FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Free App Building Tool for Writers

Authors interested in building book apps for tablets and mobile devices can download the currently free Demibooks Composer tool in the Apple App Store, a DIY app that helps writers add “realistic physics, animation, sounds and visual effects” to their books.

We caught up with Demibooks founder Rafiq Ahmed to get DIY advice for children’s authors looking to create interactive children’s book apps. If you want to learn more, join us at the Publishing App Expo in December 7-8, where Ahmed will be part of our “App Building 101″ session. For writers on a budget, you can register for a one-day pass or a one-track pass to focus on the DIY part of the conference.

Below, we’ve collected three pieces of design advice from Ahmed–check out the Composer User Guide (PDF) for more information.

Demibooks Composer Tips for Children’s Book Writers

1. Once you familiarize yourself with some of Composer’s features, plan out your book app. Understand our publishing options via demibooks.com/PrintShop. Determine all the media and interactivity you want to include and budget for any elements you cannot create yourself. Are you going to create all the assets or will you have to source items such as voiceovers? Soundsnap.com and other online sources exist for sound effects, while for voiceovers you can rely on friends and family or source professional recordings depending on budgets.

2. Memory management is critical for interactive apps on tablet devices. Choose media types and sizes wisely based on what you need for the iPad’s display resolution, where you need transparent images, the impact of image dimensions on memory usage and so on. Some essential tips are on our community site.

3. Reviewing the sample books that ship with Composer is a good way to review how Behaviors are constructed. This is the most powerful aspect of the platform and takes away the need for you to know how to code.

Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing

Personal Essay WritingStarting October 28, work with a published journalist to draft, edit, and sell your first-person essays! Jessica Olien will help you to workshop your writing so that it's ready to pitch to editors. You'll learn how to tell your personal story, self-edit you work to assess voice, style, and tone, and sell your essays for publication. Register now!