From the Refrigerator to the Nook Color Reader's Tablet
Are the days of hanging your child's or niece's or nephew's stories on the refrigerator soon to be gone? Not likely, but now kids and parents have a new option for putting these stories on display—putting them on the Nook Color Reader's Tablet for any Nook owner to see.
Tikatok.com—an online children's book community owned by Barnes & Noble's (B&N), where kids can write, illustrate and publish their own books—announced this week the launch of a free mobile app for B&N's Nook Color. The new app enables children ages 5 to 12 to create their own e-books on the Nook Color Reader's Tablet, and submit stories (for free, to be available on the Nook). They also have the option to publish their books "into professionally bound hard or softcover books or e-books [starting at $15 and $18 respectively]. To enhance interactivity and customization, the new Tikatok writing app launches with features including an art gallery to spark children's imaginations, humorous book titles to jumpstart story ideas, and fun page backgrounds for decorating, all of which enhance interactivity and customization," according to the press release announcing the new app.
Kids also can read books published by "real kid authors" through the app, in the "Tikatok Picks" for free.
The basic idea behind the site, Sharon Kan, co-founder and general manager of Tikatok told Book Business Extra, "is that kids are great storytellers." Tikatok aspires "to reach kids at a certain time when they are still young to try to capture their imagination [at that time], inspiring them to use their imagination" to write and share their stories with one another.
"With the launch of the Tikatok Nook App, we can reach more children and families, get them excited about creative writing and reading," Kan commented in the press release.
"We've seen kids create books on the Nook, and they run and tell their parents, 'Go see my book. It's on the Nook!'," Kan told Book Business Extra. "And parents would love to see educational tools on tablets."
Tikatok.com launched at the end of 2007, and was acquired by B&N in late 2009. Kan says, "We grew dramatically more than we expected [under B&N], which makes sense. ... But the potential is very big for us [with the new Nook app]," she says, referring to B&N's 25-percent market share of e-book sales, its sales of millions of Nooks, and the more than 1 million downloads on the Nook app store.
In addition to enabling children to potentially get their books in front of every Nook owner, the app also allows them to set up a bookshelf to contain their own books as well as books they want to read or like from other child-authors. A bonus feature is that anything they create in the Tikatok app is automatically integrated with the Tikatok.com website. So, for example, if they are writing on the Nook, but then want to continue on their home computer for some reason, they can.
"This is a very innovative concept," says Kan. "And it's just the beginning for us in what Tikatok will be."