We have had numerous requests over the last couple of years from authors of illustrated children’s books who want their book made into an app. We literally have had dozens and dozens of requests, discussions and emails with some of these authors, but in most cases initial development was just too costly.
Since then we have developed apps for ourselves and for other companies, but we also developed our book framework. This framework is very suitable as the basis for most illustrated books. You can see this as a co-development solution, whereby the authors can decide which part they do themselves and which part we can do for them, thus making it more affordable.
We have built a structure that allows you to select what you want in your app. You can select which parts you want to do yourself and which parts we do for you.
You can start simple and add features along the way; you decide whether to start with one version for iPad and later on you can add iPhone or Android, Amazon Fire or B&N Nook.
Developing an interactive story app requires several steps:
• Create a story and the artwork.
• Define the structure and storyboard of the app, including the amount and type of interactivity.
• Record voice-overs, music and sound.
• Develop the app by combining all the different elements: graphics, text, voice, music, sound, interactivity, and animation.
• Testing, testing and testing.
• Prepare for the AppStore, publish your app to the AppStore, and wait for the approval.
• Sell your app, and do the marketing.
Things you can do yourself, or you want us to do for you:
• Prepare your artwork – if analog: scan, edit and correct.
• Define a storyboard and app structure (decide the flow, storyline, etc.).
• Prepare for animation and interactivity (you supply spot illustrations).
• Voice-over, music, sound.
• App submission, icon design, AppStore description, images for the AppStore.
We do the actual development based on our framework. We “feed” your content into our system, develop the interactivity and animation and add the voice-over, music and sound. When the app is almost finished, we will let you join our development team, so you can then download the app on your device and help us test and/or change it. You can make changes to your content and update it on our system.
We ask an initial fee for our system, based on the platform you have selected. After that, the price will adapt according to the amount of pages, interactivity and options you want us to arrange for you. Of course, we can help you along the way with each part of the process.
Currently, we are in the last part of development of the framework. Please let us know what you would like to see in our platform and/or if you are interested in being one of the pioneers.
CREATIVE OR TECHNICAL ADVICE
We can support/help you with each part of the process and will put you on track to do a lot of the work yourself. You do need a good working knowledge of photo editing software like Adobe PhotoShop to prepare your artwork. If you need more creative input with your story or drawings, we at OCG Studios or Roxie Munro in the U.S. can give you the advice/support you need.
You can be in charge of your own artwork and other assets you supply for the app, but we do advise you to have everything in the highest possible quality. We do not create original artwork or commission artists.
Your artwork should be professionally scanned in 300 dpi. If you want certain parts animated and the text highlighted when read, the text should be removed from the artwork. Also, animated parts should be taken out of the artwork and the blank spots filled. We will explain this more thoroughly to you. If your artwork is done in Adobe Illustrator or PhotoShop we prefer the original files.
MUSIC & SOUNDS
Music can really add an extra dimension to your app. It can be purchased from stock libraries; we can have it commissioned specially for your app; or, if you are a musician, you can compose it yourself. We need digital files like WAV or MP3 in the highest possible quality.
Adding sounds to the app will enhance it a lot too. The sound of a bird or a car will make your app really come to life. These sounds can be homemade, or purchased from stock libraries. The sounds need to be clean(no static, cracking etc), so one WAV or MP3 per sound. Please keep in mind that a couple of sounds per page will add up, when you have a book/app with 15 or 20 pages. See where you can re-use these sounds.
All music and sound must be royalty-free. When purchasing from a stock library they’re usually royalty-free, but check the type of licenses the stock library company has.
This is important for a book app. People expect to be read to. When recording voice-over, use a professional studio or engineer. Of course, you could do your own narration – just keep in mind that a good story with nice drawings needs a great voice. Or, we can recommend the male and/or female VO and producer used in our apps. We need digital files like WAV or MP3 in the highest possible quality, one file per page.
In our pricing system, you can decide what you want to do yourself or what we can do for you. Most options have a fixed price, but if you have special wishes/needs please let us know and we’ll make you a special offer. With the menu system you will have a clear indication of the price of most of the options.
When you contact us and give us an idea what sort of app you’d like to develop, you’ll get access to our pricing system. You pay 40% when we have an agreement on the price, 60% when the app is finished and ready for submission. Payments can be done using Paypal or Banktransfer.
We’ll test your app thoroughly, which is very important. During the development stage we’ll let you have your own pre-release versions of your app, so you can make changes and test it yourself, or let other people do some testing.
We can do a lot of testing, but the app will get its ultimate testing when it is in the hands of your users/clients. We will support your app during a 2-month period, if there are bugs they often arise during this period and we will fix them. Keep in mind that developing for iOS is a lot simpler than developing for Android. There are hundreds and hundreds of different Android phones/tablets and OS versions. It’s impossible to support them all. Especially some of the really cheap Android smartphones which lack certain features.
Sometimes Apple or Google will release new operating systems, and normally an app keeps working correctly under these newer operating systems. But sometimes changes are necessary for an app to keep running smoothly. If it is something small, we will fix it for you. However, if it is a big update, we will explain to you what needs to be done and you can decide whether to update or not.
PREPARING FOR SUBMISSION AND PRICING
Before you can submit, you need to decide on the price of the app. Take a good look at other apps – how they are priced. If your app has the same quality and amount of content as another app, you could use the same price. Read the reviews of these apps to see what people think of their price.
