Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah was featured in a recent Shelf Awareness article - BEA: Mobile Apps: A Publisher Roadmap.
"Sourcebooks' Dominique Raccah provided the most practical information for bookstores, publishers and writers who are contemplating creating an app. She began by citing Steve Jobs's new characterization of Apple as "a mobile device company," upon the release of the iPad. Like Cairns, Raccah evoked Mary Meeker's findings and posited that consumers are now driven by "connectivity expectation." Raccah asked, "With customers who expect to be connected 'anytime, anywhere, by any device, with any format,' how do we meet that expectation?" Mobile is ideal, Raccah suggested, because it's "personal, permanently carried, always on, with a built-in payment channel, and available at the point of creative impulse."
For those who are contemplating creating an app, Raccah suggested thinking through these elements:
- Determine the target audience and define the value the app will deliver (will it solve a specific problem? Is it for entertainment?). What is the "why"?
- Identify the revenue stream (if any).
- Define functionality and determine the book content that will support it.
Raccah then discussed the importance of "Wire Frames," the blueprint for developers like Koppel at ScrollMotion. "Josh defines the screens, and if it's not right, either it doesn't work, or it's not functioning," Raccah said. "But there's good news for publishers... we can fix it!" She gave a range of examples from Sourcebooks, such as Gruber's Shortest SAT iPhone app; iDracula, a retelling of Dracula through text messages and a Web site; and an iPhone app that's coming out three weeks before the book's release that will offer 30% of the content free (consumers will have to purchase the book or app to see how it ends)."