Create an App for Your Children’s Book

eBooks, enhanced ebooks, and apps: which should you produce?

Authorly

For the most part, books geared to adults sell well just in simple ebook format. On the other hand, children’s books don’t appear to sell as well as merely digital book downloads. More and more, children are looking for interaction with their digital books.

Some publishers of children’s books are turning to enhanced ebooks to help engage more children. However, enhanced ebooks only offer slightly more than a regular ebooks. Enhanced ebooks can include narration and video streaming.

More and more publishers are beginning to look at turning their children’s books into apps. An app allows more interactive scenes and diagrams, animation, guided narration, and the ability to record and share your own narration. Historically, apps have been much more expensive to create than regular ebooks or even enhanced ebooks because of the special programming they require.

Independent authors and small publishers now have access to an online service that allows you to create a children’s book app for free. Authorly allows you to use their program to turn your children’s book into an app. The app is then made available for sale on Apple iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore and the Nook App Marketplace.

Those authors who are willing to learn a little and experiment with the Authorly software can create an app for free. Authorly then gives 50% of the revenue from each sale to the author. Those authors who do not want to create their own app, but pay Authorly for this service can spend $20 per page to have Authorly create the app. The author then receives 70% of the revenue from each app sale.

In an increasingly digital era where children expect more than a printed page on their computers, tablets, and phones, creating an app of your children’s picture book may be one way to engage more readers and reap more sales.

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Are You Phone Smart?

Do you own a smart phone? If your answer is yes, then you belong to the majority of adult Americans. Forty-five percent of all Americans own a smart phone and just about two-thirds of adults aged 18 to 49 own a smart phone.

Girl With Mobile Smart Phone

Not only are smart phones becoming commonplace for cell phone users, they are also becoming an increasingly popular way for people to access their email, the Internet, and to read ebooks.

If you produce books, what does this trend means for you? What do you need to do to not get left behind when people use their smart phones to read their emails, log on to the Internet, and read ebooks.

I believe publishers and independently published authors must do three things to ensure their material is friendly to smart phone users, and thus not lose ground in marketing with the growth of this technology.

1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Test your website on a few smart phones. Does it load quickly? Is it easy to navigate? If you find there are problems, then you may want to either create a mobile site, use a plug in that automatically makes your website mobile friendly (for example, WordPress has a free mobile plug-in for WordPress sites at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wptouch/), or simply switch to a one-column webpage which is easier to navigate on a smart phone.

2. Make your email templates mobile friendly.

With the increase of reading email messages on smart phone devices, publishers need to make sure that the templates they use to send out email messages to their email lists are also mobile friendly. Again, test your templates on a few smart phones to find ones that read well on these screens.

3. Make your ebooks mobile friendly.

Almost one-third of people who read ebooks report that they read ebooks on their smart phone. Most smart phones users have ebook reader apps. These ebook reader apps do a fairly good job of rendering ebooks in a readable format on a smart phone screen. However, here again, you should test your EPUB and Mobi files to make sure that your ebooks view well on smart phones.

These three simple tests can help you make the necessary changes you need to remain effective and viable in our society’s on-going digital technology shift.

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