The challenges faced by book publishers on devices like the iPad appear to mirror those being faced by most application developers. Speaking at the Publishing Next conference last week, Radhika Menon of Tulika Publishers said she views the iPhones and the iPad as the ideal solution for book publishers going digital - "iPhones and iPads are irresistible who use them, parents who buy them and content providers who see them as an irrestible opportunity. They are perfectly designed for children to handle. The multi-touch user interface is so easy, attractive and intuitive, that children take to it naturally." Tulika Publishers targets children in the 3-16 age group with mainly picture books, and they have around 1000 titles in nine languages. But the application ecosystem poses several challenges, including one of diversity. "The economics of digital content creation is based on the biggest English speaking markets across the world. The picture that emerges is heavily loaded against diversity, but the potential cannot be ignored," she said. Menon pointed out the following issues that Tulika Publishers has noticed with the application ecosystem: - Crowded Market: hundreds of childrens apps are being created for the iPhone and iPad making the market incredilbly crowded. Parents prefer an iPad over TV, which they see as mostly mindless, and they consider the iPad Educational because of interactivity and learning skills. - Digital content is almost entirely marketing driven. The development of the app is as much about marketing strategy, as the app itself. Menon pointed out that the…
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