Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Say Hello To Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow is a new, independent publisher of Children's books, and in a exciting move they are also going to be developing apps too.

As someone who makes videogames for my day job, I see a great opportunity to get great stories, engaging characters and magical worlds in front of many adults and children by embracing these new toys.

A straight forward thing to do is to produce an animated version of the book such as Guess How Much I Love You which you could download straight to your mobile/iPod for 59p.

There is a opportunity to take children’s stories and bring them to life and add further depth to them by giving children the chance to take a role within the story and take on the choices and challenges that many a protagonist face. A good example of a puzzle game derived from a children’s story is ‘Gretel and Hansel’. The game itself is perhaps aimed at older children and adults, however the art style and simple nature of the gameplay illustrates what you can do with a story as your starting point – I’m sure I could make a pretty fun ‘Gruffalo’ game if Julia Donaldson let me :)

Another approach is to expand the universe within which the story takes place. My children have those beautiful flash cards designed by Eric Carle. I could animate the characters, add music and SFX, add a simple game mechanic that allows children to spell the names of the animals and I’ve got a flash card iPhone app which I’m able to push towards 37 million owners, at 59p a pop. What about a Mr Men advent calendar app which reveals a new character every day during December? Or a Cat-in-the-Hat jigsaw puzzle app?

What about episodic content? You can release chapter 1-5 for free, get your readers hooked then a couple of months later out comes chapters 6-10 for 59p. What about talking with your readers and use them to shape the stories as they develop. What about letting your characters live outside the book, with Twitter and Facebook? Attract your readers and keep them coming back. Brilliant.

Also there is a real opportunity for those who are currently unpublished, as the cost to develop for iPhone is cheap ( compared to Nintendo/Sony/MS) - £500 for a Mac Mini, and about £100 to join Apple’s development program. Here is a real chance for small independent publishers give the big boys a run for their money and reach a massive audience with many more stories.

Like I’ve said, this is pretty exciting stuff.

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