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Have Children’s Apps Lost Their Luster?

Have Children’s Apps Lost Their Luster?

| May 27, 2016

I’ve heard grumblings and rumblings that the market for apps (especially those for children) has lost its momentum. Do I think apps are less top-of-mind? I’d say that they were never exactly top-of-mind for the consumer, but yes, I think they are less dominant now. You don’t hear the quip, ‘there’s an app for that’ very […]

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The Book App “Gold Rush” Reveals More Misinformation than Financial Success Stories

The Book App “Gold Rush” Reveals More Misinformation than Financial Success Stories

| October 17, 2014 | 2 Comments

  This post was a joint effort with iBook developer David Neal, creator of AliceWinks*, an animated and narrated retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I have enjoyed this title myself (although I do not review iBooks). According to Kirkus Reviews, who gave AliceWinks one of their coveted stars: This sumptuous iBook presents a straightforward telling […]

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A New Digital Divide? Production Costs vs Consumer Awareness in New Media Publications for Children – Guest Post by Allison Pomenta

A New Digital Divide? Production Costs vs Consumer Awareness in New Media Publications for Children – Guest Post by Allison Pomenta

| February 18, 2014 | 12 Comments

Several years ago, I met Allison Pomenta when she was still developing her storybook app, Axel’s Chain Reaction. Her app is a terrific indie title and recently shortlisted  as a finalist for the Digital Book Awards. Allison is talented, outspoken and quick to offer her experience with new media in the wild-west of digital publishing. […]

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The 5 Types of Free Apps and How to Find Them

The 5 Types of Free Apps and How to Find Them

| January 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

This post is an excerpt from a collaborative guest post, with Claudia Haines in the wonderful blog, Little eLit (http://littleelit.com). Little eLit provides librarians and literacy advocates with thoughtful articles, reviews and technical resources from a large pool of talented contributors. Claudia is the “Curation Coordinator” for Little eLit and a Youth Services Librarian at the Homer Public […]

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Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

| August 7, 2013 | 12 Comments

The world of children’s books has changed a lot in the past five years. Print titles may look the same, but anyone who has heard of the iPad, eReader or tablet technology knows that there are digital options that stretch our conventional ideas of a what books can and sometimes should do. Browsing in bookstores […]

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Parental Notification, the FTC and Kids Apps: What’s COPPA all about?

Parental Notification, the FTC and Kids Apps: What’s COPPA all about?

| July 5, 2013 | 2 Comments

COPPA is a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) statute – TITLE XIII – also known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Law. It was originally written in 1998 and had not been updated to account for the latest wave of digital kid’s content in the form of apps and other mobile media aimed at kids under 13. […]

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What is a digital book worth? Reflections on Pricing Book Apps for Kids in 2013

What is a digital book worth? Reflections on Pricing Book Apps for Kids in 2013

| May 21, 2013 | 12 Comments

Over two years ago, as one of my very first blog posts I wrote about the prices in the book app market, using my first 100 reviews for analysis. Now that I have reviewed over 700 titles in this new industry, I’d like to share a few of the points I made in 2011, which […]

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How to Get a Response from a Website about your App Review

How to Get a Response from a Website about your App Review

| April 15, 2013 | 2 Comments

I considered titling this post “Today in my InBox” because in all my years working with children, I always loved the concept of catching people being good instead of just pointing out their mistakes. Huh? What’s that have to do with my email inbox? To explain, I offer up this collaborative post with Rob Wheat of […]

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Paid App Marketing: Seven Priceless Lessons – Guest Post by Amy Friedlander

Paid App Marketing: Seven Priceless Lessons – Guest Post by Amy Friedlander

| March 22, 2013 | 9 Comments

This guest blog post is brought to you from Amy Friedlander, VP of Marketing & Strategy for Wasabi Productions. This team has created several book apps, including the Lazy Larry Lizard series that launched in April of 2010. Selling a paid storybook app is kind of like selling a new brand of peanut butter or this season’s new sweater. You’re introducing […]

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It’s daunting, but you can create your storybook app too! – Guest Post by Alex Souza

It’s daunting, but you can create your storybook app too! – Guest Post by Alex Souza

| March 19, 2013 | 2 Comments

Alex Souza is the founder of Kwiksher, a photoshop plugin for publishing illustrated, interactive storybook apps. I met him when he was hosting #storyappchat on Twitter for us back in 2011 & again last summer and he’s a great resource, even for those not interested in Kwik specifically. Check out his blog, including articles like, […]

