Apps. This was the buzz word that was mentioned time and again in discussions at the SCBWI S.F. South Regional Writing Conference. I just returned from a fascinating weekend given at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA. Adding to the beach charm was the excitement of the digital age and what this could mean to children’s writers.
Apps. stand for an application which can be downloaded to smart phones and tablets. Apps. use multimedia with a format like a picture book, but it moves. There may be games and other media included. This is such a new medium that it can be a huge opportunity for many Indie Authors, esp. picture book authors.
There’s been the talk of how picture books will survive the digital age. From my impressions, parents are looking for things to keep their children occupied and happy. Downloading a children’s app. to a tablet or phone can be a way they can share a new experience in reading together while entertaining their child.
To get started, here are some tips from Rick Richter from Ruckus Media Group. He is president and CEO of Ruckus, and spoke at the conference this weekend. Apps should be respectful to kids and the interactivity should make sense. If you are interested in submitting to Ruckus, he suggested to storyboard your idea. If you are interested in finding out more, the website is http://www.ruckusmediagroup.com.
Truly, the future of children’s books seems to be morphing before our eyes. Children of the future may be reading from tablets in school and learning from smart phone apps. It is exciting to be at the beginning of it all.