Over the weekend, I ran across an article that explained the growing market of Children Book Apps, and how parents preferring apps over E-books. The significant differences between the app and e-book are relevant to both children and parents.
What are these differences?
The app sits on the screen, all the child has to do is touch it and it’s opened, similarly to a game app. Whereas and an e-book is placed within another app on the device and the parent or child has to sift through the virtual bookshelf, and locate the book. An App has the interactive action for the child to touch. For example, a treasure chest may be touched revealing what is inside, or a bell can be touched provide the sounds of a bell for the reader. Within the book app, the child can be read to with read-along word highlighting or this feature can be turned off allowing the child to read the book on their own. Background music is also integrated into the book to set the mood and atmosphere of the book, in addition to occasional sound effects. Finally, there is usually a mini-game after the book, which relates to the to books content, meaning, or moral story. Additional content and links are also at the end of the book this could include; video, links to other games, or relevant information the author has added for education or entertainment. Over all book apps had a lot of content a usually keep kids entertained for hours or days.
The ebook offered on by Amazon Kindle, and the iBook store has some of the same features. E-books are starting to have a read to me option within the book settings, in addition to music, the pages can be animation to turn the pages, but charters do not move on the screen. There can be background music but in most cases there is not. Same goes for sound effects, children e-books in most cases do not have sound effects. At the end of the e-book, there are usually links to other associated material provided by the author. For example; a link may be provided directing the child to a you-tube video the author created, or a website such as an author’s find relevant to the content, or related to the books theme.
The cost of Children book Apps versus E-books, and how this market is exploding?
There are several Children book apps that are free on the Apple store, however, the better content does cost money. Book Apps range between $2.99 up to $9.99 in most cases, whereas an ebook through Amazon ranges from free to about $7.99. By using Kindle Select and Amazon Unlimited authors and readers can benefit from a better quality of free content. The majority of free children e-books on Amazon are decent, and authors are able to recoup a small amount of money. These programs offered by Amazon still leaves an incentive for the author to provide high quality content for e-books.
Overall children, book apps seem to be emerging in a new ways, allowing adults and children alike to benefit from their convince, interactivity, education, and entertainment. Although book-apps have been available for the past four years, why is it that authors are just not seeing the benefits to children? The creativity and innovation that goes into creating the apps is astounding. In most cases, authors have intertwined additional content into the game making it educational for children.