Yet another publishing question

Is the $499 publishing price set in stone? I like many I suppose are new to publishing and don't know if a non established title would sell enough copies to recoup the price of publishing. Is the $499 a per title price? If one has a comic book they would like to publish monthly at $499 a month this can get a little pricey for the newbie. Perhaps a tiered system of pricing? Maybe?
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  • Hi,

    The book app pricing for publishing to the App Store is set to begin at $499 and that is very competitive when compared to what it costs to custom develop book apps. We'd love to hear your ideas for tiered systems that could work and are open to evolving the model. At the same time we're exploring other alternatives to the flat $499 model that may be available a bit further down the road.

    There's little qualified data on how new authors are doing in digital publishing. The initial spike of sales is key to getting on the download lists, and what's key is to have some marketing behind the book. We are looking at ways Demibooks can provide support to our user base in that regard. Would be great to hear your expectations as well, and what you are willing to pay for/expect as a service.

    Thanks!
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  • Rafiq,

    Thanks for your reply. I come from database programming background so I will use that as my point of reference. I use filemaker pro to design databases. Filemaker has an authoring solution which allows developers to make stand alone apps from their projects. I believe that authoring package sells for $299. With that one can make unlimited apps.

    As to demibooks solution I would look to a subscription based model which would generate ongoing revenue or an outright purchase of the authoring component with a nominal fee on the backend for uploads to the AppStore. Say $49-$99 per title. I'm not sure what the hurdles are for submission to the AppStore, so this price might vary.

    Given the amount of work necessary to produce a title I believe your target audience, at least initially, is the smaller author or publisher for whom $499 per title might price them out of the market rather quickly should a title not have sufficient sell through. At the enterprise level, say a publishing house, one might consider a pricing model based on the number of titles produced in a year.

    As to a tiered system this might work in combination with the feature set of Composer has to offer. A light version vs a pro version. A pro might have no watermark, iAd capabilities, in app purchase for more content etcetera.

    I am happy to continue this dialog because I see the potential of demibooks and the service it has to offer. One other note, software developers that release regular updates and bug fixes seem to fair better at this game than those who don't. All to often I have seen companies get out of the gate fast only to be bogged down internal politics and lack of focus when it comes to refining their products.

    Hope this will be helpful.

    Marc
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  • I'm curious about this as well. Once an app is published, what happens if a bug is found and fixed, or a modification made. Will the price for publishing a revised app be the same as the initial price? Or will keeping it current be part of the deal?
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  • Anna,

    We'll be releasing details about PrintShop service levels and pricing soon - but as an example - for each service level, we will include free resubmissions. The idea is that if the bug is caused because of a problem with Composer, or any changes to the iOS that cause books to stop working, we will do everything we can to get your books back on the App Store with all bugs fixed.
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  • Marc - those are all good parts and you hit on several aspects of what needs to be considered for the starting business model. Some comments on some areas you bring up.

    iPad app pricing ranges are narrower then desktop software. The combination of the app's price, publishing fees, add on services and any download revenue share are what's available to us to offset the cost of developing the service and providing it. If Composer cost $299 (just to use that number as an example) to download from the App Store, we may price out most self-publishers from the market as well.

    The flexibility to choose which option works best (and also to pay a subscription vs one time fees) is of course most desirable. We fully expect the first pricing model to work for many but not perhaps not all right away, and for us to improve it and add options as needed. We just cannot provide as many options initially as we'd like.

    The model for self-publishing author/illustrators initially is to publish under their own brand and keep all the sales revenue (after Apple's 30%). The Composer software is free for a limited time, and after that it will still be relatively inexpensive. So the cost of the service has only so much room for flexibility. Having said that, we are open to driving down the cost per title based on bundled purchases.

    There are additional services possible in testing, improving user experience and marketing/distribution.

    Yes, we have a roadmap of product updates that we are working hard on.

    Anna, ongoing modifications to storyline not necessitated by bugs would not fall in the free resubmission category. That is an altogether different level of service - and can vary widely in terms of work needed to be done. The effort in the PrintShop to test and resubmit a modified app may be almost the same - however as we gauge needs/demand for this it's possible to offer this at a different price than the original publishing fee, or as part of a subscription perhaps.
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  • I’m thankful
    I don't need the specifics at this time, but a couple of scenarios that occur to me. One might be adding another language (I can see how this might be as work intensive as the original app).

    A much smaller change might be, once a second or third app was ready for release, to add a notification about "see our other apps" on the credit page, which could be as simple as a change on the background image, or possibly an added link. I understand that this can be an effective marketing tool to introduce those who have already purchased the first app to the new ones.

    Or if there is a bug necessitating an update, might the the creator be given the opportunity to add the new info to the credit page at that time?

    Thanks for the dialog.
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  • I teach in a non-profit private school, where I teach digital media, as it applies to art, including graphics, animation, and digital film. I have my high school kids work with the smaller kids, K-4th graders, to create digital portfolios. But we are considering ereaders, and I've been using the iPad since it first came out. So I've been looking for a more effective way to build interactive portfolios. Composer could be the answer.

    I understand that everyone wants to make money, but as an educator who sees the great potential of this as a tool for his kids to create it just kills me to think that my kids would go through much work to produce a wonderful piece of art and not be able to share it with others because it is cost prohibitive; $499 is cost prohibitive!

    Here is what would cause me to use Composer in the classroom:

    1. The publishing cost could not be $499 per book.
    2. Some type of Mac software would be necessary for sharing files--today's kids rethink an idea often, and too much time would be used w/o desktop software.
    3. A school account would be necessary.
    4. A multi-user account would need to be set up so that I can maintain overall control of the kid's work and act as a buffer between our kids and your end.
    5. You could develop curriculum-and with the potential of Composer you can attract every field of study. Adobe's Youth Voices is a nice model, but there are others out there.

    Thank you for letting me voice my wants, and smiles to you.
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  • Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions, we're definitely taking them into consideration as we roll out future plans for Composer and PrintShop. In the interim, may we suggest using DropBox as an easy way to share Composer books in the classroom without having to go through the publishing process? Here's how that would work:

    1. You can get a free Dropbox account (2GB) for your class, from www.dropbox.com.
    2. Download the DropBox app onto your iPad, and link your Dropbox account to your iPad using the instructions provided.
    3. Once your students create a book using Composer, then can use the "Export" option (shown on Workbench) to export the book to your Dropbox folder.
    4. Students can easily download any book in the Dropbox folder using the "Import" button on the Workbench.

    Each book shared using Dropbox will retain all of the original images, animations and audio objects. We suggest that students lock down objects on pages so that they cannot be modified unintentionally.

    Does this help?
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