Digital books on big screens in classrooms

We are currently visiting Bett and actually just signed with a client that will be using our platform to produce enhanced ebooks specifically tailored to usage in the classroom, often by the teacher on a big screen. Our rich palette of enrichments as well as our strong support for layers of interactions that can be easily turned on and off was the deciding factor to choose our offering.

The titles will likely include usage of our API-integration to use internal and industry standard login services, as well of adding interactive widgets beyond our standard palette to the books. One prime example of this will be lookups in dictionaries in books focused on language training.

The client also had some ideas for additional features, which I can’t share any more details about at this point – but will for sure do that later. As always we are developing the features on the condition that they will be standard features for all our enterprise users as soon as they are ready.

If you want a, virtual or physical, demo of how can be used for books projected on a screen in the classroom contact us – or, if you are at Bett today, grab me! Happy Friday!

New app ”Solsikkeappen”


SOS Children’s Villages in Norway launches app for children aged 4 to 10. The app was made in the TapBookAuthor tool.

Solsikkeappen splash screen

The app contains material for kids created by SOS Children’s Villages over the last years. The material was imported into the tool and is presented in a universe where one gets to know children in children’s villages around the world. You will find videos, interactive maps, karaoke songs, free hand drawing functionality in addition to interactive books about Karsten & Petra written by the well-known Norwegian author Tor Åge Bringsværd.

Solsikkeappen 2 Solsikkeappen 3 Solsikkeappen 4

The main purpose of the app is to show Norwegian children that there are children in other parts of the world living very different lives than them. Still, there is hope for a more fair world, if we are willing to help.

The app is available on both iOS and Android devices, links can be found below.

Google Play:


Guest post from Ellen Fossli

Today’s post is a guest post from one of the members of our beta program, Ellen Fossli of Kirell Design. The goal of the project is to make our tool accessible to all the great indie publishers (think 1 and 2 person shops) all over the world. But, like they say, without further ado – the word goes to Ellen.

Ellen Fossli is well on her way to become a wizard
Ellen Fossli is well on her way to become a wizard

In my day job, I am using Adobe Creative Cloud – Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. My area of work includes brochures and magazines, profiling for companies, book design, etc. In addition I am working on a series of children’s books that I hope to publish.

It is for the children’s books I have been using TapBookAuthor. In addition to printed books, I want to release rich and interactive digital version of the titles. To be honest I was a bit skeptical – thinking the tool might be hard to learn, but it was truly not. In fact, it has been amazingly easy!

The tool gives me access to a rich palette of effects, animations and other opportunities. I have still a lot to learn, but even after just one meeting I made an interactive presentation of the book. And it was so fun to do!

I have also started a project with a book of poems for one of my clients. This is also very exciting and I feel I can take digital books to a whole new level.

Before ending, I would like to thank Sondre Skaug Bjørnebekk for an exciting and creative collaboration – and not least fantastic service! This is so fun!

OK, so I got the virtual mic back – blushing a tiny bit, but at least I can return the compliment and say it has been a real pleasure working with Ellen. And she has been patient, because although we are getting there, we are aware we still have some tiny wrinkles to take care of before every indie publisher and self publisher of the world should make rich interactive titles with our tool. 🙂 If you are a self publisher and would like to try our tool, give me a ping at sondre (a)

Welcoming new customers

Going into the summer, we have just signed with two new customers. NKI Forlaget and Tell Forlag, both Norwegian publishers with interesting projects coming up.

They are joining our innovative group of customers that now includes small and large publishers in both North and South America, UK and the Nordic region. We are working with potential clients in several locations and would love to discuss with you if you have an exciting project or idea.

Awesome Award

Praising yourself is nice, but being praised by a third party is even nicer. This is just what happened to our customer Little Pickle Press of San Francisco, Catching Fireflies interactive book app with journalCalifornia the other day. Just look at what the jury wrote about their recent Catching Fireflies app created with our tool:

“THIS is what eBooks should be, taking advantage of the strength of the format to offer the reader an experience they truly could not get on the printed page.”

The title was given the Benjamin Franklin Digital Award. Congratulations Coleen, Rana and the rest of the team. We are proud to be your partner.

An offer you can’t refuse

We are glad to report that we have just signed two new customers, GAN Aschehoug and Schibsted Forlag. With Schibsted aboard (and if my counting is right), all five the largest Norwegian publishers are users.

And the somewhat playful title of this post hints to the fact that we have had 100% of our customers doing a small paid pilot move on to become permanent users. Yep, our tool is that good (and we are not half bad ourselves!). Please contact us if you’d also like an offer you can’t refuse!

