With the iPad, Its Time to Think About Books As Apps


I have already written about how great the reading experience on the iPad is... but its even better when forward-thinking publishers / developers / authors think about book as applications. As an app, books can be richer and more dynamic as the publisher / developer is able to re-imagine the reading experience.

Over the weekend, for example, one of top 25 iPad apps was "Alice in Wonderland for the iPad":

The app costs $8.99 - about the price of a Kindle or iBook title. Interestingly, iTunes might actually be a better distribution lever than Apple's bookstore. I imagine being a top 25 application is more powerful than being a top 25 book (at least at this point).

As a product (also at this point - thanks to Apple's developer tools), the book is richer as an app. Alice in Wonderland is gorgeous: the fonts are big, the imagery is gorgeous and the book is interactive: it moves, animates, takes user input (using motion, touch, etc).

There are numerous instances where this is applicable:

- children's books: much like the Alice in Wonderland examples (see below)

- text books: think about learning anatomy, chemistry, or history interactively

- biographies: rather than a few pictures placed along the book's spine, you could interact with text for photos, video, etc

- new formats: for instance, choose your own adventures are fun in their novelty... similar formats are suddenly part fiction, part gaming, part social

3D has captivated movie audiences and enabled director's to think about film differently - and arguably more creatively - publishers and authors have a similar opportunity.