9. Testing the app with educators, parents, with children, and children alone would be critical. How long did this stage take? Was there unexpected feedback that improved the project? Right now, Milo is only available for the iPad. Will there be an iPhone and iPod version? If so, will conversion be difficult?
Rubin Pfeffer: Ruckus assesses this question as an overall business decision. I’m confident that the app will be converted to whatever format has a market and is an appropriate format or device on which to read and enjoy it. So, stay tuned.
Joy Chu: The following comments are a carry-over from last Friday’s exchange:
Debbie Tilley: “Do you know if all the publishers gearing up to make more ipad app/ electronic books?. . .”
Mike Austin: “. . . I would suspect most publishers are gearing up to take full advantage of the new medium. . . . If you do a google search you’ll find a bunch of interesting articles about digital vs traditional book publishing online. . . .”
Many perennial children’s titles are in the process of being made into iPad and iPhone apps. You can see the Greenwillow author/illustrator Donald Crews at work on the storyboard for his classic, Freight Train, first published in the late 1980s, here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Other examples of classics being turned into e-versions can be found all over the web.
10. Do you have any advice for newcomers? And for seasoned book veterans who secured all rights to their out-of-print titles? Would both groups need to work with a professional development group for best results?
Mike Austin: I think having a great developer is most important.
It’s such a time consuming process that you want to have someone knowledgeable who can tell you whether or not your ideas will work.
Also, be prepared to do a lot more drawing than you might initially think.
A lead-in animation and five clickable objects doing five different things per page (plus background); multiplied by 14 or 16 pages, and suddenly your head pops off. You spend the rest of the evening stumbling around the studio, bumping into things, spilling paint all over. It can get very messy!
Joy Chu: Mike, I remember when you said this last week:
Mike Austin: “…Once I condensed the spread into a single screen I had to draw an additional 20 -30 images for the animation sequences (4 or 5 clickable elements each with 4-5 states). That adds up to around 400 individual images! Not including the stuff I drew that didn’t work. At one point I thought I would never be able to finish…”
Rubin Pfeffer: I can’t imagine creating an app without the dedication, creativity, passions, and skills of a developer. Impossible.
Rick Richter: The key to any satisfying experience in our world is to have great partners – developers, producers, marketers, and publicity folks that help folks to discover what we’ve done. One without any of the others is like singing a solo in the forest.