Cool App, Cool Cause

Little Pickle Press and Cabot Creamery partner to support KaBOOM, to help support their efforts to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

The Cow is clearly in Patrick’s kitchen

The app Farm2Table, made with based on the printed book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard with illustrations by Heather Devlin Knopf, is a cute and fun story about the sources of the food we eat.

So if your answer to the question about where food comes from is “The supermarket”, you’ll learn something here. 🙂

The Farm2Table app is available in the iTunes store, currently for less than three dollars – check it out:

Would you like an app with that?


The world is constantly changing. Since book lovers of all kinds are a part of this world, they’re changing too. Digital solutions are getting more present every day, either to replace something or as an addition to something. That’s why Norwegian publishers and bookstores need to realize that there is a big potential to be exploited. Right now it seems they don’t.

The gas station

An idea really struck me a few months ago during a visit to a Norwegian gas station. Usually I pay for my gas outside by the pumps, but this time I needed something in the store, and went inside to get it. When I wiped my card to pay, the girl behind the counter told me that by entering my phone number on the payment terminal, I would automatically register to a loyalty program; giving me a 10 cent discount per liter every time I wiped my card. Since I didn’t have to spend a lot of time and energy filling out different forms, I found it a pretty good deal and went for it. And even before I reached my doorstep, I received an sms from the gas station, telling me how to complete the registration. Really quick and easy. These things are often irritating and time consuming, but not this one.

I am not saying that publishers and bookstores should do exactly the same thing as gas stations. But the gas station example could surely inspire publishers and bookstores to get to know their customers better, and to dig deeper into the digital world of eBooks and apps. It is obvious there is a lot to gain by taking advantage of these digital opportunities.

Why not jump on the bandwagon? E-books and apps are always in stock without taking up much space, and they are always just a couple of clicks away. You just need to know where to find them.

How come the industry is still hesitating?

Publishers don’t know their digital customers well enough, and hence neither the possibilities created by digital solutions nor how to market their digital products. Also, the customers don’t know the digital products available or where to find them when they are in “buying mode”. It is complicated to find the actual products, even though there are loads of sites selling them.

Take (the biggest Norwegian digital book store) as an example. Have Norwegian book lovers even heard of it? Some of us – of course – have, but too many haven’t. Still doubled its turnover in 2015 (compared to 2014), and the positive trend – according to statistics from Den norske forleggerforening – doesn’t seem to end.

What about the sites put up by the bookstores? Do they sell eBooks and apps? Of course they do, but it seems they still rank the physical product higher, in spite of the increase of digital readers.

There’s a huge android market too. With over 10 million downloads last year, Aldiko Book Reader is an example of a great, small app in an aspiring market. These apps are user friendly and easy for the reader to handle with their eBook.

The solution

In a competitive and tough market both publishers and bookstores need to get in closer contact with potential customers to increase sales. They need to get to know their customers by getting their names and contact info. If this works out they can even send different information – based on interest – to different customers.

The main key:

  • When someone buys something in a physical bookstore, the store needs to establish a relation with the customer right away, by getting them into a customer register.
  • Paperwork is not a good thing – unless the store wants to scare their customers away. Therefore the register process needs to be quick and easy. Entering a phone number on the payment terminal – like they do in gas stations – is a possible way of doing this.

Everybody wins

Sale doesn’t have to be pushy. At least not if you do it the gas station way. If this works out successfully, the bookstore will be able to adapt their marketing to individual taste, whether it is digital or physical. Making the product «one click away» also makes the threshold for buying lower. As a result publishers and bookstores will be able to sell more books, and authors will be even more inspired to write them. This will be a win-win situation. Even customers would profit from this.

So yes, I would like an app with that.

Thriving in a Transitional Phase

App startingWe all aim to find the formula for the “next generation textbook”, and as tool makers we sometimes find a bit too few of the opportunities of the platform being used. But then again, what is wrong with a super efficient production process and clear and valuable enrichments based on the layout of a printed book?

Recently the small Norwegian publisher Tell Forlag has impressed us with how streamlined they made the process to release their latest book-as-app. It is called “Ortopediteknikk” and is teaching orthopedics for high school level students.

