Last Saturday morning I woke up to an email from Bill Anderson (He and Tom Anderson from Customizabooks are our developers). He said that he had posted an iOS build of our app on TestFlight (a site for beta testing apps) and he sent me an invitation link.
This is it, I thought. If I click on that link and download our app, this is really happening! No longer an idea, a discussion, a dream. On that quiet Saturday morning with my morning cup of Earl Grey, I stood in my kitchen gazing out into the back yard thinking that a major milestone has been reached. I was feeling so vulnerable and very nervous…a bit of the “what have I gotten my family into?” feeling and wondering will others connect to our story, our mission?
<heart pumping, pulse racing>
I opened the app and our “I’m Unique, I’m a Geek” theme song by AndyZ starts to play (more on the song later)…and click page 1…there’s my 10 year old Jonathan come to life…and there are Molly’s words, so endearing…and all the features and interactivity we discussed really help to carry the story!
<heart still pumping, mind still racing>
All of my fears turned to excitement and great joy! There are very few things to tweak and now it’s a matter of finishing up the narration and a few details and we’re good to go. I am so grateful for our team…our dynamic duo developers, amazing illustrators, kindie rocker musician, my talented kids…
I never thought I’d have such an emotional roller-coaster experience seeing our app, The Mighty League, Vol. 1, for the very first time. Wondering how other authors and publishers felt when it was their “first time,” I reached out and asked a few to share their experiences:
“I will never forget the first time I saw Treasure Kai come alive on the iPad, it truly took my breath away! The iPad experience took the story to a whole new level with cinematic music and exciting narration. Between you and me, I cried!” Karen Robertson, Treasure Kai Series
“When I first experienced The Prisoner of Carrot Castle in beta, I was excited enough, but then when I heard my voice (I’m the narrator) reading the story I was humbled. Knowing it would be heard all around the world soon… left me awestruck! Technology and the power that Apple (and Android) has afforded those of us with a dream is amazing.” Chris Pedersen, Purple Carrot Books
“I’ll never forget how extraordinary it was to see this story come so fully to life. It seriously took my breath away to witness how this book had gone from simple words on a page to being ‘alive’ with color, sound, and movement.” Julie Hedlund, A Troop is A Group of Monkeys
“After months of visual design, overcoming technical challenges, and even recording an original song, seeing the complete beta version of our first app 12 Days of Christmas was thrilling…. and terrifying. We’d actually done it! Before December! There were still many, many bugs to work out, but the real test was yet to come – would our kid testers actually play it and enjoy it? It was finally time to find out and I couldn’t wait to get started!” Libby Roin, Polk Street Press
“I was thrilled when I saw Super Harry on the iPad for the first time. I had an idea in my head for a while about a boy whose rotten luck keeps on snowballing, and his clever way of turning his luck around. Then when I saw it come to life on the screen it was quite a special moment. It felt like the beginning of an exciting new chapter in my life. Since then I have created a second storybook app, Henrietta is Hungry and I am hard at work creating a fresh and fabulous cookbook for grown ups!” Nina Lim, Super Harry’s Rotten Luck
All top notch and fan favorites, EVERY one of these authors/publishers have gone on to create additional story apps. May we follow their lead!
*UPDATE: Our book app won a Temple Grandin Award because when it was released it was one of the first times there was a character in an app on the autism spectrum. We realized that we had a bigger mission and became an autism storytelling nonprofit. Since its, we have transitioned away from apps and have recreated our Mighty League 1 and Mighty League 2 as interactive digital comics so they are more accessible.