Keeping in mind that this is a work in progress—with a very concrete short term goal of getting feedback on an application for the iPad, here are the elements of the version 1.0 structure: Home, Content, About, Links, Settings, and Game. My ultimate goal, after sorting out what works and what doesn't, is to build a reusable framework for just about any book. Drop in art, animation, music and effects audio, sample chapters, author photo, links, a little bit of custom configuration, and you're ready submit to the iTunes app store.
See the workflow "poster" below--click on it for the full view. I've also included a download link at the end of this post if you want the printable full view, 13 x 19 inches at 300 dpi, about 20MB.
To test drive this framework I'm using my first novel, Seaborn (Juno Books, 2008), and it will feature a fast paced, animated, deep-sea diving adventure called "Jelly Jam"--blogged about it here:
and also see my first post on this idea here:
Audio: I found a set of loopable music tracks that fit the mood of the game, and purchased a royalty-free license from PremiumBeat. I've also created a handful of sound effects, mostly clicks, zings, splats and other sounds.
One aspect of the game I think is cool—and we'll see if players do too, is the marine environment and biological information Kassandra fires off as she's diving into the abyss and avoiding jelly stings. She talks about the size of whale brains and the nematocysts and tidal forces.
For version 1.0, settings are all about audio volume with separate sliders for background music and effects. Settings are stored on exiting the app, along with the player's current game level and high score.
For the Seaborn app, I'm including the first three chapters of the book in a scrollable window. For page display I'm using a UIWebView with a transparent background, which allows me to wrap some art around the book. I'm exploring the idea of breaking the text into page chunks and adding the touch events for sliding forward and backward through a stack of pages, but I'll save that for next release.
The content section also includes three slide out pages of extra cool stuff, like art for the book, notes of living underwater, character list, and maps. Don't think of the content section as where you throw samples. Think of it as a valuable addition to the book whether the reader buys it through iBooks, on the Kindle, the trade paperback. The format doesn't matter. What we want is the reader to see the promotion app as a place to get more information like a zoomable map or a list of the characters and their roles in the story, real places in the story that link out to Google maps.
Things I probably won't get to in this release:
1. Online high score tracking
2. Paging for content with gestures
Workflow (CLICK FOR THE FULL VIEW):
Download the printable view of the workflow "poster".