OZ App Developers Challenge Traditional eBook

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Local Australian app developers are thinking outside of the e-box with eBooks delivered as apps outside of eBook stores.
EBooks are stripping away the pages of hard copy books, giving rise to a new breed of online eBook sellers like Apple’s iBooks and Google’s eBookstore, but the American-owned Demibooks is delivering a new kind of content-rich eBook in app form.

The digital media company, based out of Chicago though primarily run on a nuts-and-bolts level in Sydney, has just released an interactive eBook that throws in video, Google maps, Twitter feeds and Facebook integration.

The Survivors: Immersedition is an interactive iOS app version of a novel that is already available in print and eBook form, though with iPad-optimised content that is “a lot richer than an Ebook. But readers don’t have to look at all the extra content, they can still read it like an ordinary book,” says Andrew Skinner, the creative technologist behind the app’s development in Sydney.

Skinner comes from a background of gaming and computer science, working on app development locally and abroad, and sees the future of eBooks banking on more immersive content.

“Now we’ve got new readers like the Kindle Fire and ones that run Android and have better processors and can deliver more diverse content. Inevitably, readers will look for richer content.”

There are also issues facing publishers that this new breed of eBook tries to tackle, like giving eBooks greater exposure outside of eBook stores and inside app markets.

 

“Discoverability is an ongoing problem for publishers,” says Skinner.

Demibooks currently has an eBook composer tool for creating similar content-laden eBooks, though is looking to release its own ‘Demibooks Reader’ catalogue of interactive eBooks early next year. This would allow publishers to create books with their service as standalone apps as well as inside the Demibooks library.

“[The books are] sold in the App Store, so it’s a different kind of market [to EBook stores].”

But the market “is still small compared to eBooks,” and consumers have already been tailored to certain price differences between eBooks and apps as separate entities.

“Consumers are willing to pay quite a bit more for an eBook than an app.”

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