I'm so excited to talk about the reviews Gary's Place is getting as well as talk about the sequel to Gary's Place.
First: We have the new updates in that fixed the ending of Gary's place and we submitted it to Digital Story Time and The iMums. Two of the top review sites for children's story apps. Digital Story Time gave us 4.5 stars and The iMums gave us 5 stars! I couldn't believe it! I had to start looking at the competition on those sites and found that many of the other apps in the 4-5 star range are being produced by big publishers like Harper Collins and Disney. It felt really good to be able to start and finish this project with Rick and my son Aaron with help from Tabitha Thompson's wonderful voice acting - and to be able to complete!
Second: Since we're finally rolling I'll share our sales stats from Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes in a future post. I don't expect to sell thousands of these overnight. I don't think digital publishing works that way for the most part. I've got my eye on the long term goal of steadily building a brand. I've had a few of my peers ask me why I seem to be so hell bent on making apps? Why work on a project like this without any guarantee of success? Why not spend more time in traditional publishing markets? Why risk? Do you hate traditional publishing?
I love these questions - keep em coming! :) No I don't hate traditional publishing - I illustrated 3 books last year and loved each one of them. I look forward to illustrating more in the future. I'm having the time of my life working in a medium that is expanding my knowledge and skill sets. I'm enjoying the collaborations I'm making with Rick and my son Aaron - who's very creative and is actually a major contributor on interactive, animation, and content ideas. I count myself extremely lucky to be able to afford the time to work on these. But probably the biggest reason is that in order to succeed in anything artistic there needs to be risk. I've learned to embrace it. This doesn't mean that I don't hear nasty things from the voices. There always there but I've learned how to cage them quicker and keep them locked away longer.
Many are afraid of digital publishing. Some are wishing it away. Some are ignoring it. I would just like to point out that it took nearly 50 years for the automobile to become mainstream. The early contraptions were noisy, expensive, unreliable, and inefficient. People made fun of the early adopters. Many were hoping they would fail so everything would go back to normal. I can't predict the future but I doubt we will move away from digitally delivered and enhanced storybooks for children. This means that I won't have to worry about my creations going out of print.
Third: My plan is to steadily and slowly build a quality brand. Each new app will advertise the previous story apps and each previous app will be updated to advertise the newest story app. They say slow and steady wins the race - we'll see. I keep hearing about artists who make an app and never make another one because they didn't sell enough to justify the effort. I think this is a mistake if they could afford to continue. Think about some of the most famous picture book brands out there - like the Olivia stories...or the Skippyjon Jones books. They weren't created in a year or two - it took a LONG time. It took risk from their publishers.
If you've bought a copy of Gary's Place I'd love to hear what you think! Also if you wouldn't mind giving us a rating in the app store - that will help - good or bad!