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This is a Guest Post by Laura Cremer, Digital Manager at Octopus Publishing Group. Laura has been shortlisted for the FutureBook ‘Digital Achiever of the Year’ Award 2015. Two of Octopus’s apps have also been shortlisted for FutureBook Awards. Here she gives us the lowdown on the reasons for their success.

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Andy Roberts

 

Ustwo’s Nursery Rhymes iPad app by most measures is a success. An innovative interactive ebook, by mid-June after less than four months it had shifted over 37,000 copies, was subject to rave reviews and benefited from being promoted several times by Apple itself. Most developers would be extremely pleased. The only downside: £60,000 spent, £24,000 in income; it is still a long way off from breaking even.

There’s little doubt that their app will eventually make a decent profit. Ustwo was remaining fairly philosophical about the situation: “Innovate now, don’t think this is about making money now. It’s about pushing the medium forward. Have a lot of fun and you’ll benefit in the future.” A view I highly applaud, but a view which many publishers will understandably be weary of. There’s no shortage of avenues where money can be spent with no return! But mobile apps need not be one of them.

I’ve worked on a successful series of apps for an educational publisher. Below are my views about how publishers can get into the right frame of mind to approach the app market and avoid common pitfalls.

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Dean Johnson

The app business can be as cut-throat as any other. When Brandwidth launched our first Guinness World Records app in April 2010, we were accused of jumping on the bandwagon as many other developers had either been creating apps for the iPhone or publicly immersed in the publishing world for years.

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Tuesday last was the Society of Young Publishers’ career speed dating evening, which I was invited to appear at as a digital expert. Basically, a group of publishing students and people who are interested in working in publishing come along and ask you about your job and how you started out and what your day-to-day entails, and you’ve got six minutes to turn your own blank look into something like worldly advice.

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This is Part Two of Dean Johnson’s look at how to survive in the cut-throat business of app development. Read Part One here.

RULE THREE: Design and build a great app not a good one

Create an app that does the original (or new) content justice. If you don’t, you will risk Apple rejecting
your title, or worse, the consumer voting with their wallet, star-rating and review.

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