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Why I Put Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books on the Back Burner: For Now – Guest Post by Brooks Jones

Why I Put Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books on the Back Burner: For Now – Guest Post by Brooks Jones

| February 27, 2013 | 1 Comment

Brooks Jones is the author/illustrator of the original storybook app, I Don’t Like Pink. She has also published a craft how-to book, Planet Pouch: Simple Juice Pouch Bags Anyone Can Make, now available on Amazon for the Kindle. In 2011, she founded a weekly chat on twitter for story book app creators, called #storyappchat. In May of 2011, I […]

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An a-MAZE-ing Transition: Roxie Munro Talks about Print, Digital & Lessons Learned

An a-MAZE-ing Transition: Roxie Munro Talks about Print, Digital & Lessons Learned

| January 14, 2013 | 3 Comments

This guest blog post is brought to you by Roxie Munro, the author & illustrator of several exceptional apps, including Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventures and  Roxie’s Doors. She is also the author & illustrator of more than  35 popular print titles   for children, with a career that brings a special wisdom, covering both traditional print & digital publishing opportunities.   […]

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My Favorite Sites: A Resource List for Finding the BEST iPad Apps for Your Kids

My Favorite Sites: A Resource List for Finding the BEST iPad Apps for Your Kids

| December 26, 2012 | 9 Comments

Since I began my review site, Digital-Storytime, two years ago I have had the privilege to meet many wonderful people in the app industry and develop collaborative relationships with some of the site owners behind the best kids app sites on the web. With 2013 being called (for the 3rd year in a row, perhaps) […]

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Lessons Learned: It’s Hard to Sell an App – Guest Post by Julie Landry Laviolette

Lessons Learned: It’s Hard to Sell an App – Guest Post by Julie Landry Laviolette

| December 17, 2012 | 3 Comments

This guest blog post is brought to you by Julie Landry Laviolette, developer of Brush of Truth, a book app for kids 8-12 in a “choose-your-adventure” format.  A mom of two, Laviolette founded her company, Story Bayou, to get tweens reading through technology. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. I remember when I first announced to […]

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Storybook App Creation: 10 Lessons Learned – Guest Post by Amy Friedlander

Storybook App Creation: 10 Lessons Learned – Guest Post by Amy Friedlander

| November 8, 2012 | 8 Comments

This guest blog post is brought to you from Amy Friedlander, VP of Marketing & Strategy for Wasabi Productions. This team has created several book apps, including the Lazy Larry Lizard series that launched in April of 2010. It’s strange to feel like an ‘elder’ or ‘veteran’, fit to reflect on what’s changed in the tablet app […]

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How to Create and Market a Children’s Book App – Presentation Highlights

How to Create and Market a Children’s Book App – Presentation Highlights

| October 31, 2012 | 12 Comments

This past weekend I travelled to San Francisco to speak with a group of workshop participants attending Karen Robertson’s training on “How to Create & Market a Children’s Book App“. Karen is the author of several great resources on making and marketing book apps for kids, including an online course called “book app academy“. Karen […]

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Two Essential Features for Digital Picture Books (a note to developers from your readers)

Two Essential Features for Digital Picture Books (a note to developers from your readers)

| September 26, 2012 | 10 Comments

Just this week, several Oceanhouse Media titles, from their popular Dr. Seuss collection, including Green Eggs and Ham, have added recordable narration and additional settings that include page guides for easier navigation. This is an exceptional step and not an easy programming effort on the part of a major developer of book apps. It is […]

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The App Evolution: Tips for Working with Book Review Sites & Blogs

The App Evolution: Tips for Working with Book Review Sites & Blogs

| August 18, 2012 | 4 Comments

This post was originally published as a guest post in the MOMS WITH APPS blog on  JUNE 18, 2012. It’s the story of how I got started in the app world, both as a storybook app resource, and as part of a husband/wife development team … A whole ecosystem has evolved around the world of kids […]

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Children’s Educational Technology: The Trends – Guest Post by Julie Brannon

Children’s Educational Technology: The Trends – Guest Post by Julie Brannon

| May 24, 2012 | 2 Comments

This post originally appeared in the May 2012 edition of The Social Media Monthly. Author Julie Brannon is a marketing specialist with a focus on book apps. The first part of this two-part series can be found here: Children’s Educational Technology: Partnerships, Products & Prototypes Technology is transforming learning for people of all ages. Educational software is merging with […]

