Converting books to interactive apps?

MarioMario ReaderCalifornia Reader
Hi folks!

My friend and I have many years experience developing mobile apps, but we wanted to work on a kids book project and have difficulty finding anyone who's not already signed with an exclusivity clause with a publisher, so we thought "Hey, we should ask the self-publishing community!"

We won't charge anything, we'll do a project for free, we're just looking for a way to gain some experience with the process while working with passionate people in the kid's book space. We've worked in the tech industry for like 20 years and we're definitely looking for something more creative.

We're in San Diego, California but there's no reason this couldn't be done via email, phone and FaceTime or Google Hangouts!

We can publish to iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, FireTV, Windows and Mac

Thanks, 
Mario and Bob

Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    edited September 2018
    For tablets like the Kindle Fire HD, ipads, iphones, etc., we can, for example, have characters on-screen that will glow until you click on them. Once the character is clicked, more things happen; dialogue or the character will walk over to another location on-screen and the story will continue. We can handle tapping, dragging, pinch-to-zoom, etc. Audio, music, particle effects, etc!

    We have coloring book pages that allow kids to select and grab colors from a palette and start drawing away.

    On the AppleTV/FireTV we're limited to their remote controller, i.e. directional button and the select button, but it's still pretty fun to see the book up on-screen on the television. :)

    Sky's the limit, pretty much up to the author/illustrator. We're not doing anything super advanced, like augmented reality/ virtual reality.

    Hope that answers your question!

    -Mario

    PS my email if anyone wants to chat too is mario dot roberti at gmail dot com, I'd been having some trouble logging into this post the last few days.

     
  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    WOW! Thanks guys! I've gotten so many emails! I appreciate it! Bob and I will have a look at your stuff and we'll see about getting some projects under way! Wish I had known about Lulu way sooner! Such a great community! :smile:

    Keep 'em coming!

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    You got emails from here?! Gosh, so people do read the posts then!

    But I don't see the point of what you suggest. A book is a book, for reading. What you offer seems to turn them into an animation. That's not what ePubs or Mobis do though. Can they even be sold on sites that sell ePubs etc? As per Lulu.

  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    Essentially converting a static book, epub, mobi to an interactive app/game is the point. Animation, interactivity, etc.  :) Like little animation or mini games between the story of the book itself. Those apps can be sold in the respective App stores, iOS, Apple, Amazon Kindle store, Google Play for Android.

    And yeah I was impressed with the emails! It said the post had 50 views, but I think half of them were me trying to log in. Hahaha! 

    -Mario
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    I think a lot of the views are search engine 'Spiders.'

    BTW. Amazon's free new mobi creation tool from KDP can do the same thing, not that I have tried it yet.

  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    Aw man, spiders? I thought I was awesome! lol j/k.

    If you have a link to that Amazon tool, I'd like to check it out. So far, all I'm finding are tools that convert existing or fresh ebook/PDF publications into other, static ebook formats, i.e. kindle stuff.

    Again, the thing we're doing isn't mobi or ebooks, but creating from scratch, OS native apps on the appstores using (hopefully) the artwork and stories from authors' existing material. I mean, sure we can create stuff from scratch with authors, but our take is to take what's already been done (art, stories) and add a moderate amount of new content to interact with.







    Thanks for the info!! Appreciate it!

    Mario
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    It does sound like another potential string to the self-publishing world. What would it cost if you did charge for the service?

    I cannot give you the link to a potentially competitive Amazon product in here! But I will tell you the name of it. Kindle Create.

  • Hi Mario,

    This is a very interesting idea. Can you PM me some details and a contact email? I'd like to get you in touch with our public relations director.  
  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    Hey guys! Sorry, I still have issues logging in on any other computer than my work PC. :\ haha

    @Just Kevin: Thanks for the name of the tool. I definitely understand your caution in not wanting to link to something that can be construed as a violation of the Lulu TOS, from what I can see, that tool is still just converting static books over to another format of static book, i.e. no animation, no interaction, etc. so I'm happy I'm not just being redundant. LOL! How embarassed would that be, thinking I offer a service that I thought was novel (pun!), only to have it turn out Amazon already did it??!?! Lololol! :) Phew.

    @Paul: Sure thing, once I figure out how to do it. Meantime, please feel free to pass along my email addy mario dot roberti at gmail dot com 
  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    @Just Kevin: I forgot to answer your other question, we don't know how much we'd be charging, we're still testing the waters out. Like I stated above, we'd be doing it for free for the first few projects and see where our adventure would take us! :)
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    Thanks for the name of the tool. I definitely understand your caution in not wanting to link to something that can be construed as a violation of the Lulu TOS, from what I can see, that tool is still just converting static books over to another format of static book, i.e. no animation, no interaction, etc. so I'm happy I'm not just being redundant. LOL! How embarassed would that be, thinking I offer a service that I thought was novel (pun!), only to have it turn out Amazon already did it??!?!

    The latest email I got from Amazon about their downloadable Create tool says that interactive ones can also be created. I have no idea if that's an update to the software, I don't use it.

    I forgot to answer your other question, we don't know how much we'd be charging, we're still testing the waters out. Like I stated above, we'd be doing it for free for the first few projects and see where our adventure would take us!


    It does not sound cheap.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    However, it does seem as you are offering it for free because you don't know how to do it!
  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    Another example, this was our first attempt. We saw the following book:

    https://freekidsbooks.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Patrick-Found-a-Something-FKB-Kids-Stories.pdf

    And did a conversion of it, adding the interactive stuff with tapping on the words making them read aloud, some basic animations and sound effects:



    We liked doing that one. It was pretty fun. Cute fact, Bob's daughter was the voice actor / reader for that proof of concept. :)

    Hope all the folks on the East Coast are safe and dry somewhere far from the mayhem...

    Best,
    Mario
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    What exactly are they? What OS do they run on?
  • MarioMario Reader California Reader
    And this one, a cute book about being adopted. The source material itself was very minimal, black and white line-drawing. It didn't lend itself to a lot of crazy interaction, but we feel the minimal amount was cool enough:


    The original is located here
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    Indeed, put are they ePubs, mobis? or what? Or are they some form of App?
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