feeling quite hostile toward one another these days.

 

Whenever I get asked about traditional versus self/indie publishing, I just talk about royalty rates. There’s huge tension ...

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2011 digital publishing timeline | FutureBook

2011 digital publishing timeline | FutureBook | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Thought it might be useful to see all of the big digital stories of 2011 as a timeline. It really has been an extraordinary year. My next blog will be your predictions for 2012. If you haven't let me know yet, then tweet me.

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12 Must-Read Articles From 2011 | Jane Friedman

12 Must-Read Articles From 2011 | Jane Friedman | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Here are the most brilliant online articles I read this past year. You may not agree with the arguments you’ll find, but you have to give them credit for being original and thought-provoking. They will enrich your thinking about writing and publishing, and give you a more nuanced perspective of the industry.

 

Also, you probably ought to follow each of these writers in 2012 ...

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Shelf life in hard times: The book folk who wrote glorious chapters in 2011

Kate Wilson and Nosy Crow

 

It takes courage to launch a publishing house in the midst of recession, but Kate Wilson - who made Macmillan into a children's powerhouse and went on to work her magic at Scholastic – did just that. Nosy Crow would be "small, nimble and responsive" and would "make lot of noise in the industry", the company named after a much-maligned creature "among the world's most intelligent animals... robust and strong, persistent and smart".

 

Alongside the books there would be apps - "not books squashed on to phones" but projects "specially created to take advantage of the devices to tell stories and provide information to children in new and engaging ways". The books are terrific and include Pip and Posy, a new series from Axel Scheffler, whom Wilson introduced to Julia Donaldson, launching a partnership that resulted in The Gruffalo.

 

Wilson herself was named Most Inspirational Business Mum at the Mumpreneur UK Awards. But it's the apps which have stolen the show. First was The Three Little Pigs, which allows young readers to blow down the pigs' houses. Then came Cinderella, in which kids can help Cinders clean the kitchen and choose her dress. Out this week is Bizzy Bear on the Farm, which allows tots to drive a tractor, make a horse gallop, feed chicks and play in each scene, helping with farm chores.

 

As publishers rush to create apps simply because they can, Wilson is adamant that "it's much better to commission books that work on the page for that medium". In each case, what matters is the story, and with apps "what we are interested in is creating a reading experience, not a game." So far, she and her colleagues have done just that.

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My Best Advice for Writers From 2011 | Jane Friedman

My Best Advice for Writers From 2011 | Jane Friedman | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Last week I shared 12 Must-Read Articles From 2011. Now I’m going to share a list of the best advice I gave in 2011 as a handy reference.

 

My Absolute Favorites ...

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Tablets, phones top children’s wish lists

Tablets, phones top children’s wish lists | Publishing Digital Book Apps for Kids | Scoop.it

Julie Groth’s 7-year-old son likes to play Angry Birds on their tablet computer, while her 4-year-old uses the gadget for a colouring app.

 

Her 3-month-old son? The day he puts his fingers on it may not be as far off as you’d think. “My cousin has a 2½-year-old who plays with her iPhone,” said Groth, an Erie, Colo., resident. “I’d like to keep him from it until he’s about 3. ... You just never know. It might just be 2.”

 

Amid a technological revolution spearheaded by Apple, the parenting debate over electronic devices that can consume children’s playtime has shifted from TVs and video-game consoles to tablets and smartphones.

 

Apple’s iPad 2 is at the top of many kids’ holiday wish lists, but should you buy it for them? Will exposure to the gadget harm or help their development? Pediatricians say they routinely face those questions. The answers ...

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