This is the time of year when sources start to close out their thoughts on the current year and make heady predictions for the coming year. New technology, new updates and upgrades, new content. And one of the sources that GoodEReader has been watching closely this year, iStoryTime and its parent company zuuka, have a few things up their sleeves for next year, throwing themselves out the gate with some January releases.
The same company that held nine number one spots this year in the iTunes store, not just for the children’s book category, but for all books, is slated to have some new releases next month which will include the first in a thirty-book series that revives the classic Smurfs storylines into interactive full-color and graphic books. Also on schedule is an early first quarter release of a digital comic series based on Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair. More work with Aardman, the creators of Wallace & Grommit, is in the works, this time incorporating both the popular stop-action and CGI backgrounds effects.
“We’ve been busy making our titles available on multiple platforms,” said zuuka co-founder Woody Sears in an interview today with GoodEReader. “Part of that was the interactive iBookstore launch, we’re going to be delivering more titles there. That’s essentially being able to offer the content that we’re doing to a wider audience and not necessarily have them limited to a particular device or just apps. We’ll have one title late in the first quarter that will actually be a reinvention of one of our existing titles in 3D.”
“The incorporation back to Android on devices like the Kindle Fire and Nook tablet have had great audiences for our books, so we see a lot of opportunity. It’s the right demographic for us and we’ll continue to take titles there. We’re looking forward to being able to not just do Android apps for the Kindle Fire, but also do Android books for that device but the integrated voice narration is an important part of our work. It’s not the same in terms of audience and sales as it is with iOS but it is encouraging and it’s growing.”
A lot of these innovations are possible because of several key partnerships that zuuka and iStoryTime were able to forge in the past year.
“zuuka’s partnership with CFP & Founders Investments earlier this year allowed us to expand our in-house studio in order to react to the extreme demand for our award-winning digital children’s storybooks as well as launch our iTalk entertainment app label,” said Graham Farrar, founder of zuuka. “Having ten No. 1 digital storybooks overall speaks to the quality that our team is able to produce under one roof. We’re very proud of our team.”
The company has been recognized as an industry leader due to its high quality interactive books apps that incorporate extra features with fully-integrated highlighted narration. The group has served on panels at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, Kidscreen’s iKids West, and Apps World in London, just to name a few. It’s partnership with Apple to bring books to the iBookstore has garnered a large market share for children’s digital books.