Authors and Illustrators….
How to Turn Your Book Into a Book App
The How-to Course You’ve Been Waiting For!

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Why Your Book Could Be Published as a Book App!

 There’s never been a more exciting time to be a writer because we’re no longer dependent upon traditional publishers as the only publishing option to make our dreams come true.

At a time when fewer new authors are being signed by publishers and many bookstores are closing, you’ve actually never had as much opportunity to publish your work as you do now.

And if you’re a children’s writer or have content beyond the book, you can create a book app and easily reach readers around the world.

Whether you’re unpublished, self published or you’re published and own your digital rights, you can turn your book into a book app opening up a new creative world for you and worldwide market for your book!


What’s a Book App?

What’s a book app? It’s a “book” that is read on a mobile device like an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or mobile phone like an iPhone, smartphone or even an iPod touch.

I turned my book, “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island” into a book app in 2011 and we’ve sold “Treasure Kai” in nearly 100 countries, every day for over 18 months.

The Questions Authors and Illustrators Keep Asking…

I’ve been writing, speaking and coaching about book apps for the past year and I keep hearing the same questions over and over. The most common are:

  • It’s so overwhelming, I don’t even know where to start!
  • How do I know what my book app should look like?
  • How do I find a developer?
  • How do I put all the stuff I need together (a narrator, music, an illustrator?)
  • How can I do this if I’m not into technology myself.
  • How much is it going to cost?

So How in the World do You Create an App?

The great news is that there is a step-by-step process to follow and I can help you learn what you need to know and help you find the resources and suppliers you’ll need to turn your story or book into a book app.

The decisions can seem overwhelming, but if you know what questions to ask, your answers will start to naturally emerge.

Who Can and Why Create a Book App?

Anyone who owns their digital rights can turn their story or content into a book app.

Why would you want to?

  • Because it’s a great way to publish your book in a format that you can easily share with readers
  • If you’re still wanting to be published by a traditional publisher, you can use a book app to prove there’s an audience for your book
  • If your book is published, it’s a great way to extend the life of your book
  • You have complete creative freedom to create what you want
  • The mobile device and tablet computer markets are exploding in growth and is only getting bigger. The number of adults in the US who own a table computer or ereader doubled between December 2011 and January 2012!
  • Easily reach a global market with no inventory to manage or shipping or currency exchange to deal with.

These are just some of the reasons I’ve loved having a book app.

Why I Write and Teach about Book Apps

In February 2011, we launched my first book app, “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island” on the App Store. It was so exciting to be selling “Treasure Kai” worldwide in my sleep! But just three weeks after our app went live,
the iPad 2 was released and we discovered a bug that would occasionally occur on the new device.

That’s when I learned about a huge mistake I’d made. Our developer had moved on to another project and when he couldn’t quickly solve the problem, we were stuck with no developer and no app. We were out of market for 10 weeks!

I knew I had to share my experience with other people so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did. I started writing articles and speaking about book apps and soon found that articles and speeches barely scratched the surface of what people needed to know. So I wrote an eBook, “Author’s Guide to Book Apps” to share our experiences and how to turn books into apps.

Over the next year, I continued to add content and resources to “Author’s Guide” and started being asked to coach other writers and teach about book apps.

I found I was hearing the same questions over and over again. So that’s when I decided to create Book App Academy so that I could share everything I’ve learned over the past two years with other authors and writers to help them make their dreams come true, easier, faster and cheaper than I did!

Is Turning Your Story or Content into a Book App Possible for You?


It’s never been easier to turn your book into an app. You are so lucky because there are a lot of tools and businesses now to help writers and illustrators turn books into apps.

And you’re not alone. I can show you, step-by-step, how to assess your story, create what you want your app to be, create the assets you need (illustrations, narrator, sounds, music) and find a developer.

What is Book App Academy?

Book App Academy is the course I wish I would have had when I started creating my first book app two years ago.  It’s a full, how-to course designed for authors and writers who want to create a book app but don’t want to program the app themselves. It presents, step-by-step, the full process for turning a book into a book app complete with resources, examples and more.

Book App Academy consists of six modules, each with a series of lessons. Each lesson is presented as a video tutorial with an audio download and PDF as well.  The video tutorials average between 3-15 minutes in length so lessons are presented in bite-sized chunks.

When you sign up for Book App Academy you’ll get a unique log in and password to the website that holds all of the content and resources.

