This is the second of 2 parts with Stephen Davis, CTO of Skyreader Media
What does it mean to build a book for tablets and mobile devices? Seems like a simple question with a simple answer but it really isn’t. We aren’t talking about a traditional book – those exist but they aren’t the REAL future of digital books, they are a legacy product that will bridge the paper and digital worlds – for now. I’m talking about the new new book, the books that are built specifically for the powerful devices we carry around.
Traditional books, the ones on your bookshelf today, haven’t changed much since the printing press was invented but they, just like so many industries, are being disrupted by the tablets and mobile devices we all carry. Books are being re-imagined in ways that make sense, in ways that take full advantage of the capabilities of the devices – which is far greater than the paper they are currently being printed on.
Paper is paper. You can choose the thickness, the shade of white and the font. You can design a cover, throw in some art and a table of contents but paper is still paper. Paper books don’t need to be ported to multiple papers, they don’t need to be tested in multiple screen sizes and they don’t need to be built specifically for small bite-sized engagements.
During this transition – which HAS started btw – existing books will be brought into the digital world and there are certain requirements and expectations that readers will have. Understanding how to move the book into digital without compromising the message and brand of the book while adding interactive elements is an immediate challenge – one that needs a strategy and plenty of thought. Adding the right form of interactivity to a book at the right time enhances the experience. Going over the top when it doesn’t add anything will ruin the experience.
Mobile and tablets are redefining what a book is and at the centre of all of this is Skyreader Media and their CTO, Stephen Davis. We finish this episode talking about these challenges as the industry transitions and the options expand in terms of devices, operating systems and platforms for development. Stephen takes us through what it really means to be a top app in Canada, how they approached user testing, their strategy for implementing interactive features (and when not to), what the 5-minute nanny is and how mobile books should fill that gap plus we debate native apps vs HTML 5 in the publishing world.
Part 1 of this episode can be found here.
About Stephen Davis
Stephen Davis is the CTO of Skyreader Media. Skyreader Media is a publisher of mobile apps for the iPad. We have a history of creating great entertainment – now we’re bringing it to interactive story apps for children. With our proprietary technology platform, and over 4,500 children’s book titles under license we are bringing lots of Great Stories to children and parents in New Ways.
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