In March,2011, we knew we wanted to reinvent literature via the iPad. The book apps available at the time were pretty basic: pretty pictures, a narrator, and swipe and the page turns. In their own way, these basic ebooks were rather revolutionary. Parents didn’t have to read to their kids anymore. While to some, this may seem a huge improvement, to me the cuddle and hug time that goes along with reading to your children is irreplaceable.
Our goal was not to make an ‘easier’ type of book, or a ‘better’ type of book, but a ‘different’ type of book. We thought about a name for our new type of publishing venture and came up with the name, Literactivity. The mixture between literature and interactivity, kind of like a marriage.
We had a name and we had an idea. We needed a book. And, we didn’t want to create a book solely for the purpose of making an iPad book, we wanted a book that was successful on its own merits as a book. And we wanted to put a spin on it.
Enter the award winning novel Is It Night or Day, by Fern Schumer Chapman. Fern has been featured on the Oprah show, has won numerous awards including the Best of the Best for the Chicago Public Library, and is a dynamic and creative personality. We approached her with the idea of making an iPad app out of her book, and she enthusiastically accepted the offer. Little did she or we know how much collaborative work we would be doing in the year to come, and how much her literary talents and our technical and artistic talents would merge together to create the wonderful app, Is it Night or Day – The App.
Much of this amazing synergy will be discussed when I blog about the creative process. The first indication came, though, when Fern invited us to come along to a symposium and luncheon at the Chicago Public Library honoring the winners. This was a wonderful invitation to a world of highly functioning City of Chicago and Chicago Public Library professionals, who would prove invaluable in giving us the confidence and motivation to sink our teeth into this exciting project.
More on our experiences working with the City of Chicago in the next blog entry.