SURVEY: Do You Read Your Child “Apps”?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

It’s a question every parent is going to have to ask themselves: do I buy my child a book or do I buy my child an app? As Ralph Moellers points out in today’s feature editorial, if you

Ladybug Girl has just gotten an app

opt for the app, you’re likely going to be paying a whole lot less money for it than you would the book. This, of course, presumes you have a costly device on which to play it and that you’re willing to let you child get close to your device.

In my house, where I have a 3.5 year-old in residence, there have been times when I’ve loaded the iPad with some of Oceanhouse Media’s Dr. Seuss apps. These typically sell for $3.99 compared with $8.99 or more for the hardcover. With something more contemporary, say like Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis, published by Dial, the price difference is even more dramatic: $16.99 for the hardcover vs $4.99 for the recently-released app. (We’re big fans!)

What’s interesting to note, though, is that my inclination is to only buy my child an app for a book that we already own, so the publisher is actually getting two sales — instead of cannibalizing the sale of the higher priced hardcover.

Personally, I find that my child only enjoys the app for a book she’s already familiar with reading. Perhaps its her age, as she still needs to have a parent introduce her to something new before she’s comfortable with it. This is something I expect to change as she begins to read and can explore new books on her own. For the moment though, the decision is up to me.

Will I take a chance on purchasing a new and potentially interesting children’s book app? Sure, provided it’s one that I am curious about — after all, when it comes to kids books, for the most part, publishers are selling to the parents. Would I do it if they cost the same as a new hardcover…not a chance.

[poll id=31]
About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.