Buyer's Guide 2015: Ebook & App Solutions
This is a section from the Book Business Tech Buyer's Guide which is a publisher's reference on emerging technology in the book industry. You can find other Buyer's Guide sections here:
There is no longer any doubt that digital content is an absolute imperative for book publishers. With the rise of mobile devices and new digital distribution platforms like Oyster and Scribd, publishers need the digital chops required to make their books available everywhere and anywhere there readers are. Determining which digital products will best engage readers and how to get those products to market at scale remains a challenge.
The most prevalent digital products book publishers have invested in are ebooks and apps. While ebooks and apps can be very similar in presentation, they differ in how they are produced and in their overall capabilities. Ebooks, often built on a standard specification such as EPUB, allow for a larger degree of automation in production and greater device compatibility. And though ebooks are more scalable than apps, there are greater limitations to the variety of user experiences they can deliver and publishers are forced to conform to the capabilities of a given format.
On the other hand, a book app is essentially a customized software application for which programmers write code to directly develop the user experience rather than working with an authoring tool. Because apps are individually coded by computer programmers, they are much more versatile. But customization often means higher development costs and limit the scale publishers can achieve through ebook production.
The providers in the lists below offer the technology to create ebooks and provide the expertise necessary to develop customized digital apps.