Zco Corporation had the opportunity to attend and exhibit at Digital Book World 2013 (DBW) which was held at the Hilton New York January 16 and 17. Courtney LeClaire and I were able to displayed Zco’s vibrant, fully interactive storybook apps and augmented reality technology. The conference and expo drew over 1000 attendees, and all of the sessions and panels were packed with interested publishers and authors (all equipped with both smartphones and tablets).
Some key take-aways from the event:
Tablets are supplanting eReaders as consumers’ viewing device of choice. According to a recent online, by-invitation survey, 60 percent of publishing executives believe that tablets have become “the ideal reading platform,” and 45 percent believe that dedicated eReaders will soon “be irrelevant”. Therefore a key discussion point was maintaining attention span and engagement while reading educational books. “We do not want reading to be the most boring thing a child can do on a phone or tablet,” says Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crew in the UK.
“Gamification” – the adding of mini-games and fun, interactive elements can “double or even triple the length of engagement in children”, according to Lyle Underkoffler, VP of Digital Media at Disney Publishing Worldwide. During a lively DBW panel, the merits and potential drawbacks of adding game mechanics into kids’ books were discussed. Underkoffler noted, “An eBook from a ‘stickiness’ standpoint is consumed in three or four minutes…but the same eBook with some gamification elements doubles or triples the stickiness, creating a more enriching experience that kids will return to.” People are drawn to doing fun things – check out this YouTube clip, “Piano Stairs”, where turning a set of subway stairs into a “virtual keyboard” led to 66% more people taking the stairs over the escalator!
For both days, the hashtag #dbw13 was trending on Twitter – thoughts, commentary and praise was being shared throughout the day. Here are some “sweet tweets” from the show:
Amazon accounts for 25% of all book sales, and 30% of all money spent on books. Wow. #DBW13
— Jason Pinter (@jasonpinter) January 17, 2013
#dbw13 Personal recommendations: 81% made in person, then phone, text, social media… 87% of books recommended are backlist!
— HarperCollins (@HarperCollins) January 17, 2013
Why, since romance is the most popular genre, do bookstores house it in the way back, behind the do-it-yourself yacht building manuals?
— Jason Pinter (@jasonpinter) January 18, 2013