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Book Apps: Tackling the New Opportunity

Until recently, eBook publishing was all about making print content available in electronic form. Although such electronic content was enriched by adding audio and video, the real power and potential of the medium was not fully explored.

Now, the advent of iPad and Kindle is revolutionizing the way readers access books. The proliferation of these highly graphic intensive and compute capable tablet devices has created new opportunities for enhancing the content of books. This enriched content, the most exciting feature of e-publishing called applications or apps, can be packaged and sold in apps stores. The availability of app stores that provide help in marketing and selling content has facilitated publishers and authors by increasing their options to enrich and deliver content. End users are increasingly accessing content from these devices because of the convenience and richer nature of the content. This, in turn, has increased the return on investment of readers, authors, and publishers.

There is a high demand for apps that are brilliantly interactive and rich in content. The Solar System app for iPad is an excellent example of how feature rich apps can take mobile experience to a whole new level of reading and entertainment. 3D models, gallery of pictures, videos, animations and groovy sound effects make apps more exciting.

With digital strategies to manage the brand, publishers can now make enriched and branded content available to their readers. The trend states two strategies that are being nimbly adopted by publishers—Book as an App and branded Bookstore as an App.

Book as an App is a single title app that enables the publishers to make select titles available to readers as an individual app for purchase on the app Store. Similarly, some publishers are stepping up the game by offering a branded customized bookstore app that supports their entire catalogue of books with the option to purchase books from within the bookstore app. With such apps, readers can easily download and access their favorite title on their mobile device.

Technology enablers like iPublishCentral offer customizable applications that a publisher can leverage for their branding, recommendations, announcements, surveys, database creation and to directly establish relationship with the readers. The data collected by custom apps can be used to analyze and understand the success of the book and provide insights into what type of new content is to be created.

The competition in the market is growing stronger than ever before and the only distinguisher for a publisher in this race will be to offer top quality relevant content at optimized costs. In order to draw readers and sustain their interest, publishers would need innovation not only on blueprint but also in execution.

The opportunity is real. The new enabling technology is in place and the audience is ready.