Turning Books Into Apps
Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 2, 2011
An app can be a useful tool for writers. Why create an app for your reader community? Several reasons may prompt an author to consider doing an app and offering it to readers. In a recent symposium in the Author’s Guild Bulletin, titled “Books, Apps & Multimedia: The New Digital Landscape”, these reasons are discussed in detail.
App developers can work two ways. One may charge up-front costs. Another company might charge nothing in advance but split the revenue with you. You’ll need to find the one that’s right for you. Check out the apps of a developer and decide which functions you want your app to do. Also, carefully check which rights you’ll retain. You want to be able to make film or audio deals later on aside from the app. Also, will the developer link to different retailers? How do they promote their apps?
Don’t confuse apps with enhanced e-books. Apps are software, while an enhanced e-book is a book with audio and/or video content. For example, the former is sold on iTunes, while the latter is sold in the iBookstore.
Here are some of the pointers from this article to help you determine if creating an app might be a useful tool in your promotional arsenal.
- Various kinds of content can be included in an app, such as photos, video, audio recordings, and links to other sites.
- You can keep track of reader interactions with the app to see what interests them.
- The app can serve as a companion to your series, offering new exclusive content.
- Including share options to social networks on the app will help spread the word.
- An author can send messages to app subscribers alerting them of upcoming events, new releases, etc.
- A community discussion group on the app can stimulate readers to share opinions.
- An app can be constantly updated with new material. You can add interviews and reviews, excerpts from works in progress or the next book in a series, short stories or articles written just for the app.
- Make sure the app has a buy link to your book.
Once you’ve created your app, you’ll need to decide on pricing. Will the app be free as an enticement to buy your book? Or will it cost a small amount and act as a companion to the series? You’ll also want to have a marketing plan in place for getting the app noticed once it’s available. Consider getting a sponsor, as in a company who compliments something in your story (i.e. a dog mystery writer partners with a pet food company). Creating the app is one task. Marketing it is the other.
And while we’re on the subject of new technology, do you know about Kindlegraph for readers, who want a signed copy of their e-book? Or have you heard about how a reader who has a question while reading your Kindle book can send you a message via Twitter? Read about it here (http://yhoo.it/pBj3Bn) and here (http://amzn.to/pG9gSx).
With all these great new technologies out there and new ones arriving every day, it gets harder to keep up. Just remember this motto: The Writing Comes First.
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
This entry was posted on September 2, 2011 at 9:10 am and is filed under Business of Writing. Tagged: apps, digital books, e-books, ebook publishing, ebooks, Florida authors, Kindle, Nancy J Cohen, Readers, technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.