By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief
Book apps have been around as long as the iPhone (and even longer, if you think back to CD-ROMs). Initially, stand-alone book apps were a convenient means of distributing digital books. But with the introduction of the Kindle just five months after the first iPhone back in 2007, apps quickly ceded ground as the ebook industry came to be dominated by bookseller platforms. Over time, stand-alone apps fell out of vogue as the app stores became inundated with millions of competing apps, making discoverability difficult.
Nevertheless, there are still many companies dedicated to the production of book apps, each touting potential competitive advantages of apps: enhancements, a mini-walled garden, design flexibility, direct sales, etc. The app market remains especially strong in the children’s book industry, where interactivity and ease-of-use are paramount. (Of course, some digress from this assessment.)
So tell us, are stand-alone books apps a long-term viable format for publishers? Or, with the enhanced titles being made available within bookseller platforms, are they a losing proposition?
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