Saturday, May 26, 2012

How To Be at BEA... Redux

[NOTE: BEA is the BookExpo America, the large publishing trade show held in New York City each spring. It is mostly closed to the public but 20,000 publishers, buyers, and media show up to exhibit at, buy from, or cover the event]

About eight years ago I wrote a popular Saturday Rant called "How to Be at BEA". Well, I'm again going to BEA not to sell (Jaya123) but to "buy."

I'm taking the next 3 to 6 months off ("The Summer of George" for you Sienfeld fans!) to learn:

Objective-C (Ob-C) and iOS

The Java/JQuery platform is not that difficult, nor is JASON (easier than XML) and CSS is fairly straightforward. However, Ob-C and HTML5 are huge... either one could be a job-description!

I want to re-train myself from being a PHP-only drone to knowing how to write both native iOS apps with Ob-C as well as iPad/Android web apps via HTML5/Javascript, etc.

Then I'm going to come up with a great idea for an app... and write it... which will sell a million copies at 99 cents!

(Aside: I found a good resource for training... if you are a fast study... W3Schools. Take a look at it. Some of you might find some of the topics useful. If you know any of this stuff, you're the person I want to hire to help... at excellent wages.)

I'm looking at the concept of writing apps that revolve around a specific book. Indeed, I don't see books being "text" on a dumb device like a Kindle, but instead they will be self-contained apps... programs... that become a total entertainment experience... reading, video, audio, and who knows what? Think of what you could do with children books alone? How about cookbooks?

Will the large publishers pay good money for these apps? I don't know but I hope to find out at BEA next month!

And if they won't pay, will they "license" me the book to do an app and I'll pay a royalty on each one I sell? I don't know but I hope to find out at BEA next month!

I know there are some automated app-builders... and I need to learn about those as well, but my guess is that they will turn out generic, hum-drum apps that look the same for each book. The key will be "unique" just as each book is "unique" from the other one on the same topic. Am I right? I don't know but I hope to find out at BEA next month!

Maybe the future won't be a "book in an app" but it will be a "Now you have bought the e-book... time to buy the app that goes along with it... for $5" paradigm? Will that be it? I don't know but I hope to find out at BEA next month!

In my heart of hearts I believe that HTML5 is going to replace Flash and that books will morph into apps... and that we're going to finally see books become an entertainment experience that will rival TV. Is there any truth that that? I don't know but I hope to find out at BEA next month!

Or am I'm wrong about all of this? I don't know but I hope to find out at BEA next month!

Those of you who are not going to BEA are being penny-wise and dollar-foolish. Yes, it is expensive. But you need to spend it to make it. Those who are attending... those who are not going to sell something but who are instead looking to "buy" a piece of the future... they are the publishers who are going to survive into the future.

I'm going to be one of them.

There are those who watch things happen, there are those who make things happen... and there are those who wonder WHAT happened? What kind of publisher are you?


Al Canton, President
Adams-Blake Publishing
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