Kath here. Please welcome Julie Hedlund to Writer Unboxed today. Julie submitted one of the winning pitches via the Writer Unboxed Facebook page, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Julie’s first book, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS, will be released as an interactive storybook app for the iPad in January 2013 by Little Bahalia Publishing.
She is also the founder and host of the 12 x 12 picture book writing challenge, a monthly contributor on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast. She is the creator of Julie Hedlund’s Template for Storybook App Proposals and serves as the “Field Guide” to 21st Century Publishing for Children’s Book Insider. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and The Children’s Book Hub.
In April 2013, Julie will fulfill a personal dream by leading the first annual Writer’s Renaissance retreat in Florence, Italy.
I used to think that unless I held a printed book in my hand with my name on it, I wouldn’t feel like a “real” author.
That all changed two months ago when I got the first illustrations for my upcoming storybook app, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS, coming out from Little Bahalia Publishing in January 2013. It was only then that I realized that my story was alive. Children would read it, and it no longer mattered to me whether they read it on a screen or on paper.
I want authors to feel empowered by the revolution that’s happening in publishing right now rather than afraid. Already there are so many new opportunities available to us that authors even 10 years ago couldn’t have hoped for. We have more control (both creative and financial) over our careers than ever. It’s a great time to be a writer!
Create Your Own Storybook App
Despite the seismic shift occurring in the publishing industry today, it is a great time to be a writer. We have more opportunities than ever to build, define and shape our careers.
Writing book (and storybook) apps is one of the new opportunities. However, it’s important to differentiate book apps from ebooks and storybook apps from book apps.
ebook – Electronic version of a print book, or a book composed and published electronically with minimal interactive elements.
Enhanced ebook – An ebook that contains much of the same written content as print books and standard ebooks, but also includes extra material, such as audio or video, similar to the “bonus features” of a DVD.
Book app – A book that requires the reader to interact with the story in order for it to proceed. Also includes non-linear interactivity ideally designed to enhance the narrative. Interactive components can include sound sprites, animation, illustration, music, virtual/augmented reality scenes and more.
Storybook app– Illustrated book apps geared for young children that include animation and other interactive elements (similar to picture books).
The craft of writing ebooks is much the same as writing for print. Book apps, however, require new thinking, planning and plotting. These five “rules” of writing book apps are a good place to start. [Read more…]