You Get Immediate Access to All of the Content When You
Log in for the First Time

Here’s what’s waiting for you on the inside of Book App Academy:

  • 35 video tutorials, audio files and PDFs. These are downloadable or you can access them online
  • The Developer Spotlight Ready Reckoner and PDFs from developers who have provided information about their services
  • Developer interview question list
  • Resource List – a list of all of the resources mentioned in the course
  • Bonus material – where I’ll post additional content I create over the next two months include the Zak the Yak case study I created, taking you through, step-by-step, how we turned a printed book into a book app
  • Book App Examples – a page with direct download links to over 50 book apps that are used as examples in the course so checking out the apps you want to experiment with are easy for you to find


Take a Video Tour of Book App Academy

See a Complete Outline of the Course Content with Summaries at the End of This Page

Will Book App Academy Help You
Turn your Book into a Book App?


“Karen’s enthusiasm and passion are infectious and it was great to be able to share my vision with someone who gets it! Karen’s practical advice and real-life experiences during the planning stages of my app project have been invaluable. I’m looking forward to more fun-filled, energetic and inspiring sessions as my concept becomes a reality!“

- Janeece Keller, (writer and coaching client)


“Karen’s advice, insight and encouragement have had a huge effect on the production and development of my first interactive iPad book app! Reading her “Author’s Guide to Book Apps” was the spark that ignited the flames of possibility for my husband and I when we had the initial idea for our project. I emailed Karen to thank her for writing the e-book, and right away she suggested that we talk on Skype to brainstorm ideas for my app – her friendly and enthusiastic nature made me feel like I had known her for years. A few weeks later we met in person, and I knew that I had found not only my mentor, but a great friend. Karen lends her expert advice in a simple, straightforward and easy to understand way. I highly recommend working with Karen.  When looking for someone to guide you through the many different ways of making a book app, work with someone who has done it already! Someone who already has contacts to other developers, reviewers, and people in the know. Thank you Karen for your ongoing support & belief in our app!“

- Emily Connell, Jumble Bugs, Inc. (toy designer and coaching client)


“I went down a few paths that didn’t work out, either because the program didn’t have the functionality I wanted, or I wasn’t willing to accept their Terms and Conditions. At the end of January, I bought the Author’s Guide to Book Apps and the last section, the Developer Notes, saved me and made the Bud the Bunny app possible, because it was there I found Demibooks and their Composer app.

- Heidi Berthiaume – author of Bud the Bunny

“Thank you. I know I wouldn’t have attempted this route if it hadn’t been for all the helpful information you have provided. I love your app and my son enjoys it too! I found your eBooks very informative and I thank you for providing such wonderful information! Coming across your website was the start of my journey in this area and I am so glad it happened. I have worked for so long for other people with freelancing and never really got to see anything of my own imagination launch. This gives me hope to just keep on growing and do what I can to make progress.“

- Julia Stilchen – Koala Loves Hearts


“Karen, wow! What a mother lode of phenomenal information! You really have your finger on the pulse…I’ve been doing a lot of searching and while there is a lot of info available for eBooks and how to make them, there’s not much out there for those of us who are in children’s publishing and want to go beyond just creating a digital version of “text” or even text simply accompanied by some illustrations. Yikes! hooray! And thank you!”

- Karen Fredericks, Writer and Illustrator

“I can’t tell you how helpful all of this information has been and how great of you to share all of your experience! I have been researching this all on my own since April and finally felt some relief when I accidentally stumbled across your book. Wow, saved me tons of time researching!!“

- Nicole Fonovich, President of Lucas Lashes Partnership

“Karen is not only a model of success as an app developer, she is the consultant who can design a strategy of success for new app developers. She teaches the basics of the app development business, insuring that your foundation is solid. She advises as you develop your app, careful not to impose on your creativity, yet helping you to avoid mistakes. She encourages you to find your niche, often recognizing your talents before you do. And from step one, she is having you think, decide, and develop your platform for marketing with Social Media.”

- Cyndie Sebourn, Writer, Teacher and Coaching Client


“I got the idea to turn KinderBach into an app when I read Karen’s article in the SCBWI magazine. I wanted to thank you for your marketing book for apps. It has been a great map as I wander through this unknown territory. Reading your books made me realize that I could do this. Yes. This preschool piano teacher in Iowa can produce an app. It’s been a fabulous learning experience.”

- Karri Gregor, creator of KinderBach

“Reading Karen’s ebooks was one of the best things I ever did. They are so informative and inspiring. I know I would never have created a storybook app if I hadn’t read her books first.”

