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
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]