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Get rid of the book app category and let’s compete with e-ink books on the same storefronts

CEO of BeyondTheStory® Jen Porter makes a passionate plea borne of experience as a leading developer of interactive book apps. She asks whether the public is being educated or even has a mindset to look for interactive and immersive books on app stores?


“If book apps are put on online book stores then buyers can make a discerning decision about what digital editions they want to purchase and the price they want to pay.”


“The intelligent reading public is missing out. Clever and insightful enhanced digital books must compete for visibility alongside games and productivity apps, instead of the e-reading storefronts where the great majority of the book reading fan bases reside.”


She says her message to Amazon and Apple is: “self interest competition is no place for a free trading environment.”


“You might think all is well that people are migrating to digital in droves to read e-books using standard e-ink formats. Publishers are flooding the market with flat text editions at prices akin to physical books – and people pay these prices, despite poor formatting and rendering.  The book buying public doesn’t seem to care about this and the app stores care even less. Publishers are seen to satisfy their customers and authors are grateful for having some form, any form, of digital publication in the market.”


“Meanwhile highly immersive digital books such as The Diary of Anne Frank and The Waste Land are located on the app store instead of the places where the great majority of readers look for books.”


Jen Porter says that loading her company’s digital “+Books” on the app store is an exciting moment for a development company like BeyondTheStory®. With complex works such as its recent Editor’s Choice ‘Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl’ or just-released  ‘After Earth – Kitai’s Journal,’ Beyond The Story had been in months of management, creative and development to bring the +Book to fruition.


“Once submitted, companies like BeyondTheStory® wait for ‘app nirvana’ in the form of ‘editor’s choice’ or ‘staff picks…’ We pause until the carousels have rotated and either go out for a wine to celebrate, or commiserate.”


“Ratings are everything. If you’re not featured on a storefront, then despite all your best efforts at negotiating rights, dealing with the various app platform providers, publishers, film companies along with expansive PR and marketing plans come to nothing. Your app will be destined to that bottomless black hole along with millions of other apps all fighting for some degree of recognition. And despite the Philosopher, Adam Smith’s avocation of a free trade market in which supply and demand rules, without discoverability you are dead in the water.”