- Nina Lim – author and creator of Super Harry HD

So What if You’re not into Technology?

Even if you’re not technology minded, or are even a bit intimidated by technology (OK, even if you hate it!) you can still do it!

Who This Program is For

Anyone who:

  • Has created an illustrated book or a book that has content beyond the text to deliver a rich reader experience
  • Wants to reach a global audience
  • Wants to save time and money by learning from those who have gone before
  • Wants to learn about proven resources for sourcing illustrators, narrators, sound effects and developers

 What’s NOT in this Course?

At this point, I’m not teaching about how to program an app yourself if you’re wanting to do all of the computer programming using HTML5, Corona, Phonegap, etc.  I do talk about using specialist book app do-it-yourself services where you use drag and drop technology (no programming!) to create your own app.

Shorten Your Learning Curve…
Save Time and Money!

I’ve done a lot of things right and made some mistakes along the way. I share everything so you

You’ll save so much time and money. Learn the process, meet possible suppliers, identify possible resources and discover the pitfalls to avoid. 

How to Get Book App Academy

Once you buy the course, you will have unlimited access to the content until December 31, 2013 (that’s over a year!)  

By the time you finish this course, you will:

  • Have designed the creative brief for your book
  • Will know which type of developer to seek for quotes and might even choose some I include in the course
  • Will know how to get your illustrations done, in what format, how to approach music and where to get it, where to get sound effects, how to choose a narrator and where to find one and so much more!

Once you have successfully checked out and paid for the course, you will want to check
your email right away for your Registration link to the members area! 

What You Get

Get instant access now to:

  • All 6 modules outlined below (over 35 video tutorials with audio files and PDF downloads)
  • My favorite resources list
  • App Examples page featuring over 50 book apps I show in the course
  • Key questions you must ask yourself to know the type of developer that’s right for your project
  • Developer interview question list
  • Information from 15 developers

Plus these these Bonuses:


1. Free update when Book App Academy reopens in 2013. Anyone who buys this first Book App Academy course will get the next version of it for free.

2. Author interview with you when your project goes live:  I’ll help raise awareness of your book app when you release it.  I know how hard it is to raise awareness of your project so I want to help you get started. As a bonus, I will conduct an author interview with you about your book app project. You can use this interview however you’d like and I will place it on my blog and share it with my database as well. 

3. First Look at New Case Studies and Author Interviews: Learn from the experiences of other authors, illustrators and book app creators who have created book apps.  Which developers did they use? What did they do right? What do they wish the would have done differently?

Course Investment

 Details and pricing to be announced during the next release of the course in 2013

Once you have successfully checked out and paid for the course, you will want to check 
your email right away for your Registration link to the members area! 

30 Day Money Back Guarantee!  No Risk to You…

Because I’m so confident that you will see great value with Book App Academy, I’m offering a 100% money back guarantee for 30 days so there is no risk to you!

Still not sure…Take a look below at the course outline!

Module 1: Context

Welcome! This module sets the stage for why the book app format is such a great opportunity and gives you an overview of the background information that will help you make decisions. Lessons include:

-My story
– Book apps versus eBooks
– Who Can and Why Create a Book App
– Apple vs. Android
– Current state of the Book App Market in the App Store
– How to Navigate the App Store and Redeem Promo Codes
– Book App Production Process Overview

My Story

I’ve found that It’s always helpful to learn other people’s stories so in this lesson, I share with you how I became an accidental author, award winning book app creator and book app maven. Many of you will be facing some of the key decisions I’ve faced so I hope by understanding my journey, you can better plan yours!

Book Apps vs. eBooks

Understand the difference between book apps and eBooks on iPad to help you decide which format s the best for your story.

Apple vs Android

A frequent question I hear is “Should I develop my book app for Apple, Android or both?” In this lesson, I talk about the market penetration, download and revenue data for Apple and Android devices and apps.

Current State of the Book App Market in the Apple App Store

How many book apps are there, what’s selling best and why? How can you cut through?

How to Navigate the App Store for Paid Book Apps and How to Redeem Promo Codes

Two of the most common questions I get from newbies is wanting to understand how to navigate the App Store and determine what the Top selling apps are and how to redeem promotion codes. So I’ve screen grabbed these processes for you here.

Book App Production Process Overview

This lesson gives you a big-picture overview of the production process for publishing a book app.

