Wreck This App
Produced by: Perigee/Penguin
Platform: iOS and Android
Description & Features: Based on author/illustrator Keri Smith's interactive sketchbook "Wreck This Journal: To Create is to Destroy," Wreck This App embraces its companion p-book's color-outside-the-lines attitude by encouraging users to employ an arsenal of Photoshop-esque drawing tools to engage in tasks such as "Write One Word Over and Over," "Fill This Space with Circles" and "This Space is Dedicated to Internal Monologue." (Thankfully the app eschews some of the p-book's directives, such as "Poke holes in this page using a pencil.")
Five years after publication, "Wreck This Journal" has seen a steady uptick in sales and is being sold at Walmart and Target for the first time. (Three months into 2012, sales of "Wreck This Journal" were up 600 percent at Barnes & Noble from the same time last year and had already surpassed total 2011 sales at the retailer.) The book is being co-promoted at B&N with this app, which incorporates the visual and tactile qualities of touch-screen computing into the DIY/punk aesthetic of the book. Users can share their work via email, Facebook and Flickr. A nice feature of the app is that, as with the p-book, your progress is saved as you pick it up and put it down, but users can also start any page anew with the "erase page" feature.
Produced by: HarperCollins UK, Collins Geo and Aimer Media
Description & Features: Not tied to a specific title, this app is a project of HarperCollins' Collins Geo, which is best known for "The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World" but also offers data solutions to the likes of National Geographic, the United Nations and the defense sector. Fragile Earth employs stunning photography and satellite images to depict a world in flux. The interface allows users to swipe multiple layers across the screen to illustrate, for instance, how irrigation projects have all but dried up the once-massive Aral Sea (juxtaposing images from 1973, 1986, 2001 and 2009) or the effects of last year's earthquake and tsunami on Japan.
Fragile Earth demonstrates that an app need not correlate with a single title… or any titles. Fragile Earth was made available for 99 cents for the week following Earth Day (April 22-April 29).
Produced by: Demibooks
Description & Features: Demibooks Storytime is a curated, multi-publisher marketplace for interactive children's books that are created using Demibooks' authoring platform, Demibooks Composer. Publishers currently using the platform include Kane Miller and McGraw-Hill Education. Users can purchase titles within the app; most are interactive and offer "read to me" and "read it myself" options.
To add promotional push and enhanced discoverability for publishers and self-published authors/illustrators using the platform, Demibooks has partnered with Usborne Books & More, Education Development Corporation's direct sales arm.
"We've responded to our customers who have struggled with the discoverability challenge of launching their Composer-based books only on the App Store," says Rafiq Ahmed, CEO of Demibooks, in a press release announcing the launch. "For no additional development cost, they now have a second distribution channel in Storytime." BB
Produced by: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Impelsys
Description & Features: This app is a portal to the library of ebooks published by the 35,000-member organization for pharmacy professionals who ply their trade in hospitals and health systems. ASHP eBooks was developed using the iOS module in Impelsys' iPublishCentral platform. The app is free, and gives members access to books they've purchased through the society's Web-based ebook store.
"Our members wanted a more seamless system to download ASHP ebooks to their own iPads," said Carole Wolfe, AHSP vice president, publications and drug information systems in a press release. At present, AHSP has more that 20 titles available for immediate download through the app.
According to Sameer Shariff, CEO of Impelsys, the company is working on a version of the ASHP app for Android devices. BB