A clear design goal for the title was that the digital edition could be used alongside the printed edition, with the same page references and ideally the same layout. To achive this, Tell used the following process:

  • Import a PDF with 99% of the design identical to the printed book (layers in InDesign helped make the 1% smooth)
  • Enrich it with interactive elements like quizzes, image pop-outs and custom-made videos, at least a couple per chapter
  • Use the tool’s capabilities of automatic full text indexing and dynamic table of contents, as well as zoom and simple bookmarking out of the box
  • The below screenshot shows the dynamic table of contents where the user can answer quizzes and watch videos directly, and also do a free text search and jump to the relevant page

TOC screenshot

To achieve the perfect looking layout, we have licensed a specialized third party conversion tool and are running this on the server side. So the user can import the PDF directly by clicking the wizard button in Then, with no human interaction, the HTML5 backgrounds are in the tool and can be enriched with interactive elements. Compared to an image-based process, the difference is very clear when zooming in and seeing the perfect vector shapes of the text. And even in casual use, the great readability on high resolution screens is striking. Below is a screenshot of a page from the book that contains a quiz that was added in the enrichment process.

Screenshot page Ortopediteknikk

We have talked to teachers that prefer this book-like visual layout more than reflowable pages. In out experience, it also depends on the content what fits most. So is this a “next generation textbook”? Maybe not, but it is clearly a textbook that provides great value and enrichments to the next generation – and is popular and recognizable for teachers.

If you want to discuss in more detail or have a title (or an entire library!) that could come to life through such an enrichment process, please do contact us.

Samsung and TapBookAuthor at AFCC

Samsung and have partnered for digitizing the winners in the SKTAA competition and will share some experiences at AFCC

This Friday, our CEO is proud to be joining Samsung Singapore to give a talk at AFCC – The Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Their talk will cover enrichments to digital interactive books and what is popular with the kids that use the apps, as well as with their parents.

Samsung has selected as their platform and partner for digitizing all the winners from the Samsung KidsTime Author’s Award competition.

Literally as we speak on Friday, the 38 winning entries – from some 7 different countries in South East Asia! – are being enriched in a digital format. There are 6 grand prize winners and as part of the talk, you can see a live preview of some of these winners.

If you are in Singapore, I hope you will be able to come to the talk, and look forward to discussing with you in the Q&A and after. I am of course also happy to show you how our tool helps such amazing titles come alive.

News from home while at BEA

The purpose of this short post is twofold; to tell anyone stopping by that we are at BEA and would be happy to meet and to let you know about starting to sell interactive ebooks for children today!

BEA – Book Expo America – is on in NYC this week and we are listening, discussing and mingling. Shout out if you want to chat! I’ll be here the rest of the week.

And from home, I got news today that launched their updated ecommerce page selling interactive books for children. They have nicknamed the format “ebook plus” and the titles typically contain voice-over, sometimes interactivity and animations and in some cases mini-games and quizzes. Out of the 150 or so titles available at launch, I believe only one single title was not made using our tool!

Work of Art

FrøetFrøet from Gyldendal – was called “the first app that proves that an app can be art” in a review.

This makes us as toolmakers very proud!

The app is different from a few other apps made with our tool in that it is not interactive in the sense that you tap to make things happen, but it is very visual with simple yet effective animations and the sound effects and actor create a very coherent experience.

Well done, Gyldendal – looking forward to the next masterpiece from you and our other great customers and partners!

Proud of our customers

Today Dagbladet, the second largest Norwegian tabloid newspaper, wrote about two children apps. They usually write about apps for children about once per month. But what was special for us about the reviews this time? In fact both the apps featured were made with our tool!

Dagbladet September 9th 2013, two apps reviewed

The apps in question are both using the possibility of creating a brand-specific channel to the customer, using in-app-purchasing – a feature in our tool for somewhat more than half a year now. And the consumer gets a title for free, to evaluate before paying a single dime. Classical win-win?

Leseland from Samlaget helps people learn to read, with four different levels of difficulty, and uses the “karaoke mode” to highlight text along with a very slow voice. The entire logic of the menu, selection of different voices and images they did with absolutely no help from us, just using the standard features of the tool. Fun for us to see, even if we also like to help customers that prefer to be less hands-on.

Lesestart from Gyldendal is a similar bookshelf with a broader range of titles and a very polished bookshelf-with-store concept with what I personally think is a super looking design and great user experience.

You can see part of the page from the newspaper here, and a similar article is now also online. The titles are in Norwegian.

Raving review

Dagbladet Nov 11th 2013
Dagbladet Nov 11th 2013

I was made aware of today that in a review from two days ago, in one of Norway’s largest newspapers Dagbladet, Cappelen Damm’s Løveunge (literally “Lion Kid”, its series for early readers) was called “the best reading training app so far”. From the link you can see the online version and the picture is from the printed version. How fun!

Cappelen Damm has been using these features:

  • Layers to activate different sets of sounds
  • Read-along/”karaoke mode”
  • Sound effects with random start and/or delays
  • Custom styled menu
  • In-app-purchase
  • Recording of your own voice (including a new mode for recording all pages in one go)

The app is available both in Google Play and Apple App Store – have a look and enjoy.