Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Developing an iPad App: Step Six

The Prisoner of Carrot Castle © 2011
Haven't heard from me in a while about the app progress, but rest assured things are moving ahead like gang busters. The work has been heavily concentrated on the illustrations, Kate working hard at painting each scene. And next month my uber illustrator is moving to Vancouver where her husband works. Kate and the boys are very excited to be together as a family again.

Step Six:
A. Illustrate Each Scene
All the scenes for the book and the title page have been colored. What do you think of the title page? Some of the scenes were adjusted as Kate moved through the story scenes. You saw some of the gorgeous scenes in Developing an iPad App: Step Five.

B. Build the App Pages and Functions
Plugging all the colored scenes from Kate's work into a build of the app, Nur has provided a web location for us to download the progressive builds onto our iPads. That allows us to test things and give him feedback. He's experimenting with page turning styles, built and debugged one of the games and laid-out the extended scene where the accelerometer will be used. Are those teasers enough for you?

C. Begin Foley Work & Plan for Marketing
I have my hands full as I figure out how to put the sound together. There's narration for each scene, music that plays throughout the story (with an off/on button) and sound affects that happen either as a one-off (happening once during narration) event, or when a spot on the screen is touched usually involving animation.

Nur's job is to make it all work, but I need to get all the sound files for him to insert. A good friend has offered his professional sound studio to do the sound work. Sound a bit overwhelming?

Then there's marketing. I need to create a marketing program to introduce and get the market buzz going about the app. I'm convinced the app will sell itself, but the rub is people need to know its out there in the sea of millions of iPad apps.

Just a few things I'll be doing:
  • Set-up Fan Page on Facebook
  • Look into targeted Facebook ads
  • Send out app to reviewers
  • Send out press kits to media
Marketing gurus out there, what else do I need to do?

BTW, the production company for The Prisoner of Carrot Castle is called Purple Carrot Books. Did you know that carrots were originally purple? The dark-colored carrots are making a comeback. Give them a try if you see them in your local market.

It's getting exciting, isn't it?

What is it you'd like to know about building an iPad app? Scroll down and leave a comment.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway~Just Too Busy: Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical

I met Joanne Kraft about two years ago in a critique group I joined to polish my writing skills. She gave us many laughs with her witty, oftentimes, tongue in cheek comments. "Joanneisms" was a term I used for the many funny descriptions she would come up with and add to her writing. I loved reading her work for the humor, but went away with many a gem for life.

The same is true for her first book. You'll find Joanne Kraft's book very relevant to the fast-paced life we seem to find ourselves racing through. Just Too Busy: Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical provides a private look at Joanne's own family as they un-plugged from things (TV, sports, computer, music, etc.) that tear us away from a rich and close family experience. Her humorous look at each situation will have you laughing as she pokes fun at herself with wit and sarcasm. Yes, there is someone to fill the shoes of Patsy Clairmont. Sorry, Patsy, I know you're still here.

Read Joanne's book and you will take away ideas to bring closeness and a new approach to doing family in your home.

Every parent in the world needs Just Too Busy. If you're a mom (or dad) trying to raise kids and make it in our crazy world, you must get this book. If you are a grandparent and have a relationship with your son/daughter where they will not be offended (happens—don't want to step on toes here), get them this book.

Take a trip to Joanne's author website and subscribe to her blog for regular dispensing of mom wisdom. Plus, be sure to download her free leader's guide to get a blueprint for a women's study using the book.

Just a parting word. In case you think that Joanne's husband, Paul, is a follower in this relationship and Joanne wears the pants. Think again! Paul is the rock-steady rudder and reality dispenser in their marriage. He supports Joanne 100% in the call God has on her life to encourage families to take the right path (as opposed to the world's) in raising kids.

Want to get an autographed copy of Just Too Busy? Leave a comment to be entered in a Book Giveaway for Just Too Busy. I'll announce a winner on July 1st.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Anatomy of a Book Launch Party

Friend and fellow writer/author, Joanne Kraft, launched her book Just Too Busy with fanfare and flourish. Her book became available on June 1st (same date as The Dog Next Door). It was only appropriate that the the launch party took place at Caffe Santoro,  a local coffee shop where Joanne could be found hunkered in the corner with her laptop working on a chapter.

The popular event featured 400 mini-cupcakes made by Beth Thompson, President of Inspire Christian Writers, who slaved the day making the delicate morsels frosted with colors from the book cover. The cupcakes, alluring as they seemed, were not the crowd attraction. Crowds did come, but most slipped past the pretty display in their march to see the author.

Joanne's book about her family's experience at breaking the "busy" cycle contains advice on how to have quality family time. A little peace in a chaotic world—a message resonating with moms and dads today.

While husband, Paul, sold books at the coffee shop entrance, a line formed inside with folks eager to get their books signed. An hour into the event, each of Joanne's children read the chapter written about them. Meghan, their eldest now in college, wrote the chapter about herself, describing her experience and lessons from the radical sabbatical her family took when they unplugged from all things electronic and stopped all sports and after-school lessons.

Bright pink, green and purple balloons, flowers and even tissue paper added flare and festiveness to the location. For a time when the crowds were thickest, buzz and banter filled the shop, that place became Joanne's stage—her domain. She glowed as her smile beamed at each visitor approaching the pink-draped table set for book signing. The event marked a high watermark for other authors. Congratulations, Joanne!


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