Yesterday, I quietly launched my first product – a template for creating storybook apps. Although the template went live with minimal fanfare, it did feel like a birth of sorts. As such, I thought I should share the template’s “creation” story. 🙂
The template emerged after I developed my own proposal, from scratch and with little information to go on. I had an idea for a series of apps based upon one of my manuscripts. I believed these stories would work better in digital vs. print form. I wanted to start submitting the idea to app publishers and developers, but I had no idea what information to include in a submission.
Would it be better to send the manuscript, text only, and include my ideas for sound and animation in the query? What about illustrations? I am not an illustrator, so I wondered if I should send the the app submission with or without suggestions for illustrations. In traditional publishing, an editor who acquires your manuscript will match you with an illustrator. This is not necessarily the case among e-publishers.
After months of research, attending digital publishing conferences, and scouring the websites of e-publishers, authors of successful apps, and storybook app reviews, I was unable to find a clear standard for app submissions. I followed with phone interviews of key publishers, authors and reviewers. I also spoke with a few freelance editors and literary agents.
I took all the knowledge I gained from these events, conversations and websites and wrote a storybook app proposal that I have used to submit my own project. Since then, I have received positive feedback on the proposal structure and content from editors and agents.
Knowing that information on how to organize and submit ideas for apps is still sparse and evolving, I decided to turn my own proposal into a template for others to use. I deliberately set the price low to make it affordable for all authors and illustrators.
If you are interested in developing and publishing storybook apps, or learning more about them, I hope you will use the template, learn from it, and possibly write proposals in far less time than it took me to write my first one.
Have you considered publishing a storybook app? If so, do you think a template like this one could help? Feedback is welcome!
(A special shout-out to Karen Robertson’s website, which introduced me to the notion of an “app brief”, to Roxie Munro for talking me through her process, to Emma Dryden who spent far more time with me on the phone than I’m sure she had, to Sarah Towle for planting the seed and to Katie Davis for helping to fertilize it.).Categories: Apps, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, Self Publishing, Storybook Apps, Writing · Tags: apps, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Julie Hedlund, Julie Hedlund's Template for Storybook App Proposals, Picture Books, Queries, Self Publishing, Storybook Apps, Writer, Writing