Module 2: How to Create Your Brief

After completing this module, you’ll know what you want your book app to include and how to create the brief you’ll use to find a developer. This module focuses on each component of your book app and provides examples to ignite your creativity and inspire you!

-How to Create Your Brief and Assess What is Right for Your Book or Story
– Text Layout and Text Highlighting
– Narration
– Sound Effects
– Music
– Animation
– Interactivity that Brings the Reader INTO Your Story
– Interactivity that is Relevant to the Narration
– Interactivity – Bonus Content Included within Your App
– Navigation and Usability

Assessing What is Right for Your Book or Story
The objective of this lesson is for you to establish what you want your book app to be. You’ll see examples of every component you will need to make decisions about from text design and highlighting to animations, sound effects and more.  After completing this module,  you will be able to create a brief that includes and overview and page-by-page description that will help developers quote on your project and will help you project manage your book app.

Text Layout and Text Highlighting description
This lesson shares different approaches to presenting story text and text highlighting.

 Narration description
This lesson shares the decisions you’ll need to make on narration and provides examples.

Sound Effects description
This lesson outlines the different types of sounds you’ll need to consider (background sounds and sound effects) and provides numerous examples to get your creativity flowing!

Music description
No music, royalty free music or an original score. What are your options and what is the impact on your book app?

Animation description
There are so many ways an image can be animated.  In this lesson, I share a number of examples with you so you can determine what is right for your story.

Interactivity that Brings the Reader INTO Your Story description

The term “interactivity” is used a lot when discussing book apps. In this lesson, I look at book apps that use interactivity to actually bring the reader into the story so he or she is participating in the narrative in some way.

Interactivity that is Relevant to the Narration

In this lesson, I look at examples of book apps that use some of the neat functionality of the iPad and interactivity within the app but that interactivity is not necessarily designed to have the reader participate in the narrative itself.

Interactivity – Bonus Content Included within Your App
In this lesson we look at the opportunities you have to include other content within your book app that enhance the reader’s experience with the story, characters or topic in a way that is outside the narrative.

Navigation and Usability

In this lesson we look at different ways book app navigation and usability works so you know what you want your app to include and what questions you should ask your developer about this part of the design.

Module 3 – How to Create Your Assets

This module steps you through how to create and collect your assets for book app production. You would have made your decisions about what you want in your app and documented those in your brief. Now it’s time to pull the assets that the developer will need to develop your app together.

- Story Prep and Editing
– Narration
– Illustrations
– Sound Effects
– Music

Story Prep and Editing description
A great book app starts with a great story. This lesson covers how to make your story as strong as possible so you create a story that will endure.

Narration description

How to choose a narrator and where to find one.

Illustrations description
Already have illustrations or artwork? Is it app ready? What if you don’t have illustrations yet. How do you find an illustrator? This lesson covers all of these issues.

Sound Effects description
Whether you want to source your sound effects yourself or hire someone to manage sound for you, this module takes you through your options.

Music description

In this lesson I talk about how to find royalty free music for your app and how to brief a composer to create an original score. And I talk about how where you can find these resources.

Module 4: How to Find a Developer

Besides deciding what you want your app to be, who will develop it is the most important decision you’ll make. It will determine how your app works, the quality, the budget and timeframe as well.  One of the most exciting changes over the past year in the book app development world is that there is now a variety of services to choose from for getting your app developed. There are numerous options:  work with a company or an individual, have the development done for you or do it yourself. This module looks at all of these and more.

-Developer – Decisions You Need to Make
-Working with an Individual or Company
-Representation in the App Store
-Bugs, Updates and Customer Service
-Examples from other Authors
-How to Determine Your Shortlist and Brief Them to Quote on Your Project
-Developer Spotlight

Decisions You Need to Make
There are a number of decisions you will need to make that will help you determine the type of developer you need. Once you review these, you will naturally start creating the criteria for your developer resource.  From using a DIY to done-for-you service, to working with an individual or company, to how your app is represented in the App Store, to what functionality you’ll need, to budget and remuneration and more, after this lesson, you’ll have a much better idea of what kind of developer will be right for your project.

Working with an Individual or Company

Having worked with an individual developer on the first Treasure Kai app and a company to develop the second, I’ve learned a lot about each approach. This lesson takes you through each of these options; the pros and the cons.

Representation in the App Store
In this lesson, I show you different ways your app might be represented in the App Store depending on the type of developer company you choose.  Understanding this issue will be an important decision criterion when you are deciding who will develop your book app.

