Scribble Press has three brick-and-mortar stores where more than 30,000 children have created their own books. Now, with the help of the iPad, it’s gearing up to become a global business.
The company has launched a free iPad app that digitizes the coloring and writing process usually completed in its marker-lined studios. Within the next week, Scribble will begin publishing board books — the kind with cardboard covers thick enough to chew on — created with the app.
“Most kids draw well before they write well,” says Scribble Press co-founder Anna Barber. “The iPad is a good medium for that, but the computer isn’t…The minute [the iPad] came out, I thought it was the perfect channel for what we were trying to do.”
There are plenty of websites that will publish a book you create, but dragging a mouse lacks the freedom of coloring, and scanning pages is a bother for mom and dad. Before the iPad, there wasn’t a good way to take Scribble Press’s “Build-A-Bear for books” experience outside of its stores.
Using the app, kids can draw and write freely. They can also choose from templates such as “I Love My Mom” or “My Babysitter is a Zombie” that give them a head start, and eventually, the company hopes to add themed worlds that kids can use in their books for an added cost.
The app itself not that different from many other apps that let kids create ebooks, but Barber says the potential physical publication of the book helps define the experience.
“I still believe as much as everything is going digital, there is still value in physical artifacts,” she says.
In addition to ordering a professional-quality print of their book, young authors — whether writing from a store or their iPads — can increase their statuses as published authors by adding their creations to Scribble Press’s public ebook library. A 6 year old who wrote about his hearing implant, for instance, has had his book viewed 7,500 times.
Printed books ordered through the Scribble Press iPad app will cost $9.95 plus shipping.