A good app needs a good strong icon. When people browse through the AppStore, the first thing they’ll notice is your icon. This icon image must be a powerful representation for your app. We can make an icon for you, or you can design one yourself (with our help if necessary).
An app in the AppStore needs a good, smart and short description. People tend to not read a lot. A description should be informative, succinct, and powerful. You can change this whenever you want once the app is in the AppStore. The AppStore also needs 4 good images, which we will supply for you: screens from your app, so people see what they can expect, before buying your app. These images can also be used to explain or promote certain parts of the app.
When your app is finished it needs to be submitted to Apple, Google or Amazon for review. In all cases you need a developer account. At this time, for Apple / iOS this is $99 per year. For Google/Android this is $25 a year; Amazon is $99 a year. So you need to request a developer contract, which must be renewed each year.
When an app is submitted, it can take some time before being approved, especially with Apple (up to 2 or 3 weeks). Sometimes an app gets rejected. This can be a technical issue, a rights issue or another reason. Apple will then explain it to you (Apple can be a little strange sometimes).
The Google Play AppStore is a lot less strict, so usually it only takes hours. When an app is rejected because of rights, or because another author or developer finds that the content is theirs instead of yours, you have to solve this yourself. If it is a technical reason, we will fix it.
Apple, Google and Amazon all take their share of your app profits. This varies between 30 and 35%, depending on country and currency. Apple/Google/Amazon pay your royalties once a month, but right after submission it can take up to eight weeks before payments start.
It is possible that Apple or Google really like your app, they put it in the ” What’s New” section or “Editor’s Pick” this can make a huge difference in sales. If Apple or Google really really likes your app they can put it on the first page of the AppStore or Google Play AppStore, this requires extra artwork (mainly bigger) for use in the store.
PLEASE NOTE: When you supply us with your artwork and story, we expect you to own it. If the content is claimed by a third party, it is yours to solve. Our last payment is due at the end of the development when the App is submitted but before the AppStore release. When the issues are resolved and you can submit to the AppStore again, we will do that for you.
Writing a wonderful story with nice artwork and developing a great app is step one. When your app is in the AppStore, you need the world to know that your app is for sale. We can help you with basic information on where and how you can promote your app, or we can direct you to companies who can do this for you.
App marketing is a lot of work, but if you have your own contacts and a lot of Facebook or Twitter followers, it can be made much easier.
App marketing is a continuous effort – new apps arrive daily and they all want the attention of the potential buyer. But if you have a great app and a great story, there are over 300 million iOS devices and even more Android devices out there, so the potential is huge. A $1.99 app can generate a serious income. There are very wealthy app developers and there are developers who haven’t made a dime. But a good story, with nice drawings, a good voice and a well-developed app are the first steps to be an independent developer. Good and clever marketing will do the rest.
When you contact us for more info, we will send you a DYO link with a form. On this form you can select what you want to do yourself or what we can do for you. Below you will find some examples of pricing structure and possibilities. These prices are estimates and can vary depending on the chosen options in our menu system.
But the most important thing is that it all depends on what you do yourself (DYO, Develop Your Own). The sky is the limit – we can build anything you want. But you can start with a simple app and end up with all the bells and whistles.
Example 1:Illustrated Book App for iPad with a lot of DYO
Illustrated story book app for iPad, with 15 pages (including front, back, and menu), no animations or interaction, voice-over. This is standard for most common children’s book apps. You supply and prepare the artwork, voice-over, storyboard. Standard page-swipe and menu system, where people can select to read it themselves, auto-play or being read to. You do all the appstore stuff, descriptions, icon, images and submission.
Example 2: Illustrated Book App for iPad with interaction/animations, a lot of DYO
Illustrated story book app, for iPad with 15 pages (including front,back, menu), each book page has different interactions or animations, buttons, sound effects, voice-over, and music. You supply and prepare the artwork, you cut out all the spots in the artwork for animation and interactivity, voice-over, . Standard page-swipe and menu system, where people can select to read it themselves, auto-play or being read to. You do all the appstore stuff, descriptions, icon, images and submission.
Example 3: Illustrated Book App for iPad and iPhone with interaction/animations, a lot of DYO
Illustrated story book app, for iPad and iPhone with 15 pages(including front, back, menu), each book page has 3 different interactions or animations, buttons, sound effects, voice-over music. You supply and prepare the artwork, you cut-out all the spots in the artwork for animation and interactivity, voice-over,storyboard. Standard page-swipe and menu system, where people can select to read it themselves, auto-play or being read to. You do all the appstore stuff, descriptions, icon, images and submission.
Example 4: Illustrated Book App for iPad and iPhone with interaction/animations, minimal DYO.
Illustrated story book app, for iPad and iPhone with 15 pages (including front ,back, menu), each book page has different interactions or animations, buttons, sound effects, voice-over music. You supply the artwork, we prepare the artwork for interactivity and animations, we do the voice-over (500 words) , we build the storyboard, we find all the sounds. Standard page-swipe and menu system, where people can select to read it themselves, auto-play or being read to. We do all the appstore stuff, icon, descriptions, images and submission. Pricing on request.
Other options are support for Android, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, full interaction, game design, advice, creative support, technical support, marketing, in-app purchasing, music.
If you are interested in our DYO solution, please supply a small description of the app you want to build and a small example of the artwork.
You can contact us by email or telephone: firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 35 694 60 91.