6 Questions for Russell Kerridge of Imagewrite [INTERVIEW]
This week the History of Humanity app was released; a collection of 52 full colour books including more than 7,000 illustrations in both English and Spanish – and it all fits into one app! If you’re wondering how it works, you can download it here, and get 2 of the books for free. Emma Smith interviewed Russell Kerridge, Managing Director of Imagewrite, part of the team who put the app together.
1. Imagewrite have created a new history app that can alternate between Spanish and English. Can you tell us more about how this works and why you decided to produce it?
We were approached by a Spanish book publisher (DMP) who had seen our apps ‘eBookShop’ and ‘eBookStore’ in iTunes and wanted to find a solution to sell a series of books on ‘The History of Humanity’.
It is a series of 52 books published in the 1980s in 10 languages and they wanted to produce it for iPad and Android. After discussion, we suggested creating just one app that could alternate between the languages selected – currently English and Spanish but set to expand to 10 languages.
2. How is it especially useful for users?
The great thing about the app solution is that it means anyone anywhere in the world will be able to access any language they desire – 10 languages of 52 books would be a lot to look at in one go but by viewing by language the user isn’t confused. The other feature we have incorporated for the first time is the ability to group books and allow bulk purchase discounts. So books 1-26 of a series are at a discount, as are books 27-52, or for a larger discount a complete series of 52 books can be purchased. The user can also buy individual books in any language and build their own book shelf which automatically arranges itself by language.
3. Interchangeable language is a great way for users to engage with content differently. Do you think that the app has the potential to make it big?
It is very difficult to say what readers want, I think the app provides a wonderful platform for the publishers of books. The potential of the app is further enhanced by the new group purchase system and of course most importantly the books look lovely on the iPad.
4. How were YUDU involved in the making of the app? Why did you choose to join forces?
Imagewrite and Yudu have worked together in the book marketplace for a number of years. Imagewrite has been working exclusively with book publishers since 2000. Yudu has a history of working with magazine publishers who were the first publishers to look at online publishing. I approached Yudu in 2009 and we have formed a great alliance to serve the book publishing industry.
5. How important do you think it is for publishers to be creative with digital potential? What can they be doing to make the most of the possibilities?
Personally I think it is the content that is still the most important aspect to get right. Book publishers have a wonderful back catalog of printed books that they can tap into and exploit, bringing this to the digital environment gives them a wonderful new revenue stream. I sometimes think it is very easy to spend a lot on bespoke apps that look great for 5 minutes and then the user finds the content is limited; the app needs to impress but without ever forgetting that books are all about the content.
6. Finally, what’s your own favourite app and why?
It would have to be something useful and boring – National Rail train app is great to find out what trains are due and if they are on time. Oh and of course any of ours!
book apps, History of Humanity app, Russell Kerridge
Emma Smith is an Editorial Assistant, currently working in trade publishing. When she’s not working, reading or doing other wholesome activities, she helps out with the BookMachine Facebook page and interviews interesting publishing people.