Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mom, Will You Read Me a Bedtime App?

It's a pivotal moment for picture books, and traditionalists might find themselves shouting, "No, David!"

Here come the picture book apps.

The New York Times writes about e-readers with color and the new push from publishers to bring these books out. Most readers and writers of picture books knew that day was coming, but it still seemed "a ways off." Many hung tight to the thought that the purity of the 32-page book as we know it might remain unthreatened.

Well, those days are over, and it remains to be seen how the youngest readers respond. Our kindergartener has a paper-thing-with-a-spine kind of book under the Christmas tree. I plan to download a new picture book app after school today to see what he thinks. We'll see which one he goes back to again and again during the holiday break.

While the early picture book apps out of the chute have been with smaller publishers, the heavyweights have now arrived. Apple is pushing more than 100 titles to its iBookstore starting today with incredibly popular titles like the Olivia series by Ian Falconer. And Fancy Nancy has been available on Nook Color for about a month.

Most publishers have been eager to jump onto the e-book bandwagon, but there were a few obstacles in the way for picture books. The largest being that pesky problem of color. But now that that's taken care of, off we go!

"It finally gives us the opportunity to have our picture books join the e-book revolution,” says Jon Anderson of Simon & Schuster in the Times article. “It gives us a great opportunity to monetize our content in a way that we previously haven’t been able to.”

And monetize they will.

This is the turning point. Anderson says that by early 2011, S&S hopes to release picture e-books at the same time as the print versions. Just like the grownups.

No comments:

Post a Comment