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Today's word is "ADAPT!" When I set out on this project, it first started as an ebook. I didn't know it was okay to put a book out there as an app. And though many people have published books as apps, the truly great ones are interactive and engage the reader somehow.

About two weeks ago (third week of development), I was ready to publish my children's book. Three weeks! That's pretty amazing. I created everything from the ground up and worked hard at the story, consistency of characters, etc. And then I found a tweet from someone I barely know. She posted a link to a wonderful app, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." All she said in her tweet, was go get this book, or something like this book changed the way I thought of book apps. And she was right! And to you, my faithful and new readers, GO GET THIS BOOK! Overnight it changed my vision for what I wanted my company to be and it set the bar for all books. Granted this was a short film before it was a book or an app, or maybe it was a book first, but regardless, the app is polished, has a lot of cool features, super interactive, and just fun to read. It brings together ideas from the Wizard of Oz, Buster Keaton, and all book classics in general. I was blown away. And I immediately pulled back my sleeves and adapted my book to something that was more fun and more engaging. I worked on the story until I thought it was magical. I created an opening scene that people said WOW to. And I made sure my characters were as lovable as they should be. Mr. Lessmore set the bar for me and all interactive book publishers. And I'm grateful for his contribution to fine literature. Oh and by the way, did I mention that "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," tops all sales charts in iTunes!

I wanted to also address something about this book. Moonbot Studios the publishers of Morris Lessmore, isn't a one-or two-man show. They had 28 people work on this project and their content came from pre-existing work that was written by William Joyce. They also brought in professional narrators, music composers, and programmers. They have a huge building to work in. Most of us little app studios are one and two-man shops. And it doesn't mean we can't pull off great work too.

If you take one thing from this blog post, take this. Be willing to "ADAPT" to make your work shine even brighter and also stay true to your vision. Don't be afraid to change a few words or paragraphs to make your work stand out even more. Look at what your competition is doing and embrace it. It just may take you in a different direction. But it's okay! It's the journey that makes all the difference!

 
 
Nick's Daily Design Diary 08312011

Today, I have a full plate. I have about twenty things to do before the day is out, but wanted to grab a few minutes before I started. Words can't fully convey the joy I have for this book. It has been a long time coming and I'm proud how it's coming out. We're in the final phases of production but there is so much more that needs to be done. It's true that time flies when you're having fun. It also flies when you can't figure out a problem. Thank God for my wife who is an excellent programmer. I've enlisted her to finish up the coding in .lua so that I can continue working on the design and production aspect. To give you an idea of what has to go into this book, I've listed the top ten things you need to do before you even start.

1. Research your idea
2. Research your title and make sure your characters are original
3. flush out your story in word or another text processor. (I use Text Wrangler)
4. Storyboard your idea on a sketch pad (leaving room for text, notes, and SFX)
5. Grab a pen and pencil and list your assets for each page. These will become your layers for each page.
6. Allow for a title page and credits or instructions before numbering your book. (I learned this the hard way)
7. Before you lay out your book, think about how many pages you will actually use.  Although it's possible to renumber your pages, it's a pain in the but when you have to change it.
8. Use Photoshop to organize your layers (assets) on each page
9. when cartooning, use a color page and an outline page so that your strokes around your characters are crisp and clean
10. If using KWIK to create your book, export your images once, and then turn off export images so that only your buttons and animations will get exported. This will save you time in processing.

Check back tomorrow for more tips and some design tips!

 

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