After much procrastination and sleepless nights fuelled by seas of coffee, you’ve finished writing that book you’ve always meant to write. What’s more, in your moments of coffee-induced clarity, you’ve also decided to publish your book digitally. Congratulations! Really, we take our hats off to you, and we’re sure your neighbour enjoyed that little victory dance you did. But wait, you realise that there are many forms that your book can take – an ebook, or an app. Just when you thought you were done, too… Don’t despair, though, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you the low-down on how to make an informed decision on how best to package your writing before you send it off into the world. ebook or app, you ask? We’ll tell you.

It’s all about interactivity
An app really makes use of a tablet’s functionality to create an experience in which the reader uses their sight, sound and touch to interact with the content. This means you could essentially integrate video, games, sounds or dynamic content into your book! An example: a cookbook with a built in timer, or a travel guide with GPS coordinating systems integrated. The reader taps, tilts and slides, and interacts with your writing, and thus has a lot more control over how they experience your content. Illustrations and pictures are even more stunning on the iPad, and kids would naturally be drawn to this format. Children’s books usually make great apps!

Apps also can be updated periodically, to ensure that you’re keeping up with readers’ feedback and expectations. In short, trusty apps are hands-on and can be a lot of fun. Do you think your book would be enriched with multimedia? If so, the app is a great choice for you.

That said, interactivity for interactivity’s sake can detract from a book. If the interactivity doesn’t enhance a reader’s experience of your book, do away with it and stick to the app’s mellower cousin, the ebook.

With an ebook, the emphasis is on a simple, clutter-free reading experience. Interactivity is minimal. You can change the font size of your text, look up dictionary definitions of words, search for characters, and flip pages, but that’s more or less it. It is also a more suitable format for lengthy text, since most e-reading devices support black-and-white formats. Some books are perfectly wonderful for distraction-free reading, and these would make better ebooks than apps!  Books for adults, such as autobiographies, novels, short stories make good ebooks. Creating ebooks is also easier on the wallet, and that’s always great, right?

They also have different homes
Ebooks are hosted on platforms such as Google Play Books, Amazon, or iBooks. They can be read on e-readers such as Kindles or Kobo e-readers, or on a tablet with an e-reader app. Apps, on the other hand, are hosted on Google Play, Apple App Store and are compatible with tablets.

But really, both tell stories, and we dig that
Be it ebooks or apps, both are great ways to tell your story to an increasing volume of readers who are embracing digital reading, all across the world. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for your story, and by now you should have a better sense of what your options are.

We hope we’ve assuaged some of your worries. Now please, get some rest. And if you’re still feeling indecisive, give us a call, we’d love to help 🙂