Authorly, Turn Your Book Into An App


Recently I learned about a new tool called Authorly, which can turn books into apps to sell in all the major app stores, including Google Play, iTunes, and the Amazon app store (see my post, “Turning Your Ebook Into An App“).

Authorly allows authors to easily create apps for their books, and make them interactive. And although I like the service, I do want to point out that the gap between ebooks and apps is closing, and ebooks in certain forms can also have interactivity. For example, enhanced ebooks (with EPUB3) can contain video, audio, and some javascript for interactivity. KF8, the newest ebook format for Amazon, can have hotspots, where you touch a certain area on the screen and it magnifies the text. And iBooks Author allows for widgets and almost endless possibilities for interactivity with javascript and HTML5, such as zooming images, scrolling sidebars, pop-overs, 3D images, questions within the text, and more.

Using Authorly

According to Authorly’s CEO Adam Kaslikowski, Authorly has two ways for authors to create their own interactive book apps: the free web-based tool, which he said is “as user friendly as creating a powerpoint presentation” and the paid production services, which costs about $20 per page. This service has advanced features, such as embedded videos, games, and “even fun physics like falling snowflakes or confetti,” he said.

Authorly also recently announced its advanced animations package.

“We can now do bouncing effects, vibrating, zoom in and out, speed changes, as well as two items moving at different paces inside the same image,” Kaslikowski said. “These advanced animations are automatically included in our paid production quotes.”

Kaslikowski said that many book app producers also use the free service to include word-by-word highlighting and narration, as well as animations and “clickable hotspots that can play through to sounds.”

Authors keep all rights to their book and story, but Authorly owns the app, Kaslikowski said. They also receive 50% of the revenue, with the app store taking a 30% cut and Authorly taking 20%.

“Authors set their own app price and can choose to pull their app at any time,” Kaslikowski said.

Each Authorly app is native, meaning it is compiled especially for each of the three app platforms.

“We do build individual apps for the three app stores, but our ‘special sauce’ allows us to make that process very simple and quick so authors aren’t waiting around for us to launch on each platform,” Kaslikowski said.

Authors can make changes to their published app, though they would have to pay for a few hours of Authorly’s production services in order to make edits and republish the app, he said.

Since Authorly officially launched earlier this year, it has worked with 91 book apps, Kaslikowski said.

BookFair, Authorly’s Curated Library

Authorly also recently announced the launch of BookFair, an app that Kaslikowski said aims to “solve the problem parents nationwide face of finding quality reading material for their children.”

BookFair is currently in beta, during which time the first month is free to uses. Once BookFair gets out of beta, the price may be $10 per month or less for unlimited access, Kaslikowski said.

There are 25 books available on BookFair, though when the full version launches Kaslikowski said there will be 50 book apps, with 5 new books added each week.

“We look at a wide array of factors when choosing books for BookFair,” he said. “Things such as the quality of the art, the message of the story, and how broad of an audience will be interested in it. We love working with independent authors and spreading their unique voices to our subscribing families, so by no means do we look just at Big 5 published authors.”

“We reach out to some authors who we think would be good additions to BookFair, and also look over every app that goes through the Authorly platform (whether paid or not) for inclusion,” he said. “At the end of the day, if it’s quality content with a compelling story, we want it in BookFair.”

BookFair is currently only available for iOS but eventually it will also launch on Android.

“With our individual books, we’ve seen the most downloads on Apple devices so that’s why we’re building for iOS first,” Kaslikowski said. “But as soon as we launch the finished version of BookFair on iOS, we’re going to build for Android and release that next.”


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