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Marc Brown Studios drives book sales via mobile apps

Publisher Marc Brown Studios, creator of the Arthur book series, is expanding its products to mobile to give children as many opportunities to read as possible.

Marc Brown Studios has released nine applications of the Arthur books for the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. The apps are powered by ScrollMotion.

“My objective with Arthur is to make kids want to read,” said Marc Brown, author at Marc Brown Studios, Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

“I’ve watched the ways kids are immersed with technology, which competes with books,” he said. “But why should books compete with technology when they can be used in conjunction with it?”

Scrollmotion is an app developer that helps publishers take print content onto mobile.

Interactive books
Each Marc Brown Studios app lets children learn to read by following along with animated text.

Brown narrates or users have the option to record their own voice to tell the story.

Children can pinch and zoom in on illustrations and flip through the story at their own speed.

Additionally, children can use their fingers to color in pictures of Arthur characters.

Consumers can also put together a set of puzzles with either eight or 16 pieces.

The app also includes a store where users can buy all nine apps.

“How do you build something that captures the experience of reading a book but also becomes captive to what digital is?” said Josh Koppel, cofounder and chief creative officer of ScrollMotion, New York.

“We wanted to push the reading experience to make Arthur live in a new way,” he said.

The apps are $2.99 each in Apple’s App Store.

Users can record their own voice to narrate the book

Sell on mobile
Marc Brown Studios is expanding onto mobile to drive book sales.

Similarly, the publisher tapped into broadcast with a television series in 1996 to increase the number of channels children could access Arthur on.

Marc Brown Studios is not the only publisher using mobile to appeal to children.

Random House Children’s Books recently began rolling out a line of apps based on the original Little Golden Book stories to target children (see story).

Book publishers taking print content plays a two-fold role with children – it both entertains and educates children.

“When I visit schools, I see schools increasingly using technology as a tool for kids to build stories on,” Mr. Brown said.

“So much of a picture book is told through illustrations and mobile helps that message come across clearly,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York