Bugs, Updates and Customer Service Issues

Not having a process in place to manage updates and winding up out of market for 10 weeks after only three weeks in the App Store is what first motivated me to start sharing what I learned about how to create a book app. In this lesson, you’ll learn about what questions you need to be asking about managing bug fixes and updates, and how customer download complaints and issues will be handled.

Examples from Other Authors

Want to see what other authors have created using different types of developer? I’ve connected with scores of book app creators who have contacted me after using “Author’s Guide to Book Apps” and here, I showcase a number of the apps they’ve created using different types of developer relationships so you can see what’s been done by people you can actually connect with if you wish.
Apps developed with:

-DIY Developer Tools
-Specialist Done-For-You Book App Services
-Book Apps Requiring Custom Development Work
-Book Apps Created Working with Developers Who were Personal Contacts
How to Determine Your Shortlist and Brief Them to Quote your Project
Once you understand your needs against the issues covered in the first lessons of this module, you’ll naturally identify several companies or developers for your short list. In this lesson I’ll go through how to brief that short list in a way that you’ll get the most accurate quote for your project. And how to make your decision on who will develop your app.

Developer Spotlight Ready Reckoner

While I will have highlighted a number of developers in previous lessons and in “Author’s Guide to Book Apps”, it can be hard to keep them straight. I’ve put together a “ready reckoner” and invited developers to share their information. In this lesson,  I give you an overview of this ready reckoner. You can download the Developer Spotlight Ready Reckoner below.. You can use this list to identify companies you might want to investigate as part of your short list.

Developer’s Comments PDFs

Some of the developers have written more about their services. Their content can be downloaded here.

Module 5:  The Numbers

-What are Your Objectives?
– How to Budget
– Remuneration Models
– Sales Figures
– Project Management

What are Your Objectives?

Why are you considering publishing your story as an app? Are you wanting to share your story in a published format? Are you wanting to reach a global audience? Are you creating something as a proof of concept? Are you wanting to make money?  Understanding your objectives will help you make decisions about how much you spend to create your app.

How to Budget

What costs do you need to allow for? How much is all of this going to cost you? This lesson steps you through these issues so you can budget.

Remuneration Models

Different approaches to remuneration are discussed in other lessons. This lesson summarizes your options.

Sales Figures

Probably the most difficult information to get from other developers, I’ve done the home work and share what I’ve learned from other developers and ourselves about the impact on sales that different positions in the App Store might deliver you.

Project Management

There is a lot involved with creating a book app so what should you do when, and how can you manage the project? In this lesson, I share with you some thoughts on how I approach managing a book app project.

Module 6: The Legals

One of the things often forgotten when it comes to creating a book app is the legal issues you’ll need to consider. From what needs to be in your privacy policy to industry best practice if your app is targeted at kids, to releases you need to get signed by suppliers; “legals” isn’t the most “fun” part of a book app project but they are essential to understand. I am NOT a lawyer. I’ve written these lessons after creating two book apps and discussing these issues with other developers and talking with my lawyer. The purpose of this module is to raise your awareness of these issues so you can discuss them with your own lawyer!

-Contracts and Releases
-Best Practice for Kid’s Apps – FTC and Privacy

Contracts and Releases

In this lesson I take you through some of the types of releases you might be needing when creating your assets and some of the issues you might see when signing a developer contract.

Best Practice for Kid’s Apps – FTC and Privacy

The FTC in the US has started looking at apps that target kids and have a standard code of practice they would like to see apps respect. For example, having links that open social media accounts in a pre-school storybook app is not best practice. See what issues you need to consider if you are developing an app that targets kids and what options you have to be best practice. Also see what you need to consider for your privacy policy.

App Examples

I use over 50 apps in the examples I give throughout the course. I’ve created a page so that there’s one place for you to go to easily download the ones that are relevant to what you want to do.

Once you have successfully checked out and paid for the course, you will want to check 
your email right away for your Registration link to the members area! 

The Fine Print

This course is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws, and all rights are reserved, including resale rights: you are not allowed to give or sell this course to anyone else.

Please note that much of this course is based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Although the author and publisher have made every reasonable attempt to achieve complete accuracy of the content in this course, they assume no responsibility for errors or omissions.

Also, you should use this information as you see fit, and at your own risk. Your particular situation may not be exactly suited to the examples illustrated here; in fact, it’s likely that they won’t be the same, and you should adjust your use of the information and recommendations accordingly.

Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms.


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