It is my distinct pleasure to present a G.C. Denwiddie Authorpreneur Interview with Jamie Stevens. Jamie is the author of the Peep and Friends app series and a book app wiz! She shares her interactive book expertise with us today!
In your opinion, are interactive book applications the future of e-publishing?
They are only part of the future. I think that interactive apps, eBooks as well as books in print are all ways that people like to read and they are all here to stay, at least for now. I imagine that in the future there will probably be some kind of virtual reality for books, where you can actually can step into the story and experience it on a more physical level. Currently any of the above three still requires reading. Thank goodness! It’s great to have so many options.
What is the quick overview of what goes into building or creating a book app?
Before you even begin, look at your story and decide where the page breaks are, and where an interaction and behavior would fit and enhance your story, not distract from it. Also you need the illustrations, or what is called graphic elements, separated from each other, so you can apply movement or sound. For example, your main characters are removed from the background. This takes knowledge and skill in using Photoshop. Then you either find someone who can do coding to make all the magic happen or you learn to do it yourself. There are some softwares out there that have the coding built in so you don’t have to learn coding. The latter is what I use. The final step is submitting your app to Apple or your choice of an app store and waiting to see if it passes all the requirements.
Do you think there are any disadvantages to using interactive book applications?
It can be very costly to create an app. Getting attention for your app in the sea of millions of apps out there is an exhausting, never ending marketing effort. Most “mom & pop” app creators are lucky to recover their costs, much less make an income from their apps. Not only is this because of the saturated market out there, but it is also because that there is a mindset from the public of wanting to get apps for free or very reduced. I have absolutely no idea if my venture will prove worth the effort in terms of making back my costs in creating the Peep and Friends series of apps. I do think that using cross platform (apps, eBooks and print) does increase your visibility and gives people more options of how they may like to experience your work. That’s my goal. To make my stories available in all three markets.
What are the advantages in your opinion, of using interactive book applications?
It’s fun and it actually feels magical to me when I test out what I’ve done and it works! It’s been a learning experience and I enjoy being the “stage director” for my characters. Creating an expanded reading experience through movement, sound and interactions between the reader and the characters has been worth the effort. Whether it’s for play or for educational reasons, it opens up another world.
Are there any resources you can point someone who wants to create a book app to?
There are a number of DIY tools you can use, I use Interact Builder:www.interactbuilder.com
*Tale Spring: www.talespring.com
*Interact Builder: http://www.interactbuilder.com/
*PlayTales Builder: www.playtalesbuilder.com
*Interactive Touch Books: www.interactivetouchbooks.com
*Tiny Tap: www.tinytap.com
*DemiBooks Composer: www.demibooks.com
Here’s her bio!
If you are looking for that spark of silliness that touches your heart and makes you smile, look no further than the author and illustrator of the Peep and Friends series. Ms. Stevens looks at life with unabashed joy and believes in living in the here and now. It is her belief that by doing so leads you onto a path of happiness. She will readily admit that she is very good at daydreaming and isn’t afraid to get up in a crowd and do the funky chicken. Is it any wonder that she is a children’s writer and illustrator? A life long artist, Ms. Stevens has always dabbled in writing as well, and her desire only grew stronger when her daughter came along. She found that sharing stories with her daughter, reading picture books, and creating memories deepened her passion for writing. It is not surprising that the values she finds in relationships has found its way into her writing style. She is extremely influenced by the bonds between children, children and adults, children and animals, the way animals interact, and even our own personal relationship with the Universe. Ultimately, it is about how to be happy in the moment, something children are so naturally predisposed to.
Connect with her on social media!