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Children’s Educational Technology: Partnerships, Products and Prototypes – Guest Post by Julie Brannon

Children’s Educational Technology: Partnerships, Products and Prototypes – Guest Post by Julie Brannon

| May 12, 2012 | 3 Comments

This post originally appeared in the May 2012 edition of The Social Media Monthly. Author Julie Brannon is a marketing specialist with a focus on book apps.   People often disagree about which subjects schools should teach, but nearly everyone agrees that children must learn reading, writing and arithmetic. The United States invests considerable resources in making sure […]

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Marketing Kids Apps – Polishing, Promoting, Pricing … and a Good Dose of Uncertainty

Marketing Kids Apps – Polishing, Promoting, Pricing … and a Good Dose of Uncertainty

| February 2, 2012 | 6 Comments

Last year we had a series of posts in this blog about marketing children’s apps. Once it was done, I still wanted to summarize this series and add a few more thoughts (and resources) that have come to me from comments and discussions about this topic with other kids’s digital content creators. Among the most […]

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Once Upon a Time … An Overview of the Children’s Book App Market – Guest Post by Julie Brannon

Once Upon a Time … An Overview of the Children’s Book App Market – Guest Post by Julie Brannon

| January 17, 2012 | 8 Comments

This post originally appeared in the December 2011 edition of The Social Media Monthly. Author Julie Brannon is a marketing specialist with a focus on book apps. Readers of online newspapers are accustomed to finding interactive media interspersed with their daily reading which can now include videos, interactive graphs, social feedback and other enhancements. Publishers of digital books […]

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Marketing Kids Apps (Part III) – The logic, logistics & politics of pricing apps

Marketing Kids Apps (Part III) – The logic, logistics & politics of pricing apps

| December 2, 2011 | 11 Comments

This is the third and final post in my series about marketing kids apps. [See: Part I: Three Things No Amount of Code Can Fix & Part II: How Consumers Decide to Download] We end the series with some of the stickiest questions in the app world: What’s an app worth? What price point will encourage downloads? Should an […]

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The Dirty Little Secret About App Review Sites

The Dirty Little Secret About App Review Sites

| November 1, 2011 | 57 Comments

I began my life with apps as a bystander in the app development process as my husband created his first Android and then iOS apps. But soon I was drawn into the process, helping with ideas, marketing and more. Then I began my own review site, as I realized how important (and influential) the reviewer […]

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Marketing Kids Apps (Part II) – How Consumers Decide to Download

Marketing Kids Apps (Part II) – How Consumers Decide to Download

| September 23, 2011 | 6 Comments

There are a lot of apps for kids in the app store, so many that even an exceptional app can get lost (or buried) not long after launch. So how do parents & educators find good apps for elementary school age kids (and younger) to download onto their iPads, iPods & iPhones? Over the course […]

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Marketing Kids Apps (Part I) – 3 Things No Amount of Code Can Fix

Marketing Kids Apps (Part I) – 3 Things No Amount of Code Can Fix

| August 18, 2011 | 15 Comments

An enormous amount of time, energy and money go into app development these days. And after the programming dust settles, an app is born into the App Store or Android Marketplace. But many developers are unprepared for the really challenging work of marketing their app … so much so that they may overlook some of […]

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An Adventure Worth Having: Self-Publishing Your Children’s Book as an App

An Adventure Worth Having: Self-Publishing Your Children’s Book as an App

| May 10, 2011 | 5 Comments

    Do you have a children’s book inside you just waiting to get out into the world? Maybe you’re an artist/illustrator or a budding children’s book author? Or possibly a savvy programmer with a creative itch to scratch? It used to be common to hear people talk about the children’s book they “always wanted […]

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Trends – 100+ Reviews – In-App Marketing & Other Features Kids Apps Could Do Without

Trends – 100+ Reviews – In-App Marketing & Other Features Kids Apps Could Do Without

| April 26, 2011 | 11 Comments

Reading a picture book on an iPad can be an amazing experience. There is so much that can be added in this new medium. There are also some unique challenges that don’t come up in print books. In addition to books that are too stimulating for bedtime (or too noisy for a quiet waiting room), […]

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Trends – 100+ Reviews – Price

Trends – 100+ Reviews – Price

| February 28, 2011 | 3 Comments

This post is the first in a series about trends I’ve observed in the iPad children’s picture book app market, now that I’ve thoroughly reviewed over 100 digital titles. I will be posting on this topic over the next few months, but today’s topic is: Price. I’m starting with price because I get asked about […]

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