Monday, January 30, 2012
9 Pros and Cons of app / ebook builder sites
I've been thinking a lot about app/ebook builder websites. In other words - websites that provide tools for uploading image, sound, and text files so the user can create an ebook/app. I realize that my opinions are probably all wrong and that I've probably overlooked a lot but here's what I'm thinking and feel free to totally disagree/correct me.
I'm comparing an app builder site to hiring/partnering with a programer:
1 user friendly: I think one of the benefits of using a builder site is the ease of use compared to the hassle of finding and back and forth communication with a programer.
2 quick to market: I'm guessing that because the process is much easier with a builder site - you would be able to get your book published faster. (this is theory)
3 fewest limitations: Looking at the builder sites I've been able to find I think hands down there are more limitations in programing on a builder site vs what a programmer could do.
4 most money % 4 artist: This has to go to the programer ebook because if you hire a programer all the money from Amazon, B&N, or itunes comes directly to you instead of going through the builder site where they siphon off their percentage first. However if you partner with a programer then they get their cut so this one could go either way...
5 control of rights: Again this one goes to the programer ebook simply because when you're the publisher you control all the rights to your book - you decide where it's sold and if you want to license it or sell it to another entity.
6 viral potential: I don't see an advantage either way on this one - tie.
7 quicker payments: I give this one to the programer book because again the money doesn't go to the builder site first where you have to wait for more turn around.
8 sold on more platforms: Some builder sites will only allow your book to be sold on their site - others control which sites it will be sold on - so this one goes to the programer ebook/ app
9 cheapest to publish: This one depends on how you look at it and is too complicated to really answer - so many variables. If you are your own programer - perhaps you're doing a simple ebook with no animations, sounds, etc - you'll probably incur the fewest costs. So perhaps I should have had a third category - the self programed ebook - but I think most of us are scared of actually programing an interactive ebook ourselves.
One last thing I'd like to point out is that amazing things can be done with great limitations. We put a man on the moon with less computing power than you have in your cell phone. The Blair Witch project was filmed on a camcorder. Wilbur and Orville Wright accomplished flight with rudimentary building materials. Could you create a classic on a builder site? I believe so. Having said that I think the best method is to design the ebook including functionality on paper first. If you can realize your dream on a builder site and you like the terms - go for it. If the limitations demand too many compromises you may want to hire or partner with a programer.